Preemie bonding square ‘ hug square’

Last year I got to know the lovely Helen Wilkinson from Sunflower Cottage Crochet. I was just starting to write some patterns and she was so kind to help me with some technical aspects of pattern writing and blogging. This was topped with a feature of my preemie hat pattern set during her Preemie Month round up.

This year, I will participate again in this lovely roundup, because as a former maternity ward nurse,preemies are so close to my heart.

Photo by Burst on

What also is close to the preemie parents hearts, are bonding squares. These small cloths are worn on the skin of the parent and then placed next to the little one, so that they can smell mom or dad close to them. Usually they are made in pairs, so they can be changed out.

I will give you an example of a nice textured square, that can be made with small bits of cotton and a crochet hook. I would recommend using washable cotton, because of hygienic reasons. Always consult your preeemies nurses or doctors before placing something in their cocoon/bed/incubator off course. Local regulations can apply.

Two white bonding squares with a small flower

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Photo by Castorly Stock on

The pattern

  • Materials:
  • Some scrapyarn, cotton preferably, and matching hook
  • In this example I used stylecraft special dk white acrylic, since that was what I had on hand
    Matching hook, I used a 4.5 mm hook
  • Scissors
  • Darning needle for weaving in ends
  • Tape measure, finished square to be approximately 15 cm or 6 inch
close up of the bonding square

Preemie Bonding Squares are like portable hugs..

Marjolein de Koning, 2021
Pattern DutchCrochetbyMdK 
Preemie Bonding Square, Hug Square

Chain2 counts as 1st stitch in pattern

1. Chain 25, hdc in 2nd loop from the hook until end

2. Chain 2, turn and hdc in back loop only in next 22 stitches, hdc in both loops in top of turning chains previous row

3. Repeat r 2 until desired length is same as width of yiur square. In my case 15 rows

4. Chain 1 and sc in side of all rows, in corner (sc, ch1,sc) in same stitch, 24 sc in bottom row, corner (sc, ch1, sc)in same stitch, sc in side of rows, corner (sc, ch1, sc) in same stitch, 24 sc in top row, end with chain 1 and ss in 1st stitch.

Now make another square so you can swap them every 12 hours.

Optional 🌸 
I added a flower from some scrapyarn, stylecraft special dk, color Fiesta, hook 2.5 mm

How to make the flower:
Magic ring, ch3 , 2 dc, ss in ring, *3dc, ss in ring*, repeat in between * 3 more times.
Close with ss in top of ch3.
Close magic ring and weave in ends securely.

Leave a tail for sewing,fasten off . Sew the flower with small stitches on the square, making sure to secure it well.

You could make different color flowers for Mom or dad, day or night.
always check if they are still securely fastened before use.

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