What is a Baby Cross Stitch?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Baby cross stitch is a form of cross stitch which focuses on creating baby-related crafts, including gifts for new parents and their babies. Numerous baby cross stitch pattern books and kits are available in crafts stores and through the Internet, and a number of websites also provide downloadable patterns which crafters can use, including free baby cross stitch patterns. Cross stitching is a very easy method of embroidery to learn, and it can be used to create lasting heirlooms.

Baby cross stitch is used to make baby-related items.
Baby cross stitch is used to make baby-related items.

Cross stitch is one of the oldest forms of embroidery in the world. In cross stitching, a pattern is created on fabric with a series of small Xs which are uniform in size. This form of embroidery falls within a family of techniques known as counted thread embroidery because they all require the crafter to count the threads in the fabric to keep the embroidery consistent and even. Some cross stitchers work with fabrics which have easy to count threads or small squares which they can stitch over, while others prefer the challenge of working with finer fabrics.

Pregnant women who are resting to remain healthy may enjoy cross stitching.
Pregnant women who are resting to remain healthy may enjoy cross stitching.

Baby cross stitch usually involves baby-themed designs, such as alphabet blocks, animals, and so forth, in both pastels and bold, bright colors. Themed designs may also revolve around ideas like birth announcements, Bible verses, and quotes about babies and parenting. Crafters can use baby cross stitch designs on bibs, garments for babies, diaper bags, wall hangings for children's rooms, book covers, blankets, and other baby accessories. Anything made from fabric can be decorated with baby cross stitch, and kits can include stamped patterns which just need to be stitched over.

Some expecting mothers enjoy cross stitching, especially if they are trying to rest to ensure that the pregnancy stays healthy. Historically, new mothers had to prepare for the birth of a new baby by crafting baby garments or modifying baby clothes from older children, and while new mothers no longer need to assemble a wardrobe for their children, some enjoy the process of making knitted baby hats, cross-stitch covers for photo albums, and other handmade accessories which will be used as heirlooms later.

Crafty friends of expecting parents may make baby cross stitch items to use as shower gifts or presents after the birth of the baby. Handmade items are often appreciated by new parents, and making a baby present ensures that no one else will present the parents with a duplicate of the item.

When making baby cross stitch, crafters should remember that their projects may be used around or on a baby, which means that they should be fully washable and durable. Irritating fabrics such as polyester and coarse wool should be avoided, and it can be a good idea to use cross stitch thread which will remain colorfast if it gets wet, and to avoid the use of fragile fabrics and threads.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


If you go to a craft store, the problem is choosing which book to buy, and which project to do from it! There are samplers, wall hangings, little knick-knacks and every other kind of baby product imaginable.

I like doing bibs for babies. There are so many cute designs to choose from! I also like to do cross stitch for a smocked item. That always turns out well and it's something their parents love to show other people.

@Pippinwhite -- That's great that you've been able to teach others how to do embroidery! Hand crafts seem to be disappearing, and it's great that people are wanting to pass on the knowledge of an art in that way. We have to teach the little ones to do this, or it will be a lost art before too long. That would be a shame.


I can do stamped cross stitch, and I've done pillowcases and bonnets for babies. I've never had any luck with counted cross stitch, which is where you get all the really cute patterns and designs.

I usually do a set of pillow covers suitable for the baby now, and then will do a set of real pillowcases, for later on when they're older -- for baby girls, anyway. Boys aren't usually quite as appreciative of stitched pillowcases. But girls love them. I've even been able to teach a couple of them how to embroider because they loved their pillowcases so much! Any time you can pass on a craft like that, you've done something good, in my opinion.

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