Mother and Baby

Adorable baby cardigans perfect for layering on chilly days

Baby cardigans

No matter the seasons, cardigans are perfect for layering and an easy clothing essential that you can slip on when there’s a chill in the air. That’s why we think they’re essential for your baby too.

Easier to slip on than jumpers, baby cardigans are perfect for keeping your little one warm, wrapped up, and cosy all year round and come in a full range of cute, colourful, and charming designs that we’re frankly quite jealous of!

We’ve found the best baby cardigans to buy that are comfy and guaranteed to keep them snuggled in style. We’ve included chunky knit cardigans for the colder seasons, breathable cotton cardigans when they just need that little bit of extra warmth, and lightweight cardigans for lightly layering or dressing up a t-shirt or dress.

Baby cardigans for your little one

Thick knit baby cardigans

Available in dusky pink, grey marl, beige, ivory, and dark indigo, this chunky knit cardigan will keep your little one cosy and cute with the playful little ears on the hood. It's fully lined for extra warmth and we love the contrast wood-look buttons that give it a more traditional feel.

Ages: 0 months to 3 years

Material: 100 per cent cotton

Review: "Bought this to welcome a new baby girl. The cardigan feels soft and of good quality. The lining is lovely and will be very comfy to wear. A smart little cardigan. Parents were delighted!"

This famously well-made cardigan, rated 4.9 stars for quality, is a lovely soft addition to your baby's wardobe and in a rainbow stripe, will brighten up even the greyest or chilliest day. It's knitted in a garter stitch for a traditional, homespun look and has rainbow threaded buttons.

Ages: 0 months to 12 months

Material: 100 per cent cotton

Review: "Great quality cardigan, washed lovely too. My little man looks adorable in it."

Perfect for spring or autumn with a vegetable patch inspired pattern, this warm and chunky cardigan will keep your baby super comfortable with the luxurious merino wool for softness. It buttons to the top to keep them snug, and we think this cardigan makes for a fun, cute, and unique choice for your little one.

Ages: 0 months to 4 years

Material: 42 per cent polyamide, 30 per cent cotton, 25 per cent wool, 2 per cent viscoae, 1 per cent alpaca

Whilst it might not be as thick as the other 'thick knit cardigan' options on our list, what makes this cardigan a particularly great choice and extra snug is the hood lined with faux fur to keep little ears and cheeks protected from the cold. The purl knit design itself is simple yet elegant with an across chest button and popper fastening. We think the dark orange colour and hood pom-pom feature makes it a trendy pick for autumn and winter.

Ages: Newborn to 74cm

Material: 100 per cent cotton with polyester hood lining

This chunky openwork knit is a responsible option as a STANDARD 100 certified product by OEKO-TEX® - the textiles have been internationally benchmarked to be healthy, safe, and responsible, and kind to your baby's skin. In a vibrant pink colour, we think this'll make a great statement cardigan to wear all year round.

Ages: 3 months to 4 years

Material: 85 per cent acrylic, 15 per cent wool

This bobble effect chunky cardigan, available in blue, ecru, pink, and rust, is a really pretty choice for your little one. The wood-style buttons contrast nicely for a traditional feel and the majority acrylic material makes it a super warm choice for autumn through to spring.

Ages: 3 months to 7 years

Material: 78 per cent acrylic, 13 per cent nylon, 9 per cent polyester

This cable knit cardigan with a three button fastening has been designed to fit small or premature babies. Made from 100 per cent acrylic to provide them with all the extra warmth they need, it's been praised by parents for its quality, sizing, and low price.

Ages: 3lb to 8lb weight

Material: 100 per cent acrylic

Review: "Beautiful small baby cardigan that is equally suited to boys as well as girls. I have found many prem designs too lacey for my liking but this one fits the bill exactly. Looks great on my little grandson and fits a treat."

Light knit baby cardigans

This stylish cardi is one of our favourites, and one we wish they had in adult sizes! Made in a soft, fine knit for light layering, it has long raglan sleeves and buttons down the front. This one is light beige with pink, white, and brown spotted detailing, but you can also opt for the beige marl alternative with flounce detailing from the shoulders instead.

Ages: 6 months to 4 years

Material: 100 per cent cotton

Review: "So sweet saving for autumn, the colours are lovely."

This cable knit cardigan is a cute and cosy choice for your little one made with pure cotton for a finish that's kind to your baby's skin, and soft texture and detailing for the sweet flowers and hedgehogs to not irritate their skin. It's modern yet traditional and will keep your baby comfy all through the day.

Ages: 0 months to 4 years

Material: 100 per cent cotton

These solid colour V-neck cardigans are great value and have been made from 100 per cent cotton for softness. Over 200 customers have rated these 4.8 stars out of 5 and have said they're true to size and spot on in length. While we love this orange and mint green pack, you can also choose a blue and beige pack, green and light beige pack, and navy blue and light grey pack.

Ages: 4 months to 4 years

Material: 100 per cent cotton

Knitted from pure cotton, this bright yellow cardigan is sure to welcome the sunshine on colder days. Complete with a hood and sweet embroidery detailed elephants with 3D ears, it's a cute, soft, and light layer ideal for spring, summer, and autumn.

Ages: Newborn to 18 months

Material: 100 per cent cotton

Review: "I recently purchased this for my little girl, I got it in the next size up so she hasn't worn it yet. However it's very good quality and is so cute with the elephants on the front and a lovely sunny yellow which will be nice and bright for the summer."

Available in blue stripe, pink stripe, and grey, this cardigan with popper buttons is a supersoft separate that can be mixed and matched with your favourite outfit. It even features little front pockets, though this is more for detail than function. Buying as a gift? For a little extra you can have the cardigan personalised or gift wrapped.

Ages: Newborn to 3 years

Material: 30 per cent organic cotton, 70 per cent bamboo fabric

Review: "So soft and breathable, excellent quality and very comfortable, very impressed by this and the entire Mori range."

This adorable cardigan features a frill collar and beautiful nature inspired embroidery detail including a bunny, flowers, and a little bird. Made of 100 per cent cotton, it's soft, can be paired with any outfit, and is so cute we'd definitely recommend buying for your little one or as a gift.

Ages: 0 month to 2 years

Material: 100 per cent cotton

Review: "This baby cardigan was bought as a gift and the recipients were thrilled with it. It looked beautiful with the prettiest design and seemed good quality although I can’t comment on how it washes."

This pretty textured cardigan with sweet stitch detailing and contrast buttons is super soft and a good pick for everyday wear or as a more formal cardigan for special occasions. Reviewers have reported that it washes well, so you don't need to worry about loss of softness or accidental spills on the ecru marl coloured material.

Ages: 0 months to 4 years

Material: 45 per cent polyamide, 30 per cent cotton, 25 per cent wool

Review: "My little daughter loves wearing this cardigan. It is a longer length style. I like it because it is warm so I don't need to worry about her being cold - it's also pretty!"

What material is best?

The main materials you'll find for baby cardigans are cotton and acrylic.

Cotton is best for your baby's skin, especially if they're prone to suffer from eczema, guaranteeing softness through the natural fabric.

However, acrylic is great for heat retention and is one of the warmest synthetic materials. This is why many of the thicker knit cardigans are made of acrylic yarn instead of cotton as they'll keep your baby toasty and warm even on the coldest of days.

Both are great options for machine washability so we'd recommend the material based on the purpose of the cardigan - for layering, light warmth, and completing an outfit, choose cotton. For ultimate warmth, we'd recommend acrylic.

How to knit a baby cardigan

Fancy yourself a bit of a whizz with knitting needles? Why not try making your own baby cardigan from scratch?

Knitting your own baby cardigan gives you the freedom to design the cardigan how you wish, make a personalised gift for your baby, or for a friend as a thoughtful handmade baby shower gift.

Don't worry if you're a beginner! Learn how to make your own baby cardigan with this YouTube tutorial from Teo Makes who provides a free pattern and step-by-step guide to creating a V-neck or raglan cardigan.

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  • Author: Eleanor Weaver Eleanor Weaver
  • Job Title: Commercial Content Writer

Having worked at Yours magazine for the past 4 years, Eleanor is now a Commercial Content Writer for titles such as Yours, What’s The Best and Mother&Baby. Eleanor enjoys relaxing with a good book, trying out new crafts and going to small acoustic gigs across the UK. She helps with Brownies on Zoom and loves joining in to run fun activities with the young girls. Find Eleanor on Instagram.

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