Make this easy crochet pattern in less than an hour

Make this easy crochet pattern in less than an hour
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If you love crocheting, then you know the joy it brings to make something special for a loved one. And what could be more touching than a handmade gift for a preemie baby?

These tiny little fighters may have a long road ahead of them, but a simple square of crocheted love can make a world of difference.

Further down this blog post, I share with you a free crochet pattern for a textured bonding square that’s perfect for preemie babies in the hospital.

And the bonus? This pattern can also be used as a washcloth – so it’s perfect for everyone!

Inspiration behind the design

This is the fourth year that I have hosted the Preemie Crochet Challenge. It is one that is particularly close to my heart. If you want to find out more about my story you can read it here.

For 2023 I knew I would have a couple of days during the event for my patterns and I wanted to design some pieces that you could also put together to create a set with. The Little Dots Bonding Squares is the first of 3 patterns from me during this year’s challenge.

Why Use a Textured Bonding Square for Preemie Babies?

A textured bonding square is a small piece of crochet that has different textures and colors. Preemie babies in the hospital benefit from bonding squares because they can help to stimulate their senses and provide comfort. Studies have shown that these squares can also help with breastfeeding, improve sleep, and reduce the amount of cortisol in the baby’s system. A bonding square made with different types of yarns and textures can provide the preemie with a diversity of textures for sensory stimulation, in a controlled environment.

My Little Dots bonding square is designed so that if baby lies on the ‘little dots’ it simply flattens and does not dig into baby at all.

Creating a crocheted textured bonding square can be a labor of love that provides comfort and a sense of security  for premature babies and their families. Whether you make these squares for charity events, friends, or loved ones, by putting your heart into your handmade gift, you can help make a difference. So pick up your crochet hook, grab some yarn, and join the challenge in spreading some love to preemie babies around the world.

The burgundy version below is my little dots crochet washcloth made with the exact same pattern as the bonding squares.

Construction of the design

These preemie baby bonding squares (or crocheted washcloths) are made in rows and use basic stitches to create the ‘little dots’ in the texture. So they are an easy and great pattern for beginner crocheters!

They are worked flat and due to their size most crocheters should be able to work one up in a hour or less. It took me less than an hour to make 2. Although if you are not a fast crocheter don’t worry about that – we crochet at our own pace and it certainly is not a race!!

The Yarn

Whether you are choosing to make some bonding squares or a washcloth you should be careful about the yarn you choose to use.

For bonding squares:

  • Stay away from wool (these can set off allergies in baby and be itchy)
  • A DK or #3 weight yarn will work best because it gives a nicer drape and any gaps will be too small for baby to get their fingers through.
  • Consider using a cotton or an acrylic yarn
  • Use bright colors and different types of yarn to create texture. Preemies appreciate the differences.
  • Make sure your square is soft and gentle so that it won’t irritate a preemie’s sensitive skin.

For washcloths:

  • I highly recommend a #4 weight (aran) cotton yarn or cotton blend. Cotton can be washed and dried at higher temperatures so is more hygenic and is more durable than acrylic yarn.
  • Go up to a 5mm hook so that it is suitable for the yarn weight.

Get the PDF pattern!

You can find the ad-free PDF Pattern for this one in all of my shops:

The pattern specifics:


#3 weight yarn of your choosing – you will need approx. 60 yards
4mm hook
Stitch markers (optional)
Tapestry needle


My gauge was 10 sts sts and 8 rows  of pattern per 2” 
But for this project gauge is not important.


My bonding square is 6” wide and 6” tall.

If you make it with #4 weight cotton and 5mm hook you will need approximately 76 yards of cotton and can create a nice sized washcloth (approx. 9” square)

Abbreviations used:

·       Ch(s)–chain(s)
·       St(s)–stitch(es)
·       rep–repeat
·       sk—skip
·       HDC – half double crochet
·       FHDC – foundation half double crochet
·       TC – Treble crochet
·       Ss – slip stitch
·       YO—yarn over
·       FO—fasten off 
·       [ ] – everything in these brackets is worked into the same st.

Other notes:

·       Written in US terms.
·       Ch stitches at the beginning of each row do not count as a st unless otherwise stated.
·       When working your slip stitches do not make them too tight because you will need to work into these on the next row!
·       The dotty texture is worked on the wrong side rows.

Special Stitches:

Treble Crochet (TC):

YO twice, Insert hook into next st, YO and pull through, *YO and pull through two stitches on your hook. Rep from * twice more. TC completed.

Foundation Half Double Crochet (FHDC):

You can find my tutorial on the foundation stitches (you will find the fhdc at about 14 mins 20 seconds into the videos:

I find this has a more aesthetically pleasing finish than the chain starts to projects and it gives the project more movement.

The Pattern:

** This is a free pattern on the blog. Please do not copy and paste any part of it or print this pattern out. Please bookmark this page and use the website to work up your pattern. This helps my small business greatly as it provides a little bit of ad revenue which will in turn will allow me to continue to create free content for you!**

Row 1 –           FHDC 31


                        CH 33, HDC in second Ch from hook (CH2 counts as a st) and each ch across 


Row 2 –           Turn, Ch1, HDC in first st and each st across. (31)

Row3 –             Turn, ch1,  ss into first st, *TC in next st, ss into next st. Rep from * across. (31)

                        Note: you will end with a ss. Be sure not to work these too tightly as you will be working into the ss in the next row!

Row 4 –           Turn, ch1, HDC in first st and each st across. (31)

Row 5 –           Rep row 4

Row 6 –            Rep row 4.

Rows 7-25-     Rep rows 3-6

                        Note: You will end with a row 5.


Turn, ch1, sc in each st across to the last st of the row. In the last st work [sc, ch2, sc] .

Turn your work 90 degrees so you are working down the side, and work 31 sts evenly down the side until you reach the final st of the side. In the last st work [sc, ch2, sc].

Turn your work so you are now working along the bottom of your square. SC in each st across to the last st of the row. In the last st work [sc, ch2, sc].

Turn your work 90 degrees so you are working up the final side, and work 31 sts evenly up the side until you reach the final st of the side. In the last st work [sc, ch2]. SS to first SC to join.

FO and weave in ends.