Makin’ it: Easy swaddling blanket

This is one easy DIY project that will give you bang for your $5. My mom created the first iterations of our family’s flannel swaddle blankets and I have sewn a few more with these instructions. I even made one large enough to wrap my five-year old when he wanted to be the baby again for a while.

When shopping for receiving blankets, it seems that there are 3 kinds of totally WRONG kinds of blankets: cute but stretchy, too small, or not square. Uggh! For a true Harvey-Karp-style swaddle, you need a biggish piece of flannel or muslin fabric cut in a square.

STEP ONE: Buy a 40″ by 40″ piece of flannel with a cute pattern. Through trial and error, we have found that the more nubbly flannel works better than smooth because it has better grip.

STEP TWO: Fold over, iron, then (or hem) the edges. A jaggedy stitch holds great and looks like this.

DIY Easy swaddle blanket

PRO TIP: Mistakes are no big deal. A perfect square makes the best swaddler, but any shape will do for a stroller blanket or play mat. The baby below (Holden) required tight swaddling for several months. The baby doll was much more relaxed and barely put up a fight.

Seven years later and we’re still using this robot blankie. I also just gifted a few others circa 2005 over the weekend. Sniff.

DIY Easy swaddle blanket

Related links:
Happiest Baby on the Block (dvd) – How to wrap your perfect swaddle.
Rookie Mom’s Handbook – How to enjoy becoming a mom.
Our Makin’ It series – How to do dozens of other fun projects.

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RookieMoms co-founder & mom to 3 boys in Berkeley, CA. Bossy big sister and project manager turned blogger helping moms enjoy their first years of motherhood. Find me on my other site on or hiding in my minivan eating dark chocolate.

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