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.
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.
A handful of years later and we’re still using this robot blankie. I also just gifted a few others circa 2005 over the weekend. Sniff.
Happiest Baby on the Block (dvd) or streaming – 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.