DIY swaddling blanket – an easy baby shower gift

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I am still in the middle of a quiet February in the new house, but my next thing on my to do list (at least it’s a small one) is to unpack the sewing room. This is a project that I completed in the sewing room, but I did it before we moved in, while the room still belonged to my mother-in-law.

When I was pregnant with the tall hormonal kid, one of the neighbours made me a couple of receiving blankets that were big enough to swaddle a baby. The ones that can be bought in stores are much too small, and the blankets that are bigger were too thick and heavy for my little blast furnaces. The blankets that Mrs. S made were perfect. I attempted to copy them and made a couple for an expectant mom a couple of months ago, hoping that she would find them as useful as I did.

This isn’t really a tutorial, but there are a couple of easy steps. I didn’t think to take picturesΒ of the process, just the end results, but hopefully it’s easy enough to follow along without them.

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Swaddling Blanket Instructions:

1. For each blanket, you need a full yard of flannel fabric. I bought a wider width fabric than normal (I can’t remember the width – and the blankets are gone now, so I can’t measure). Wash the fabric to pre-shrink it.

2. Fold the fabric into a triangle, corner to corner to get a perfect square and cut or rip away any excess.

3. Serge or hem the edges. That’s it – but the end result is a nice large, soft blanket that is the perfect size for swaddling. I used the serger because it’s an easy shortcut and that is the way Mrs. S. made mine.

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The original blankets are still with us – one still gets cuddled by the small squeaky kid and the other is now used to wrap up her dolls at bedtime. They’ve survived years of wear and tear – though I am more than willing for the cuddle blanket to disappear soon. Any suggestions on how to break a nine-year-old of a blankie habit?

Linked to Simple Lives Thursday

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31 thoughts on “DIY swaddling blanket – an easy baby shower gift

  1. Fairy says:

    The blankets look lovely. Interesting that you used the serger – I am debating about buying one and even talked to the lady in the sewing machine shop today when I picked up my sewing machine after having it serviced. I had several blankets when my girls were babies and made them for my daughter when she was pregnant. They were always called bunny rugs here in Australia but not the bought ones are referred to as wraps. They are most often muslin which suits out warm climate.

    No tips on the blankie habit except for ‘losing’ it. πŸ™‚

  2. These are lovely. My boys never liked being swaddled, they were strange like me right from the start. Sorry I can’t help you on breaking the blankie habit, although my youngest had a very creative way to break the thumb sucking habit if you had that problem.:-)

    • No, no thumb sucking problems, and I think the blankie has nearly come to the end of its usefullness. I hope. My kids liked being swaddled, but I’ve met lots that didn’t. The blankets were a nice size to use for lots of other purposes too.

  3. I really have no good idea….but a fun thought crossed my mind…ask her if she wants to take it for ‘show and tell’ (I know she’s too old for that but I thought it might be pause for thought for her) Diane

  4. jmgoyder says:

    I love this but I can’t even sew a button on. You are wonderful!

  5. Easy, thoughtful, useful. Nothing could be better.

  6. Don’t worry about it — she will break it on her own

    • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

      Just what I was going to say (I bit my nails ’til Grade Eight and the harder my parents pushed me to quit, the deeper I dug in my heels…)
      Don’t worry, when she’s ready, she’ll stop on her own.
      Great gift idea! There’s nothing better than a good-sized swaddling blanket to get a babe past that “I’m not all snuggled up inside Mummy anymore” feeling and, like you said, a million and one other things (like laying over those diaper changing tables in public restrooms – ick!):

    • I figure she will too – we were quick to break the soother and bottle habits when the girls were babies, but we’ve kinda left this one alone. She probably won’t be taking it along with her to university – it’ll never last that long.

  7. Kerry says:

    I was JUST planning on making a bunch of these for friends!! Love!

  8. Ange says:

    Those are a great idea. I’ve never used a serger, but I have access to one.

    As for breaking the blanket habit…. I am not in your house, but is there really a reason to bother breaking it? Is she like Linus, or does she mostly like it at night? My nineteen year old STILL has her “pink blanket”. She doesn’t snuggle it like she used to (she WAS like Linus when she was little) but it is still in her bed. Pick your battles. Some things just aren’t worth battling over. But, like I said, I am not there, and don’t know the whole story…..

    • I haven’t really tried to break the habit at all. I only really thought about it again this morning when writing this post. It’s only used at night and only really becomes an issue when it gets lost – which is often,

  9. Alia says:

    Awesome gift! I swaddle my little boy each night…don’t know what I would do without my swaddling blankets!

  10. jenfletcher says:

    As far as breaking the blanket habit…be thankful that you have flannel blankets that are still recognizable “blankets.” I have a 9- and a 7-year-old who still have their loveys, but unfortunately they were KNIT blankets. When he was about five, my son admitted that his blanket was really more like “a wad of yarn.”

    Don’t threaten show and tell. Both mine have taken theirs. (Admittedly, years ago!) πŸ™‚

  11. I wouldn’t try to break them of the blankie habit. My 15 year old granddaughter sleeps with hers when she’s sick. It’s their comfort tool and we all want comfort!

  12. Sarah says:

    These are so adorable πŸ™‚
    I wish I could help you with the blanket habit, but I can’t. I had my own blanket habit until I was 10, so I can relate a little πŸ™‚

  13. oceannah says:

    Heidi, I think even I can manage this one πŸ˜‰ and the timing is PERFECT…I just (sorta) became a grandma….to my husbands dd! Hurray.
    *anna

  14. I would have been lost without swaddling blankets, they really do make things a lot easier with a new born don’t they.
    Not sure about your daughters “blankie”… she might stop on her own terms soon anyway?

  15. […] these being good lounging socks, feet up in front of the fire.Β  I also wrote about sewing up some swaddling blankets for a baby shower […]

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