Things You'll Need
- 1 yard of fabric
- 1/2 yard of coordinating fabric
- Tape measure
- Air-soluble fabric marker
- Bias tape
- Sewing machine
Swaddling a newborn can keep him warm, calm and secure. The technique is taught at hospitals as a way to comfort a baby and keep him from startling himself when sleeping. Make your own swaddle sacks at home with a sewing machine, Velcro, fabric and some notions. The Velcro helps the sack stay closed. Swaddle blankets or sacks purchased in the store can be pricey. Many parents like to keep multiple swaddle sacks on hand as they can get leaked on or spit up on. Making your own is economical and you can make multiple sacks at home for the price of a store-bought sack. This simple sewing project can have you and your baby both sleeping soundly through the night.
Prewash your fabric so it will not draw up after you sew it. Use a baby-friendly detergent, free of dyes and fragrances. Dry the fabric in the dryer.
Iron your fabric so it is smooth with no wrinkles. If you are using a fleece fabric, use a pressing cloth or iron it on the wrong side using a low setting.
Measure the length of your baby. Take the measurement while he is sleeping so he will be in the same position as he will be in the sack. It is okay if his legs are drawn up if that is the way he naturally sleeps.
Measure a square of fabric that is the length of your baby plus 4 inches by 34 inches wide. Mark the lines with your air-soluble fabric marker. Cut the fabric out with your scissors.
Trim the edges of the square to form an apple shape. The corners should be rounded and the bottom of the fabric should be smaller than the top. The shape is similar to an inverted trapezoid with rounded corners. This is the swaddle section. Set the piece aside.
Cut a rectangle out of the coordinating fabric that measures 12 inches wide and 16 inches long. This is your pocket for the sack.
Cut two pieces of bias tape 16 inches in length. Wrap the bias tape along the edges of the pocket.
Pin the pocket to the middle of the swaddle section. Line the bottom edges up. Trim the bottom of pocket so the corners round like the swaddle section.
Sew the pocket onto the swaddle section using a straight stitch on the bias tape.
Bind the outer edge of the swaddle section with bias tape. Use one continuous piece of bias tape. Pin the bias tape and sew with a straight stitch.
Place the baby in the pocket. Wrap the right side of the swaddle across his body. Wrap the left side over the right. Pull the swaddle sack snug, but not too tight. Mark where the edge of the left side ends. Remove your baby.
Measure 1 inch to the right of the mark and draw a 3-inch line. On the inside of the left side of the swaddle, measure 1 inch to the right of the edge. Draw a 3-inch line. Cut a 3-inch piece of Velcro. Pin the fuzzy side of the Velcro to the left side of the swaddle and the teeth side to the right side of the fabric on your 3-inch lines. Sew the Velcro onto the fabric using a zigzag stitch.
Use no-snag Velcro so the teeth do not scratch baby. Make the swaddle sack season-appropriate by selecting a fabric that is fitting for the climate and temperature. Fleece is appropriate for winter while light cotton works well for summer.
Always make sure the swaddle sack does not cover your baby's face.
Caroline Baldwin, a corporate communications director located in South Carolina, began writing in 1998. Her work has been published in publications across the United States and Canada including Rolling Stone, Boating Life, Waterski and Wakeboarding magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies from The College of Charleston.