Peanut Swaddler Tutorial

Did you see my post over at Nap Time Crafters last week?
If not, here is what you missed.
Bloggy-land seems to be completely over run with pregnant women right now, and since we just brought
Corbin home a little over a month ago, I kinda feel like I’m part of the “in crowd” for a change! So in an
attempt to help my fellow new Mommas get a little more sleep (or at least a few minutes of quiet),
I’d like to share with you my zippered swaddler tutorial.
For lots of new parents, the art of swaddling your new baby can seem more like rocket science than a
simple folded up blanket, and trying to replicate what the nurses did so easily for you in the hospital will
simply become a source of frustration. All your 3 a.m. attempts to contain that writhing, screaming,
“bundle of joy” have ended in failure, and by now you are seriously eyeing up that roll of duct tape. 
I find this to be especially true of husbands…or at least mine! ; )
Most of us have been there. We had a terrible time getting our daughter to sleep after she began to
break free from every type of swaddle product you could buy! I eventually found one that worked 
(most of the time), and gave up on ever sleeping through an entire night again.
It unzips from the bottom too so you can change that stinky
diaper without taking everything off and waking the baby up!
So when I found out that a 2nd little monkey was on the way, I began my search for a swaddler that 
could contain those tiny appendages in a way that he could NOT (never ever!) break out of.
So far, the Peanut Swaddler has done the trick. Plus it’s so easy to operate that even my husband can
manage it in the middle of the night! We still have a month or two until it will really be put to the test,
but luckily this should be thin enough for the baby to wear with just a diaper so we’ll still be able to
keep him quiet without the risk of overheating during the summer. 
Here’s how you can make one of your own…

Needle nose pliers
2 nylon coil zippers – 16+ inches
Pattern Pieces located here plus one 2×24 inch strip
Stretchy knit fabric: something with spandex in it would be perfect. 
Just make sure your fabric is soft enough for a baby – I used a thrifted tee.
Knit binding for the neckline: I salvaged mine from the same tee. – 10+ inches
*NOTE* -This pattern is for a newborn size. I’d say 7-13lbs-ish. 
If you need something larger, it shouldn’t be difficult to adjust the pattern to fit a bigger baby. 
I will eventually be adding more sizes to my patterns page as Corbin grows, and I can test them out.
Use your pliers to remove the metal stops from the bottom of both zippers. 
Remove the pulls from the zippers, and set aside 2 of the extra zipper tapes. 
You could also buy lengths of zipper tape and pulls separately online
so long as you have the equivalent of 1 zipper with 2 pulls.
Iron the straight edge of each front piece under 3/4 of an inch.
Unfold the 3/4 inch and line up half of your zipper with the crease you just ironed.
*Make sure you are attaching the left side of the zipper tape to the front left half of the peanut.*
Stitch half of the zipper onto each half of the peanut stopping about 2 inches from the bottom. (the green X) 
Be extra careful not to stretch the fabric as you sew, or the halves will never zip back together properly.
Follow steps 1-8 below to make a 2 way zipper.
1. Slide both zipper halves into the curved side of a pull.
2. Align the pull with the beginning of the zipper teeth.
3. Use the pull to ZIP the zipper. Zip it all the way to make sure the top lines up.
4. Separate the 2 halves of the zipper tape again BELOW the pull you just attached.
5. Slide both zipper halves into the second pull with the curved side down.
6. Align the pull with the beginning of the zipper teeth, and gently pull the 2 halves apart.
7. With a little wiggling, you should be able to zip (or is it unzip?) the second pull. 
8. Slide each pull up and down a few times to make sure that the teeth are lining up correctly. 
If something feels off remove the second pull, and start the process over again at step 4.
Unpick the top 2 inches on the left side of the zipper, 
and cut 3/8 of an inch off the top of the tape. 
*Do Not cut below the metal stop.*

Fold the 2×24 inch strip in half and surge/zig zag along the open edge. 
This piece will run along the zipper on the inside to protect the baby from rubbing or getting pinched.
Lay the folded strip under the zipper leaving about 1.5 inches sticking out the top.
The surged edge should line up with the outside edge of the zipper.
Fold the extra down over the cut edge of the zipper and pin at a slight angle. 
Stitch the fold in place and test the zipper a few times to make sure the fabric doesn’t catch.
This will help protect the baby’s chin from rubbing on the zipper, though you could always
add a flap and snap on top if you wanted. 

Cut off any excess overhang from the angle at the top of the strip.
Replace the 2 inches that you unpicked, unfold the 3/4 inch flap that the zipper is attached too, 
and stitch the strip to the zipper. You should be sewing through the strip, the zipper, and the peanut.
*When the zipper is zipped up, the strip should cover it completely on the inside.*

Stitch the 2 peanut layers together at the bottom below the zipper.
Top-stitch around the zipper being mindful of the strip underneath.
Then trim off any extra zipper and strip length below the top-stitching.

With right sides together, sew the peanut front to the back.
Serge or zig zag to strengthen the edge.
Attach the knit binding to the neckline and top-stitch in place.
If you are unsure about this part, check out Option A of my video tutorial.

All Done!
Now you’re ready to zip up your little one and hope that they get drowsy.
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If you happen to make one of these swaddlers for yourself, please go ahead and add a picture to
my your tART flicker group. I love seeing all the creative versions you guys come with!

37 thoughts on “Peanut Swaddler Tutorial

    1. I wish I had any sewing skills whatsoever! This looks wonderful! I just bought a Summer Infant "Swaddle Pod" that I'm hoping will do the trick – if only it had double zippers like yours though!

  1. Wow, adorable!!!! I have a little boy due in a couple months.. totally making this! My daughter was so fidgety and easily awaken by her movements that we had to swaddle her for nearly 7 months. I plan to be prepared for this baby JIC hes the same!

    1. Thanks Lisa!
      Our daughter was the same way. I thought we were going to be wrapping her up until she leaves for college! Now our son doesn't really care either way, but if I get to choose between swaddling and him sleeping until 6am, or not swaddling and him getting up at 3am…you can be that kid is getting swaddled every night! ;D Congratulations on you new little one!

  2. we used a bought one of these when my son was small and he loved it – thank you so much for providing a pattern and tutorial. I'm going to share this on my FB page.

  3. I have no skills with sewing, but if you ever decide to sell these, like in an etsy shop or something, let me know please! As a mom of 2 and another on the way, this looks like it would be amazing! Thanks for the tutorial! I really wish I could sew now.

    1. I know exactly what you mean about needing to "see" what is happening instead of read about it. Unfortunately, I don't have plans to make another swaddler in the near future. Our little monster kinda exploded and has outgrown the need for any swaddling at all. (4 month old babies should not weigh 20 lbs!) I will add a video tute to my to do list, but can't say when I'll actually get around to putting one together. I'm sure you can understand the time and effort that go into shooting ANY video in a house with a baby and toddler in the background!

  4. I'm struggling with the sewing at the end of the zipper ๐Ÿ™ mine looks AWFUL. I don't know how to line up the seams and then what to do when I get to the zipper… how do you stop? any advice or additional pictures would be helpful (klwalley520 at aol dot com)

  5. Thank you SO SO SO MUCH!!! I've been dying over Woombie but its inaccessible in our part of the world and shipping one over would cost even more than the swaddler itself! So I am SO HAPPY to have found your website and with such clear and beautiful instructions too!!! Thank you! One question though: I have printed out the pattern twice by mistake (both times with a different printing program) and ended up with two patterns which are quite different in size… How long and wide this swaddler is supposed to be? Im making mine for a newborn and would like it to be tight and swaddly ๐Ÿ™‚ Also The bottom part seems to be a bit bigger than the top one (by 0,5cm) So which one should I take as the right part? And once more – THANK YOU!!!

    1. So sorry for taking so long getting back to you, but this comment must have gone to my junk folder, and you didn't leave a way for me to reach you. :/ I just hope you check back.

      If the 2 lines along the left hand side of the pages measure at 3/4 inches then you have it printed out at the correct size. If for some reason the lines of both pages are at 3/4" but don't match up, I would just blend them together smoothly erring more on the side of the upper half. The bottom was meant to be large to open for changing, while the top needs to stay smaller to keep the arms from escaping.

      If you do happen to see this message and have any more questions, please send me an e-mail. I'll be glade to help! Sugar_Tart(at)hotmail(dot)com

  6. I am admiring your ingenuity…as I have exhausted myself trying to locate a place to buy the two way zippers with no luck. :/ I did want to say for those reader intimidated by taking zippers apart, that I also came up with a solution, but not quite as clever as yours…I installed two zippers side by side & one zips up & the other zips down. It works just fine & I *thought* I was pretty smart until I stumbled across this blog tut…lol Oh well…I am not sure how well I'd do at taking zippers apart. ๐Ÿ˜›

  7. I want to commend you for your ingenuity on combining two zippers. In my search for this type of zipper, for the same purpose, I came up with no retail sources for this type of zipper (despite me owning several purchased baby items that do in fact have these two way zips) & found a different solution…so I thought I'd share. I drafted my swaddle pattern & placed two zipper off center with about a 1 inch strip between. One zips top to bottom & the other is installed upside down. I just thought I'd share for those that may be intimidated to attempt to redo a zipper. That way you can serve the same function with a different approach. Kudos to you though – I never even considered dismantling zippers, never even thought it was a possibility!

    1. Thanks so much for sharing Ophelia! I can picture your version in my head, and that seems like a great idea! Honestly, I still have no idea what possessed me to think that you could take apart zippers and put them back together in me ways. It must have been a random moment of genius in the midst of my goofy pregnancy brain. I'll take it where ever I can get it though! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Just an FYI, I went into the fabric store to buy zippers for this and they actually had 2 way zippers there, so I got to skip the whole "construct your own two way zipper" ! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Wow, I've never been able to find any smaller than jacket gauge. Thanks you letting me know! I'll definitely check it out the next time I'm at the shops.

  9. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I just made one and it turned out mostly great – I tried to size up the pattern, and it turned out a little too big somewhere, so my little boy can still pull his hands up and get them to his face (just through the cloth) – but that's obviously my own fault for not sizing it right! He's outgrowing it so fast I'll probably need a new one soon anyways haha. I won't tell you how many times I sewed the zippers in wrong (I think 7), I had so much trouble determining what I was looking at in the photos, and I felt so dumb! But I finally got it right (or right-ish – when I got to the end I realized they still weren't 100% right, but it worked). And once I was done assembling my 2-way zipper, I had a thought – why not just install the zipper upside down? That way the only zipper pull is at their feet, no chance of it bothering them by sticking in their face or neck, and you can still easily unzip it for diaper changes. We have a HALO SleepSack, and I think that's how that one is as well. Anyways, just my thoughts, but overall I love it, I'm hoping to make another one for a baby shower gift soon!

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