Yuki Clothing

plain and simple

Baby nest


Baby nests have become very popular nowadays (at least in Sweden) and pretty much all parents either buy one or make one themselves. It’s a fun and easy project that everyone can make! In addition to the baby nest, I made two sheets  to use inside the nest. In case an accident would happen, the sheets were lined with waterproof terry with an exception for where the baby’s head would be. The terry’s supposed to be “breathing” but I’m not taking any chances. That part of the sheets is instead lined with a mint cotton fabric.

For this project, I bought:

  • 1m mint/green cotton
  • ~1,2m cotton fabric with a harlequin pattern
  • ~1m cotton fabric with sleeping owls
  • ~1m waterproof white terry
  • ~2,2m x 2,2m wadding
  • ~3m mint/green bias binding
  • light grey cord
  • 1 cord stopper

This baby nest is suitable for a baby 0-4 months old.

The pattern for the baby nest is rather simple and you need to cut two pieces (A), one for the front and one for the back. Also cut 2-3 pieces of (B) wadding, depending on how thick your wadding is. Baste the pieces of wadding together so that they will keep their shape even when put in the washing machine. Trace 20 cm from the border on the back piece (A). This is where you will sew the back and front pieces together with the wadding in between.Pin right sides together (A) and leave an opening on both small half circles. Turn it right sides out and press the seam.Pin the bias binding around the baby nest, from the center of the first half circle to the other one. Sew it carefully in place. A good top stitching is what makes something look awesome instead of just ‘ok’. Use a safety-pin to pull the cord through the tunnel that the bias binding creates.

Put the wadding inside and baste it in place before sewing. I pinned it in place but it was difficult to get a good result and I had to re-do the seam. I would highly recommend basting instead of pinning. Fold the rest of the wadding to a long sausage and stuff it inside the opening on one of the sides. Sew the openings shut. Also sew the opening for the first wadding (B) shut and add some bias binding for a nice finish.

The sheets are pretty much the same size as (B) and if you want to make it only out of cotton fabric follow these instructions. Cut two pieces of the B pattern. With a seam allowance of 1cm, sew them face sides together but leave a small opening. Turn it right sides out. Give it a good press with the iron and then top stitch 2mm from the edge all the way around the sheet, now closing the opening.

If you want to use waterproof terry you need to make sure that you don’t put the plastic where the baby’s head will be. If you look at the picture below, the white is plastic terry and the mint is regular cotton fabric. In this case you cut one B piece for the front. Then cut the B pattern in two parts and add 1cm seam allowance to both pieces. Cut the top piece in cotton and the bottom in terry. Put the cotton and plastic facing each other and sew them together. Press the seam allowance to one side with your nails. Don’t use an iron for this or the plastic will melt! Top stitch the seam allowance in place. Then put the front fabric (in this case owl fabric) and plastic facing each other and sew them together but leave an opening. Turn it right sides out and top stitch to close the opening.

To finish of this quick guide, here’s the finished baby nest!

I planned on making a baby nest + sheets before the baby arrived and I was halfway through this “2 day” project when it was time to go to bed. Quite pleased with my progress, I said to my husband “The baby nest will be finished tomorrow and afterwards we can just sit back, relax and wait for her arrival”. This totally jinxed it as my water broke 2 hours later and our daughter Charlie was born the next morning. Let’s just say it took me more than two days to finish the baby nest. :)

84 thoughts on “Baby nest

  1. Amazing! That looks right from the store!

  2. Congratulations with your adorable daughter!
    I had never heard of a baby nest before. Is it used to put her down somewhere without having the risk that she rolls out?

    • Thank you! A lot of parents have their child in between them when they sleep and many of them use a baby nest to guard the child so that you don’t roll over it. Many children even prefer a smaller space. I guess it reminds them of when they were inside their mother. Charlie doesnt seem too picky about that so we don’t have the nest inside her crib. Instead we have it on the couch. It’s nice to have a spot where I can put her without being afraid that she would roll down from the couch :)

  3. In my opinion it is not safe! Baby’s can roll over or move there way to the sides. And then they can sufficate in the fabric. I wouldn’t take the risk!

    • Are you talking about the waterproof terry or baby nests in general? Because I would never use the terry where her head would go. When it comes to baby nests in general I would actually consider them more safe than any other option. For example, the baby is much safer in the nest in the bed than lying next to the parents in bed. Small babies generally don’t roll over until they’re around 3 months old ( and that is considered early). And even then, the “walls” of the nest are quite high and that makes it very difficult for the baby to roll. My daughter rolled from tummy to back when she was 7 weeks but she could never roll in the nest. And when she was around 3 months she had outgrown it :)
      Another aspect to consider is the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. I would actually say that a baby nest helps prevent SIDS just because the baby will sleep on its back and not on the side or tummy.
      But if you’re worried, don’t use it. It’s supposed to be a nice and cosy place for your baby, not something that will turn you into a nervous wreck.

      • I am a mother of seven children. Baby nests are good when used for the first three months , in my opinion. Its much better for both baby and patents if baby moves to private( but monitored) room by that age. It’s very stressful to train a child to sleep alone after that age. Trust Me!
        You baby nest is adorable! Thank You such for sharing it!😊

  4. Pingback: Baby nest free sewing pattern & tutorial – sewing mania club

  5. Thanks for this post. I’ve just paid £160 in the UK for a SleepyHead sleep pod (baby nest) as they have just made it over here. It’s amazing and my son sleeps so well in it. It’s considered very safe for co sleeping and is fantastic as a travel cot option too. I wouldn’t be without mine but the next size up is almost £300! So I was looking at how to make another one and/or a bigger one. This is perfect. I can’t wait to try it.
    Yours is beautiful by the way. xx

    • Omg, that’s expensive! I’d say that Charlie outgrew the nest at around 3-4 months when she was 64cm tall. But the main reason for putting it away was that she started rolling around and we didn’t want her to fall down from the sofa (where we had the nest).
      I’m glad you liked the tutorial :) and good luck!

      • Can I ask, what do you mean by basting the wadding?? I am just a beginner so I’m not sure on what all these terms mean. I’ll have to google what ‘bias binding’ is too.

        • Of course :) basting is when you use a loose running stitch (up and down through the fabric) to roughly sew something in place before you sew the “real” seam. You remove the basting when you’ve finished the real seam.
          The reason why you use basting instead of pinning the fabric is that basting keeps the fabric in place better than the pins does.
          In this case I would recommend basting two seams and then sew the real seam in the middle of the two. Good luck!

    • I live in the U.K. and I bought mine from John Lewis in 2015. I paid just over £80:00. Fantastic item for a keeping baby secure and draught free.

      I would highly recommend it. Might try out the pattern Thank you

  6. Hi! I love this tutorial. I’m actually almost halfway done making it but I don’t understand how to make the sheets. I’m a beginner as well, so sorry for the stupid question but do you just sew the owl sheet onto the nest? Or it there a way to make it removable somehow for easier cleaning? Thank you!

    • I’m glad you like it! Hm, I should probably include a small tutorial for the sheets since you’re not the first to ask about it. Don’t sew the sheets into the nest, it’s much better to leave them separate.
      If you want to make the sheet only out of cotton fabric follow these instructions. Cut two pieces of the B pattern. With a seam allowance of 1cm, sew them face sides together but leave a small opening. Turn it right sides out. Give it a good press with the iron and then top stitch 2mm from the edge all the way around the sheet, now closing the opening.
      If you want to use waterproof terry you need to make sure that you don’t put the plastic where the baby’s head will be. If you look at the picture, the white is plastic terry and the mint is regular cotton fabric. In this case you cut one B piece. Then cut the B pattern in two parts and add 1cm seam allowance to both pieces. Cut the top piece in cotton and the bottom in terry. Sew them cotton and plastic sides together and press the seam allowance to one side with your nails. Don’t use an iron for this ;). Top stitch the seam allowance in place. Then put the owl fabric and plastic facing each other and sew them together but leave an opening.

      I hope that explains it but if you’ve still got questions, don’t be afraid to ask :). Good luck!

  7. what size child is this pattern for? i have a 9 month old and are going away in 2 weeks, i want to make one but worried it will be too small

    • It will most likely be too small for a 9 month old. My baby out-grew it at around 3-4 months. The biggest problem for me then was that she was quite agile and rolled around (and I was afraid she would roll out of it). For a 9 month I would probably consider buying a travel cot bed but if you still want to make a nest (and perhaps put it inside the bed to make it nice and cosy :)), I would definitely make it bigger. You will want to keep the size of the border (20cm) and increase the inner measurements (30x60cm) both in width and length. Because of the cord stopper, it’s also a bit adjustable in size (mainly length). Perhaps 80-85cm in length and 35cm in width would work for your baby?

  8. For the outer Harlequin fabric, do you use pattern B? and what does the 1,5 mean underneath?

    • For the harlequin and mint fabric I use pattern A. B is used for the stuffing and sheets. Notice how there’s a slight curve at the bottom? When you draw the pattern, first make a square box, then add 1,5cm to the middle of the nest. Draw a curve from the corners of the box towards the middle.

  9. I’d love to make one of these for my toddler. Trying to transition him out of our bed and into his own room. I certainly can’t afford the $260 they want for a grand size in the US. What dimensions would you suggest for toddler sized?

    • I’d say it depends how big he is? Please read my answer to Kira’s comment. Measure his length and add a little extra. Also adjust the width. Since it’s a toddler, I would remove the extra cord (that makes it resizable) and the cord stopper because of the risk of strangulation. Just feed the cord into the attached bias binding, shape the nest so that it fits your boy. Then sew the cord in place at both ends of the bias binding “tunnel” and cut off any extra. This will leave the nest open at the bottom. I would also consider increasing the border a bit.

      Another (and perhaps simpler solution) is to make two large round pillows and put them on both sides of the bed. This is probably what I would do. Don’t forget that babies tend to get very creative when it comes to climbing on things :).

  10. Absolutely perfect!! I love it!! 😊

  11. I’m new to sewing. Is there a pattern or do you freehand it using your measurements? Thank you

  12. Thank you so much for this blog. I finished the nest today and it is super cute.
    I couldn’t find the boas binding so I ised 3/4 inch ribbon instead. It came out pretty good and may be even easier to sew.

  13. Thank you for the tutorial!! I agonized over a couple steps but once I got going it made sense and I’m so in love with the results!! I only wish I had one when my little guy was a baby since as much as we said he “would never” sleep in our bed he ended up passed out with us in those wee hours of the morning pretty much all the time and I would have felt more at ease with a baby nest. I can’t wait to start making these for gifts! So many options with colors and adding lace trim and a variety of sheets (I used flannel).

  14. And they are great for traveling!!

  15. I’m going to try and make one for my brother and his wife here in the US so I will be attempting to draw out the pattern in inches. thanks so much for posting this.

  16. Hi, Thank you so much for the tutorial! I love it and i am planning to make one of these. I was just wandering what kind of wadding have you used? how thick? Also, how did you cut the wadding for the walls? did you use a pattern? i am not sure if i understand how to fill in the walls hmm. please help the begginer..

    • Ofc I’ll try my best to help you :) if I recall, the wadding was around 2cm thick but it was quite fluffy so I used 3 layers for the bottom. For the walls, I roughly measured the length of the wall. Then I took my big piece of wadding and rolled it into a sausage a bit longer than my wall. To make it stay in place, just roll some regular sewing thread around it. Then proceed to push the wadding sausage into the hole in the wall. Tuck in as much as you can and then cut off any leftovers before you close the holes

  17. I am new to sewing. I have a question about how to sew on the bias? How do you sew it on so it lays flat? Does it need to be sewed on before you put the two layer of pattern A together?

    • You need to sew the two layers of pattern A together before you attach the bias binding. Press the seam open the best you can and then pin the bias binding around the nest centered on the seam you made before. Look at the pictures to better understand how it’s pinned. The trick to making it lay flat is to only sew small increments around the curves. When the presserfoot reaches a pin, remove the pin and stretch the fabric so that both fabric and bias binding lays flat. When you sew the other seam on the bias binding you might not need any pins. Just stretch a couple of cm of fabric and sew, stretch and sew… I hope that answers your question, good luck!

  18. Do you have a pdf file for the baby nest you could send me please. would love to make one before baby comes

    • No, I don’t have a PDF file for the pattern. You’ll have to draw the pattern yourself based on the measurements in the picture. Just tape a bunch of regular papers together and start drawing :)

  19. Hi Nicole,

    I really like your baby nest. It looks beautiful! :)
    Does the above shown pattern already include a sewing allowance or do I have to add one? If so, would 1cm sewing allowance be suitable?


    • Hi, thank you :) I think I included a 1cm seam allowance in the pattern. To be honest, I think I intended to add 1cm seam allowance to the pattern but by the time I was done with it I just couldn’t find the energy to do anything more with it. I just figured that it might affect the size of the walls a bit but it turned out fine anyway. I’d say 1cm is perfect, adding more just adds bulk that you need to cut off in my opinion.

  20. Hi, I am new to sewing get and would love to make this Baby’s nest for my soon to be newborn. I have a question with your measurements what does 1,5 2,2m x 2,2m mean? Is it 1.5 cm & 2.2m? Or use 2- 2m wadding?
    Just not sure on the commas used

  21. Hi Nicole! I’m so excited to have found your pattern for making a Swedish baby nest! We are expecting our 3rd baby, and I thought this would be something extra special to have on hand—especially for bed sharing. My question: are you glad you sewed in the batting for the mattress? Do you think it would be ok to have a foam or removable mattress separate from the bed? Also, do you think a 100% cotton poplin fabric would work well for this project? Thank you!

    • Hi and congratulations! First of all, I think cotton sounds like a great idea. My only comment on the fabric choice is that you need to prewash it to prevent shrinkage. In my case, I probably should’ve made the mattress removable since my daughter left milk puke pretty much all over the apartment :) but a towel in the nest worked pretty good as well. Good luck on your project!

  22. Hi how much cord did you use please

  23. Do you have a link or PDF to print the pattern?

  24. Thank you for sharing! This will be perfect for my new grandchild. I wish there was a way I could print the instructions.

  25. Hi im trying to make yoyr baby nest pattern but im quite new to sewing and making things! I saw you said that you added the 1.5 cm at the base to get the curve at the bottom of A and B how to you curve the top ? Is it just free hand? Ive measured it all out but its all just lines and boxes at the moment im worried ill get it wrong if i just free hand the curves at the top

    • The bottom one (1.5cm) is indeed free hand drawing but you can use mathematics for the other ones. I’ve made both the large curve at the top and the two smaller curves at the bottom as half-circles. Mark the center of each circle and use the radius (diameter/2) of the circles to draw perfect half-circles. I hope that explains it for you :)

  26. I live in the USA and I apologize in advance…what does 2,2m mean? 2meters and 2cm? How about 1,2m…..I can easily measure in metric, but I am unsure as to the meaning of the comma…. I am sure it is simple. Thank you.

  27. I am re reading all the posts in case there was a question I forgot to ask. :-))

  28. Please make a note that the owl fabric is for the extra sheet (correct?) and that to actually make the baby nest itself you just need the 2,2m fabric and the wadding(batting).
    Are you familiar with the product, “PUL?” It is a waterproof sheeting used in diaper liners.
    I am more of a tactile learner so I figured things out as I progressed. I will be 60 at my next birthday and I am making these for my grandchildren I have 9 and 3 more due between now and next September! My pattern is finished and I have way more fabric than I need! I will be making sheets and burp cloths with the extra!
    Quilters in the states buy what we call “fat quarters” 45.72cm x53.34cm or 18in x 21in….. I bought some cute ones for burp cloths and extra sheets….they may be a little short….😄

  29. Could you use polyester fill for the tubes of the nest? I have some but can get the quilt batting if polyester fill shouldn’t be used. Thanks

    • Sorry for the late reply. I guess you’re interested in the safety aspects and I’m not certain that one is better/worse than the other. My best advice is to try breathing through it and make a decision based on that.

  30. Pingback: Crib-Building and Nesting – Living Like Great-Grandma

  31. Wish I’d known about these when we had babies in the family. I’m now in the between stage , waiting for grand-babies!! But it occurred to me that these would also make great pet beds (depending on your pet’s size), once the babies have outgrown them. I like that you can make extra sheets & love the idea of using PUL, to make them easier to clean.

  32. Hi,
    How far down is the main curve on A? I see that it is 80cm total (plus the 20 on the bottom curves) but can’t figure out how far the big curve comes down.
    I’m in the US and wish we would convert to the metric system like the rest of the world! :)

    • Hm, If you mean the large half-circle then the radius is 70/2=35cm. With that said, the horizontal line (70) is 35cm down from the top. Also notice that the radius on the small half-circles are 20/2=10cm. Hope that helps :)

      • I very successfully made the nest, I converted the measurements to inches…but my tools have both metric and inches. If you are referring to the “legs” of the nest they are roughly 7 and 3/4 inches below the 80cm. If you need help you can contact me at livevermore@hotmail.com. I live in Idaho and I am on Facebook . Suzanne Stratton Livermore.
        I plan to make two more as I am expecting two more grandchildren this summer!
        I am willing to help, I don’t want to be annoying!

        • Congratulations on your baby nest, and more importantly, your grandchildren! Have the youngest addition to the family tried the nest yet?
          I’m in the middle of a huge house renovation at the moment, which means that I’ve taken a break from blogging. I don’t have any plans on making a pattern converted to inch in the near future but thank you for offering to help. It was very kind of you :)

          • Oh, YES! They love it!! I am making some more! I have found that it helps to stay-stitch the section at the bottom that is eventually hand sewn. This is a great pattern and I am so very appreciative that you have shared it with the public.

  33. Yes!! Little Emery love his nest! I wish I knew how to post a photo of him in it!

  34. Hi Nicole! Thanks for this wonderful pattern. My best friend’s baby will appreciate it, too (in a couple of weeks!). I’ve already started and just sewed both A partes together. Now I’m going to pin & sew the bias tape, but I don’t understand how to machine-sew it. It has to be done by hand, am I right? Many thanks in advance!

    • Hi, I’m glad you like it :) it’s possible to machine-sew all the bias binding. The binding that is used for the cord must be pinned carefully before sewing. Since you left a big opening at the bottom, it should be fairly easy to stretch the seam flat over which you place the binding. Remember that slow and steady wins the race and to always keep the fabric flat right around the needle. A tips when sewing tricky seams like this one is to keep your needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot and flatten the fabric. For some sharp curves I have to do this every centimeter. For the binding that goes in the bottom, you should be able to first sew in one of the folds. Then fold it over, press, pin, (possibly baste it in place) and then sew. Good luck!

    • Hand baste the seam tape centered on the outside seam from the the base of one “leg” all the way round to the other leg. Then you may successfully machine stitch each edge of the seam tape all the way round. Then pin a safety pin on the end of your cord and slip it through the entire length of the casing you just made. Then you are ready to insert the center batting and stitch around it. Hooray! You are almost finished! I just hand basted my the seam tape onto my fourth! Baby nest tonight. I will have 12 grandchildren by September. I heard about the baby nest in March and have made three and now I will finish my fourth one tomorrow! I wish I knew he w to post a picture.

  35. Pingback: En attendant bébé… – Et hop au Canada! ou ailleurs…

  36. Hi Nicole,
    I really love your baby best.
    Where exactly did you buy the fabrics from? Especially the owl and harlequin pattern :-)
    Thanks and best regards

  37. Hi! I have now made five baby nests…. The first four were of cotton broadcloth. The fifth was for a friend and I asked her to buy and pre-wash the fabric. She purchased Cotten flannel. I am pleased to say that it turned out beautifully! I wondered how easily it would receive the stuffed tube of batting. Not a problem! Oh, how I wish I knew how to upload photos in the comment box? ❤️

    • Not sure how to do that either but if you send a message to me via the contact-info page (think you’ll find it somewhere top right) I perhaps can upload them to the post :) you probably can upload them directly but you’ll be able to send them to me later on in an email.

      • Great! Thanks. I appreciate very much your pattern and ingenuity! What a marvelous addition to baby care!

  38. Me parece preciosa la confección de tu nido. En mi país no se ha oído hablar de él todavía. Voy a hacerle uno a mi futuro 3er nieto. Espero que quede tan lindo como el tuyo. Es muy agradable ver tus explicaciones y comentarios sobre las dudas y pareceres de aquellos que quieren hacer uno…. No es usual tu amabilidad por éstos tiempos. Gracias por compartir tu creatividad. Soy Virginia de Uruguay y desde ya tu admiradora.

  39. Could you tell me how much it cost to make this? I know I do not want to spend over $200 on a dock a tot lol, I feel like this is the better way to go!

    • It really depends on what materials you get, for example if you use cheap or expensive fabric. I think mine cost me around 50-60USD to make but it’s been almost two years so I can’t say for sure.

    • It depends on where you shop! In the USA, Walmart has fabulous choices. I have made six so far. I like flannel the best. Figure $3.95/yard…you will need approximately $16 for fabric(4yards) PUL is $12 a yard, but you only need 3/8 of a yard to make 4 sheet inserts…12″x13″ each. Cord is $2-$4 , seam tape is $3 tops. Thread and then 1inch thick batting, 90″ wide….you need 1&1/2 yards. Mine cost $4.50/ yard and I consider that very good. Total $35 at the most. Please do not shop at high end fabric stores. You are spending YOUR $$on THEIR rent or name. Have fun

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