Fleece Preemie Cuddler

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This Preemie Cuddler is designed to be warm and soft to cuddle premature babies who are too medically fragile to be held. The Cuddler has been approved by several NICU groups for use in hospitals.

Finished Preemie Cuddler is approximately 10-1/4" x 15-1/2" (including lace trim)

Supplies (Makes two Cuddlers)

• 1/2 yd. high loft fleece
• 2-1/2 yd. 1/4 - 1/2" lace (optional)
• 1/4 yd. batting
• One spool all-purpose thread to match fleece

Handy Notions

• Basic sewing supplies
• Rotary cutter, mat and ruler
• Seam sealant such as Fray Block™
• Double Eyed Needle


  1. Cut fleece.

  • Cut selvage edges off the lengthwise fleece edges.

Note from Nancy
Selvage edges are usually trimmed from fleece as they are uneven and sometimes unattractive.

  • Cut two 10" x 15" rectangles—bases.
  • Cut two 4" x 16" strips—straps.
  • Cut two 7" x 19" strips—cuffs.
  1. Cut two 5-1/2" x 17-1/2" strips—batting.

  2. Prepare strap.
  • Fold fleece strap lengthwise wrong sides together.
  • Taper one end to a point.

Note from Nancy
To find the wrong side of the fleece, gently tug fleece on the crosswise edge. It will curl to the wrong side.

  • Serge raw edges leaving a tail on the point. Use a double eyed needle to bring the tail back through the stitches or use a small amount of seam sealant and trim the tail.

  1. Prepare base for each Cuddler.
  • Round the corners of the 10" x 15" fleece to form an oval.
  • Fold in half horizontally and then vertically to make sure each side has been trimmed the same.

  1. Prepare cuffs.
  • Taper both ends of the 7" x 19" cuffs (rounding top and bottom corners).

  • Taper batting to fit inside the cuffs, 3/4" from edges.

  • Place batting on the inside of the fleece cuffs, fold over and hand baste around cut edges.
  • Attach cuff to oval base (hand basting is a good idea) from underside (wrong side of fleece)and include strap in with base about 1" from end of cuff on left side of the Cuddler.
  1. Complete Cuddler.
  • Serge around the Cuddler to attach the cuff and the strap to the base.

  • Turn inside out so the seam that joins the pieces together is on the inside of the Cuddler.
  • Trim with lace on exposed half of serger stitches on the base (optional)
  • Tie the cuff with crochet thread, embroidery floss or narrow baby ribbon (as you would on a quilt) in at least three places to prevent batting from slipping.

Tip: If you use fleece with a "one-way" pattern, check to see that you have the pattern going in the right direction for the base.

Please do not use any bright yellow fabrics. The babies who will use a Cuddler are often jaundiced and yellow fabrics seem to increase their skin tone.

Instructions for pattern provided by Beryl Ward from Guild of the Christ Child in Oklahoma 2005

For personal use only.