Peanut pillow tutorial

Peanut pillow tutorial for premature babies

My dearest friend’s little sister, Brea, recently had her third child. He was born at 27 weeks and four days and was a teeny, tiny 1125 grams. Thankfully he is growing bigger and stronger every day. Brea and her baby are still in hospital in Hobart. I was keen to help out but was struggling to come up with ideas due to the distance.

Coincidentally, Brea mentioned on Facebook that there was a shortage of peanut pillows for premmie babies at the Royal Hobart Hospital. Now, never having had a premature baby I had no idea about peanut pillows. But, once I’d seen a picture I was confident I could make one and had found the perfect way to offer a small amount of help.

Brea sent me a PDF pattern for the peanut pillow but there were no instructions! I trawled the internet for a tutorial, with absolutely no success. While the pattern was simple, never having seen a peanut pillow in the flesh it was difficult to envisage how to put it together. I found a few images and then did my best. Brea has seen a picture of my first peanut pillow and I seem to have got it right.

I’ve put together this peanut pillow tutorial for sewing pillows for premmie babies. Generally the pillows should be made from soft, brightly coloured cotton in a smoke and pet free home and use synthetic fibre fill.

Peanut pillow tutorial

Step one – cut four pieces of material. To make things simpler, mark the sew lines on the right sides of your fabric. Marking the sew lines makes sewing the rectangle in step 6 so much easier! I only did this on the very last peanut pillow I made and wished I’d done it for the first 5. Next time I’ll take my own advice!

Step two – place two pieces of fabric right sides together. Starting at the point of a short end, sew along the short edge, then along the long edge and to the point of the other short end. Imagine a shape kind of like this \_______________/, but with more angle and curve. Repeat with the other two pieces of fabric. You should then have two boat like pieces.

Step three –Pin your two boat like shapes, right sides together, along the unsewn edges. Starting at one of the ‘sew lines’, sew the two pieces together, stopping when you get to the other sew line on the same side. Be sure to leave about a 5cm gap between the sew lines. This is where you will fill the pillow. Turn the pillow right sides out.

Peanut pillow tutorial - step 2
Step two
Peanut pillow tutorial - step 3
Step three

Step four – Fill either end of the pillow. The space between the two sew lines is not filled. That area of the pillow essentially sits flat and is only the layers of fabric.

Step five – This is the tricky part. Pinch and fold the fabric between the sew lines together and pin, matching the sew lines together. You need to create a flat rectangle area between the two ‘peanut’ ends. You’ll essentially be pining eight layers of fabric together on each side.

Step six – This step is also fiddly. You need to sew a rectangle, by sewing along the sew lines and the edges of the pillow. Sewing along the edges of the pillow will also close the gap where you filled the pillow. Be sure to increase your stitch length and go slowly. You will need to gently push the stuffing to the side as you sew. Once you’ve sewn the rectangle, cut your threads and your peanut pillow is complete!

Peanut pillow tutorial - step 5
Step five
Peanut pillow tutorial - step 6
Step six

Peanut pillows are widely used throughout hospitals caring for premmie babies. I’ve sent these to the Royal Hobart Hospital but I imagine there is a demand for peanut pillows in other hospitals. If you’re a sewer and fancy doing a good deed I am sure your local hospital would be grateful for some peanut pillows. They are super quick to sew and use only a small amount of fabric.

Have you ever made a peanut pillow? If you have I’d love to know if this is the process you used!

22 thoughts on “Peanut pillow tutorial

  1. My daughter in law is trying to find one in the stockton, California area. Any idea where she can find one? Thank you so much for your help.

  2. Hi Claire,
    Do you so happen to have a copy of the peanut pillow pattern? It turns out that your link that goes to Little Wonders has now updated their page to include a tutorial page and both links contain the tutorial.

    1. Hi Rowena, I can’t seem to find the pattern on the site anymore either. I’ll flick them an email and see if they can send me the pattern.

  3. Hello Claire
    I tried everything unfortunately I cannot download the pattern either. Can you please help me.
    Thank you kindly.

    1. Hi Caroline, yes there does seem to be an issue with the PDF pattern. I will contact little wonders and be in touch with you. Claire

      1. Thank you Claire I look forward to your reply. I have twin premature Grand daughters at home and their mother is looking for another lot of peanut pillows for the change table. Caroline xo

        1. Hi Caroline, I’ve sent you an email but in case you haven’t received it, Little Wonders have said that the pattern is supplied to them by RPA who are updating the pattern. When Little Wonders receive the new pattern they will publish it. I’m hoping they let me know when that happens so I can update the link in my blog. Sorry I’ve not been able to assist more. Claire

  4. Hey Claire
    RN from a NICU in Denmark!🙋🏼 I was Exchange nurse student at RPA in Sydney in 2014 and now i would like to try makeing peanut pillows to the Preemies in my ward.
    But i also have the problem with getting the pattern, because the link at little wonder still linkes to the same tutorial but no pattern.
    Did you get an ekstra pdf fil? I can’t find it anywhere else.


    1. Hi Ivalu, thanks for your message and what a kind gesture. I will contact Little Wonders and see if they are able to put the pattern back onto their website. Or alternatively send me a PDF that I can share with you. I hope to be in touch again soon. Claire

      1. Hi again Ivalu, I sent an email to Little Wonders who said that the pattern is supplied to them by RPA who are updating it. When Little Wonders receive the new pattern they will publish it. I’m hoping they let me know when that happens so I can update the link in my blog. Sorry I’ve not been able to assist more. Claire

  5. Hey Claire
    It’s okay you have done all you could 🙂 I will be patient and the i will get the pattern at one point. I think i’m gonna try makeing my own.
    Thanks for the effort


    1. I haven’t had any luck tracking down the updated PDF pattern, but I shall try again. I hope your grandson is healthy xx

I'd love to hear your thoughts!