Swaddling is an ancient method for wrapping newborn babies in a thin blanket to help them feel calm, safe and secure and even better, sleep more soundly! Many parents like the idea of swaddling their baby but worry about doing it incorrectly or that their baby won’t like it which is understandable. It certainly is important to learn how to swaddle your baby correctly before trying it out. Check out our step-by-step guide below...
Start on a Flat Surface
First of all, lay your blanket down in a diamond shape with one corner pointing up, then fold down the top edge of the blanket by about 6 inches.
Lay your Baby Down, Face Up on the Blanket
Lay your baby down on the blanket with their head just above the top folded edge of the blanket and their body stretching downwards.
Straighten your Baby’s Right Arm
Straighten your baby’s right arm and stretch the left side of the blanket (by the right arm) across your baby’s chest, tucking it in under the other arm and back. Your baby’s right arm should now be inside the blanket and the left arm should still be free.
Bring Up the Bottom
Pull the bottom corner of the blanket up over your baby and tuck about 6 inches of it inside the section of blanket below your baby’s chin. Now straighten your baby’s free arm and pull the remaining part of the blanket (beside the free arm) across the body then tuck it under their back.
Secure the Blanket
Then all you need to do is loosely twist and tuck the bottom of the blanket (depending on how much material you have left) under your baby to tidy up any loose parts.
A few important points to note:
- If your baby is too wiggly for you to get their swaddle really snug, take a few minutes and try again, it may turn out that your baby simply isn’t a fan! You could try a swaddle with velcro or a zipper or even a sleep bag as an alternative so your baby’s arms are free.
- Make sure your baby isn’t swaddled too tightly - you should be able to comfortably place 2 or 3 fingers between the blanket and your baby’s chest. There should also be plenty of room for your baby to move their hips and legs freely.
- Your baby may prefer to have their hands folded across their chest instead of straight by their sides.
Make it Snug But Not Too Tight
It’s important that the swaddling is neither too loose nor too tight; tight enough that your baby can’t break out of it and risk the blanket covering their face while they sleep and loose enough that they aren’t restricted in an unnatural way. The swaddle should be snug, with a little room to move around.
Keep Your Baby and the Room Cool
Finally, it’s important to ensure the swaddling doesn’t cause your baby to get too hot because babies are unable to regulate their body temperature. Keep the swaddling relatively thin and don’t layer extra blankets on top of your swaddled baby. Also, ensure the temperature of your baby’s bedroom is kept at a comfortable level.
Watch a video demonstration if there’s anything you’re not sure about and follow the steps and advice outlined above.
Should You Swaddle Your Newborn?