We may earn a small commission for purchases made using our links (not affecting your price).
See our disclosure to learn more.
In the early months, swaddling your baby can be helpful. But how to swaddle a baby? Discover more about this calming method for new babies, and find the answers to some of the most common questions about swaddling a baby, such as how long you can safely swaddle your baby and what the steps are for doing so.
Especially in the newborn stage, knowing how to swaddle your baby is a crucial skill! The good news is that all you need to swaddle a newborn is a cloth swaddle blanket, two hands, and your curiosity and ability to do so. We have addressed some of the most common inquiries parents have about swaddling a baby and given step-by-step swaddling instructions to help them make sure they do it correctly.
What is meant by “swaddling”?
If you’re a new or expectant parent, you might be unsure about the precise definition of swaddling a baby. It’s a term that’s frequently used without much context. We have everything covered! Swaddling is the traditional practice of encircling a newborn tightly in a blanket. It is well known for calming infants. Many people believe that swaddling has soothing effects on newborns because it simulates how they are feeling in their mothers’ wombs.
Babies find this reassuring, so parents quickly adopt swaddling a baby as their go-to method for assisting their child in calming down and falling asleep. And continue to sleep. Swaddling also has the added benefit of preventing infants’ moro reflex from waking them up. An infant will “startle” in response to a sudden disruption, which triggers the Moro reflex. In response, they throw back their heads and hold out an arm.
How to swaddle a baby?
- Use a muslin blanket for swaddling.
- Put your baby in a security blanket and fold one corner of the swaddle back to form a triangle.
- With the shoulders slightly under the folded corner, position your infant in the center.
Step Two: With its right arm slightly bent, place it next to the body of your infant. Pull the same side of the swaddle snugly across your infant’s chest, covering his right arm with the cloth. With the left arm free, tuck the swaddle’s edge under your body.
Step Three: Tuck the cloth into the top of the swaddle by your baby’s shoulder after folding the blanket’s bottom corner up and over their feet.
Step Four: The left arm of your infant should be placed next to the body, slightly bent. The left arm should remain hidden under the fabric as you take the same side of the swaddle and firmly pull it across your baby’s chest.
Advantages of Swaddling
- Helping to keep your baby warm while she sleeps lowers the possibility that your baby will wake up during the night because of the startle reflex.
- Give your baby a sense of security and safety by simulating a warm womb setting.
- Fostering your child’s composure, possibly despite their colic.
- Keeping your baby comfortable during potentially uncomfortable procedures, like immunizations.
How to Pick the Ideal Wrap or Swaddling Blanket?
The safety and comfort of your baby can be greatly improved with the selection of a swaddle blanket or wrap.
Material: Select a fabric that is kind to your baby’s skin, breathable, and soft. Cotton, bamboo, and muslin are common materials. Swaddle blankets that are free of toxins can even be found that are certified organic.
Kind of Swaddle: Conventional swaddles and swaddle wraps are the two elementary kinds of swaddles. Traditional swaddle blankets can be tailored more precisely in regards to fit and tightness, but proper wrapping does take some practice. Conversely, swaddle wraps are simpler to use and frequently include hook and loop closures or fasteners to keep the wrap in place.
Size: Swaddles range in size from 40 to 48 inches square, but this is the most common range. When selecting a swaddle blanket or wrap, take your baby’s size and the desired degree of swaddling into account. While some wraps are made especially for newborns, others can fit larger infants.
Safety: Steer clear of blankets with hanging or loose fabric, as these present a risk of suffocation. Make sure your baby’s body can move freely and breathe without being constrained by the wrap. Selecting a swaddle that is hip-healthy is also advised. The purpose of hip-healthy swaddles is to facilitate natural hip alignment.
When Is a Baby Suitable to Be Swaddled?
When your baby needs some soothing because of colic or for a nap, you can swaddle her. Your baby will remain cozy, peaceful, and warm if you swaddle them. Additionally, swaddling your newborn can help them sleep better at night or during naps.
Is It Time to Quit Swaddling Your Infant?
While swaddling is generally okay during the first few months of life, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises against it as soon as your child can roll over, which may occur around the time of his second month of life.
What Safety Factors Should Take Into Account When Swaddling?
When swaddling your baby, bear the following in mind for their safety: Whether your baby is swaddled or not, always lay him on his back in his crib. When your baby is Sleeping on his back, it reduces the risk of SIDS.
Additionally, make sure that your baby’s crib is free of any extra bedding, soft items, blankets, stuffed animals, or pillows. Your baby won’t require the extra blanket because he will be cozy and warm in his swaddle. It might be more difficult for your baby to wake up if you swaddle him because it may reduce his innate ability to wake up from sleep.
Note that this can also raise the chance of SIDS. Your baby may develop hip issues if you swaddle a baby too tightly. To properly swaddle your baby, fit two or three fingers between the swaddle and the chest.
Make sure the baby, when swaddled, is not overheated. He is probably overdressed if you notice that he is perspiring, has damp hair, flushed cheeks, a heat rash, or is breathing quickly.
The Final Word
Swaddling a baby has numerous advantages, such as calming them down and possibly fostering improved sleep, but there are also some drawbacks. If you’re not sure if you should swaddle your baby or not, your baby’s healthcare provider can help you weigh the benefits and drawbacks.
If you choose to proceed with swaddling, you can easily learn how to do it by following our detailed instructions or by asking a nurse or your baby’s medical professional to demonstrate it for you. You’ll become an expert at tucking your infant into a charming baby burrito in no time at all. There are a ton of videos and classes covering everything from how to prepare your baby’s room for the best sleep to how to lull them to sleep.