How to swaddle a baby in a correct way

3 mins read

How to swaddle a baby in a correct way

Swaddling is a technique of wrapping a baby with a piece of cloth to keep them warm, protect and soothe them. It has been practised since ancient times. A blanket wrapped snuggly around can resemble the mother’s womb and help soothe a newborn baby.

Paediatricians suggest swaddling techniques and proper swaddle methods so that new parents can make their newborns and infants safe while they sleep. Muslin or bamboo baby swaddle blankets are softer and breathable which won’t overheat. Muslin also provides a bit of stretch, making it a less confining material for common swaddling methods. Apart from learning how to swaddle a baby correctly, you will also be learning its benefits, tips and more.

Benefits of swaddling a baby.

  1. Swaddled babies experience less anxiety
  2. It helps calm a colicky baby.
  3. It reduces startle reflex in babies to get better and longer sleep hour.
  4. It gives a sense of security and touch that comforts the baby during sleep.
  5. It helps keep your baby’s hands off her face and prevents scratching.
  6. It prevents SIDS as it eliminates the need for items like pillow, bumpers, blankets, stuff toys etc.
  7. It benefits parents as they get more sleep time because babies tend to sleep for longer hours.

How to swaddle your baby

Pocket Swaddle

  1. Lay down a swaddle blanket on a safe flat place in a diamond shape where the corners are at the left, right, top and bottom. Fold the top pointy corner of the swaddle down for about 4-6 inches giving it a top flat look.
  2. Lay down your baby face-up on the swaddle in such a way that your baby’s neck is placed on the folded line.
  3. Pull the left side corner of the blanket over on the right side and tuck it under the baby. You should be careful and easy around the hip area keeping it loose. Never force on their joints or legs as it may cause hip dysplasia.
  4. Pull the bottom corner over the baby’s left shoulder (provided the blanket is long enough) which will create a pocket in the front. 
  5. Now, take the last corner and tuck it into the blanket pocket you have created.

Quick Swaddle

  1. Lay down a swaddle blanket on a safe flat place in a diamond shape where the corners are at the left, right, top and bottom. Fold the top pointy corner of the swaddle down for about 4-6 inches giving it a top flat look.
  2. Lay down your baby face-up on the swaddle in such a way that your baby’s neck is placed on the folded line.
  3. While holding your baby in place, bring one corner of any side of the blanket across your baby’s body tuck it under the body.
  4. Fold the bottom part of the blanket over the baby’s feet.
  5. Pick up the last corner of the blanket and wrap it around the baby. Don’t make the swaddle too tight as it may prohibit hip and legs’ movement freely which can lead to dysplasia.

Tips For Safe Swaddling

  1. Don’t swaddle too tightly to prevent Hip Dysplasia
  2. Place baby on her back to sleep
  3. Stop swaddling when baby begins to roll
  4. When swaddled, the baby’s arms should be positioned straight down at the sides, not cross over or sticking out of the swaddle
  5. Overheating of the baby should be checked, look for sweating, damp hair, flushed cheeks, heat rash, and rapid breathing.

When to stop swaddling

Swaddling is not recommended once the baby starts rolling as it may cause SIDS due to the loosening of the blanket. Most babies start rolling around 2 months of age and swaddling will inhibit motor development around this time. The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends stopping around this time. Baby more active during tummy time is also a good indicator.

Transition from swaddling

 Transition can be challenging as the baby is used to being snuggled in a swaddle. Small movements can wake them up and cause sleep regression. Start by leaving just one arm out of the swaddle and a few nights later, remove the other arm from the swaddle. Once the baby learns how to sleep with both arms out of the swaddle, they can sleep in their pyjamas.

All parents are cautious of their babies trying not to make mistakes while bringing up their child. But it’s okay, mistakes happen and you learn from them. You grow as a parent along with your child. I hope this article helps you in your parenting journey and wishing you all the best!

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