How to Swaddle a Newborn Baby
To swaddle or not to swaddle, that is the question.
Swaddling your baby is not as complicated as people make it out to be. But let's first start with what swaddling is. Swaddling is an ancient way of wrapping a newborn to stay calm and sleep soundly. Well, if that isn't reason enough, I don't know what is!
Here are a few reasons why you should swaddle your baby.
- Swaddling helps your baby feel safe and secure outside of the womb
- Swaddling helps your baby from moving its arms and legs around, which can startle and wake the baby up.
- Swaddling keeps baby warm and cozy
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to swaddle a baby.
Step 1: On a flat surface, lay your swaddle in a diamond shape with one corner pointing up. Then fold the top corner down about 6 inches into a triangle.
Step 2: Place your baby in the center of the swaddle with the body extending straight down, and the shoulders just below the fold.
Step 3: Straighten your baby's left arm and place it alongside the body. Then take the same side of the swaddle and pull it across your baby's arm and chest. Tuck the swaddle underneath the body, leaving the right arm free.
Step 4: Fold the bottom part of the swaddle up over your baby's body and tuck it into the top of the swaddle, under the chin.
Step 5: Straighten your baby's right arm and place it alongside the body. Then take the same side of the swaddle and pull it across your baby's arm and chest. Tuck the edge of the swaddle under your baby's body.
If you're a more visual person like me, then watch the video below to help you understand the above steps.
Here are a few important things to keep in mind about swaddling.
- The swaddle should be snug, not too tight. A good way to check is to place two fingers between your baby's chest and the swaddle.
- The swaddle should be loose around the hips so the baby can move its legs freely.
- Some babies prefer to have their arms free, and that's ok, you can keep one or both hands out of the swaddle.
Is Swaddling Safe?
Swaddling is generally considered safe as it is said to prevent the likelihood of SIDS.
When Should You Stop Swaddling?
You can swaddle your baby up to 4 to 5 months at night. You can stop swaddling once your baby becomes more active and starts to roll over.
I am personally a big believer in swaddling. I swaddled all three of my children, and they slept much better. I would recommend using a cotton swaddle as they are gentle on the skin, light, and breathable. We have a wide range of swaddles in beautiful colors and prints that you can check out here.