If you are swaddling for the first time, we are here to help you with a few tips and techniques. We assure you that it is easier than it looks, and you'll be an expert in no time.
You can also read our article on the Benefits of Swaddling.
How to Swaddle
Here is are the steps straight from the authoritative American Academy of Pediatrics' Healthy Children:
- To swaddle, spread the blanket out flat, with one corner folded down
- Lay the baby face-up on the blanket, with her head above the folded corner
- Straighten her left arm, and wrap the left corner of the blanket over her body and tuck it between her right arm and the right side of her body
- Then tuck the right arm down, and fold the right corner of the blanket over her body and under her left side
- Fold or twist the bottom of the blanket loosely and tuck it under one side of the baby
- Make sure her hips can move and that the blanket is not too tight. You want to be able to get at least two or three fingers between the baby’s chest and the swaddle.
Here's a fun video that shows you how to swaddle your baby. Do remember to read the safety tips below the video.
Swaddling safety tips
While there are many benefits of swaddling, it is important to swaddle a baby correctly to ensure safety and effectiveness. Here are some tips to help you swaddle safely:
1. Don’t over swaddle
Over-swaddling a baby with the use of two blankets can lead to overheating, which can increase the risk of SIDS. Use light breathable material blankets to swaddle your baby which will allow for plenty of ventilation
2. Swaddle well so it does not unravel
Ensure that you have tucked away the loose ends of the swaddle, so that it doesn’t unravel. A baby could get entangled in a loose blanket, causing suffocation
3. Don’t swaddle too tightly
Babies are used to their legs bent up and across in the womb. Suddenly straightening them could lead to developmental dysplasia of the hip3. Don’t swaddle too tightly and allow sufficient space to allow the legs to be able to bend up and out at the hips. This allows for the natural development of the joints
4. Place the swaddled baby on its back
Whether swaddled or not, it is very important to place the baby on her back. However, it is especially important if the baby is swaddled, that it is not placed on its side or tummy. It increases the risk of SIDS
5. Stop swaddling once the baby begins to roll
When your baby starts rolling, you should stop using a swaddle. You should consider switching to a sleeping sack, which is preferable for this period of your child’s growth