If you are a new mom or dad, then you need to learn how to properly swaddle a baby. It will make your life and your baby’s life so much easier. And it’s not that hard to swaddle. It just takes a little bit of practice. So here we go!
Before the birth of my first baby, I was shown a video that detailed the importance of swaddling. I was hooked. So from the moment my first child was born and for each of my five kids, I have swaddled my babies. Now I’m here to pass on my knowledge to you.
Why swaddle a baby?
It might seem like a lot of work to swaddle a baby all of the time, but the positive impact it has on your child is amazing. According to Intermountain Healthcare, here’s just a few benefits of swaddling:
- Swaddling protects your baby against their natural startle reflex, which means better sleep for both of you
- Helps calm a colicky baby
- Assists in eliminating anxiety in your baby by imitating your touch, which helps your baby learn to self-sooth
- Keeps her hands off her face and helps prevent scratching
- Helps your baby sleep longer and better
- Helps prevent SIDS by keeping unnecessary items like pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals out of your baby’s crib
- Keeps your baby on his back while he sleeps
Use the right blanket
You don’t need a special swaddling blanket in order to swaddle a baby. Basically you just need to make sure it it large enough to swaddle your baby without any problem.
Here’s blankets that I DO NOT recommend for swaddling:
- Muslin blankets: These are too stretchy and you can’t get a good, tight swaddle. Instead, these are great for the summer time when it’s super hot outside and your baby needs a light blanket to cover her.
- Silky blankets: Although these blankets are soft and comfy, they are super slippery. Your baby will fall right out of your arms if you try to swaddle them in these.
- Sleep sacks: These are ideal for babies who are a little bit older. But if we’re talking about newborns to 3 months old, you’ll want a traditional blanket. Sleep sacks just don’t wrap your baby tight enough and they can break free and wake themselves up very easily.
Here’s some blankets that I DO recommend for swaddling:
- Fleece blankets: With just the right amount of stretch, these blankets are perfect to swaddle a baby.
- Receiving blankets: These are super handy and are perfect for a good swaddle as well.
Don’t stress to much about finding the perfect blanket. And don’t spend a bunch of money buying a fancy swaddling blanket. A regular blanket should do the trick.
Eight steps to a good swaddle
There are eight main steps to a swaddling. The key is to keep the blanket tight. Don’t be afraid to make the swaddle really snug. You want your baby to stay in place and not wiggle her arms free.
- Lay blanket flat like a diamond on the floor or bed.
- Fold down the top corner to the center of the blanket.
- Place baby in the center of the blanket with her shoulders just above the folded edge of the blanket.
- Fold the left corner of the blanket to the right, across the baby. You may need to gently hold down each of the arms one at a time to ensure they are secured by her sides.
- Tuck the blanket under the baby on the right side.
- Bring the bottom corner up over her feet.
- Fold the right corner of the blanket to the left, across the baby.
- Tuck the blanket underneath the baby and back over the top.
If you would like a printable version of these step-by-step swaddling instructions, feel free to download our FREE printable PDF by clicking on the link below:
Of course, if the instructions above aren’t helpful enough, feel free to watch my YouTube video about how to swaddle a baby. It’s super easy and after just a few tries, you’ll be a pro.
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