If you’re new to the parenting journey, you may be a swaddling skeptic. I was! My initial stay in the hospital with a new baby was a totally blur, so when we got home and my husband was wrapping my baby so tight, I thought he was nuts!
He explained that the ICU nurses taught him a few different swaddling techniques. He would start wrapping and folding and tucking and voilà! My son was as snug as a bug in a rug. Plus, he would instantly stop crying. That’s because swaddling newborns gives them a familiar feeling of comfort and security that they felt in utero.
I was impressed and quickly realized this is something I needed to know how to do. Just like changing diapers, the more you do it, the faster and easier it becomes. You’ll be able to wrap a super swaddle in record time.
Lay the blanket flat so it makes a diamond shape, then fold the top corner down to make a triangle. Lay your baby in the center, so her head is above the flat section of the blanket. Make sure her shoulders are just below the fold of the blanket.
HINT! We bought blankets made specifically for swaddling because they were bigger than standard baby blankets and they were thin with some stretch. This way we had plenty of fabric to tuck and fold securely, and our baby didn’t get too hot while he was swaddled.
With baby in the center of the blanket, pull the left triangle across your baby. You want to make sure your baby’s right arm is slightly bent and laying securing next to her body. After you pull the blanket across her, tuck it underneath her body. And don’t just tuck it gently. Pull it securely. Babies are great escape artists!
HINT! We discovered that our infant son stayed in his swaddle longer if he could access his right hand. He would soothe himself by sucking on his fingers. Initially we tucked his right arm in the swaddle completely, but then we swaddled him with one hand near his face.
Pull the bottom part of the blanket up over baby’s feet.
HINT! Swaddle blankets are longer, so this is why we started buying them. It made Step #3 easier and provided a more secure swaddle. This was especially helpful at night, because our son would sleep longer in a secure swaddle.
Make sure your baby’s right arm is slightly bent and securely by her side. Now pull the last triangle across your baby to complete the wrap. Tuck the excess fabric securely underneath your baby. Your baby should be completely swaddled!
HINT! Don’t project your own feelings of how you’d feel all swaddled up on your infant. Newborns really do like the feeling. Remember, they don’t even know they have limbs attached to them, so when they flail their arms and legs when they cry, they think strange things are moving around them.
What's your favorite swaddle blanket?
Looking for more ways to soothe a fussy baby? Check out these mommy tips!