Swaddling – the art of tightly wrapping a blanket around your baby – gives the security and warmth similar to that of the womb. Swaddling is perfect for settling your baby down when they’re overstimulated, but it can be difficult to master. There are a lot of “what ifs” when it comes to when and how to swaddle, but those questions can all be answered with some research and a lot of practice.
First off, let’s discuss the many benefits that come with snugly wrapping your little one up in a blanket. Swaddling is the basis for soothing. That is, once you’ve got them swaddled, you are on the fast track to calming them down and encouraging sleep. If your newborn falls asleep swaddled, they are also more likely to have a better night’s sleep compared to when they aren’t. The blanket keeps them from startling themselves awake from their random arm movements – which will lead to a happy and well-rested baby. Swaddling can be started right after birth – continued until a month or so later. The age varies from baby to baby, and when they start fussing over being swaddled is also when it becomes the most valuable.
Now it’s time to learn the art of swaddling. Here are the steps to take in order to properly wrap your little snuggle bug comfortably in a blanket.
- Lay the blanket on a flat surface in a diamond shape, then fold the top corner down six inches – forming a straight edge,
- Place your baby onto the blanket so that the top of the fabric edge is at shoulder level.
- Make sure your baby’s left arm is down and wrap the corner of the blanket from their left side over their arm and chest, then tuck it under their back on the right side.
- Do the same with their right side, pulling the corner over their arm and chest until tucking it under the left side.
- Twist or fold the bottom of the blanket – tuck it loosely under your baby.
- Check to make sure that both their legs are bent slightly, as well as out from their body. Their hips should be able to move as well as their legs being able to spread apart naturally.
- Now watch the magical effects of swaddling in action and thank the swaddling gods that your baby has finally fallen asleep.