how to swaddle a baby step by step guide

Step by Step Guide How to Swaddle a Newborn

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Sound sleep is essential for the baby’s overall growth and development. It helps strengthen the baby’s memory and helps them process the things they have learned when awake. One way to ensure sound sleep for newborns is swaddling. Learn how to swaddle a baby step by step.

What Is Swaddling?

Swaddling is the practice of wrapping a baby in a blanket or other clothes with only the head exposed. This restricts their movements and creates a womb-like effect. Swaddling makes the baby calm and secure and enables them to sleep soundly. 

Swaddling is practised in different forms in different parts of the world. It is believed that the practice of swaddling existed even during the Paleolithic age. Swaddling is slowly gaining popularity in developed countries like the US, UK and Netherlands.

How to swaddle a baby UK? You can follow any of our 3 swaddle techniques based on your convenience.

How to Swaddle a Baby Rectangle?

How to swaddle a baby rectangle
  1. Lay the blanket flat with its wrong side facing you. 
  2. Now place the baby on top of the blanket with the head outside. 
  3. Take the cloth covering the baby’s left shoulder and tuck it on the bottom right. 
  4. Similarly, take the cloth from the right side covering the shoulder and tuck it on the left. 
  5. Now wrap the cloth from the bottom and tuck it on both sides of the baby.

How to Swaddle a Baby With a Muslin?

How to swaddle a baby with a muslin
  1. Take the cloth and lay it in a diamond shape on the bed.
  2. Fold the top corner of the cloth and make the baby lie on top of it. The baby’s head should be outside the cloth. 
  3. Take the cloth over the baby’s right shoulder and tuck it beneath the baby. 
  4. Fold the cloth from the bottom corner. 
  5. Take the clothe from the baby’s right side and tuck them on the left side.

How to Swaddle a Baby With Arms Out?

How to swaddle a baby with arms out
  1. Lay the blanket flat on the bed. 
  2. Place the baby on top of the blanket so that the head and both hands are above the blanket. 
  3. Fold the blanket from one side and tuck it under the baby. 
  4. Now fold the blanket from the bottom. 
  5. Lastly, fold the blanket from the third side and tuck it under the baby.

Is Swaddling Good for Your Baby?

“Why should you swaddle a baby” is something most parents think about. Newborn babies develop something called a startle reflex. This uncontrolled jerk in the baby is triggered by intense light and loud noise. The baby gets a feeling of falling when they experience the startle reflex. 

When you swaddle a baby, the baby’s limbs are tightly wrapped together. Thus, the chances of developing the startle reflex are significantly less. Because of this reason, swaddling is advisable for babies. 

Swaddling a Baby Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Babies sleep longer when they are appropriately swaddled. 
  • The chances of Moro reflex are reduced as a result of swaddling. 
  • Swaddling the baby eliminates the need for comfort items like soft toys or pillows in the crib. 
  • Swaddling creates a womb-like effect that provides a safe and secure feel to the baby. This is particularly important when the baby experience colic pain. 
  • The chances of scratching the face can be reduced when the baby is swaddled in an arms-in position. 
  • Swaddling helps maintain the position of the baby. This comes as a relief for parents, especially at night. 

Cons

  • Swaddling should be done not too tight. If it is tight, it can affect the baby’s overall development. Swaddling the baby with legs pulled down can affect their hips. 
  • If swaddling is not done correctly, it increases the chances of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
  • If swaddling is too loose, your baby can wriggle out
  • Sometimes swaddling can cause overheating and cause discomfort to the baby. You should check the baby’s temperature regularly while being swaddled. 
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From What Age Is It Appropriate to Swaddle a Baby?

You can start swaddling the baby right from birth. You can swaddle them night or day, whenever the baby is sleeping. But you should stop swaddling once the baby starts rolling over. This normally happens between two to four months. 

When Is It Not Appropriate to Swaddle a Baby?

It is not appropriate to swaddle the baby once they start rolling over. Once the baby starts rolling over to its stomach, the chances of SIDS are high. This is the reason to stop swaddling after four months. 

Also, it is best not to swaddle when the baby is awake. This helps the baby’s free movement which is essential for its normal growth. You should swaddle the baby only during sleeping time. 

Conclusion

Swaddling is an effective technique to put a baby to sleep. It creates a womb-like effect that gives the baby a sense of safety and security. The baby’s startle reflex can also be significantly controlled by swaddling. 

However, you should stop swaddling once the baby starts rolling over. This helps prevent the risk of SIDS. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How do you properly swaddle a newborn?

The swaddle should not be too tight as to hinder the baby’s movement. You should be able to insert two fingers between the baby’s chest and the blanket. The area below the hip should be slightly loose so the baby can move the legs freely. 

It is always advisable to use a thick, light sheet for swaddling. It would be best to leave the head uncovered while swaddling. 

2. Is it OK not to swaddle a newborn?

Though swaddling is an effective technique to put the baby to sleep, you need not follow the practice compulsorily. You can put the baby to sleep even without swaddling. But always remember to put the baby to sleep on the back to prevent SIDS. 

3. When should you introduce a swaddle?

You can start swaddling the baby right after birth. Since swaddling creates a womb-like effect, it helps the baby sleep peacefully. 

Once you start swaddling the baby, it is best to do it for every sleep. This helps the baby relate swaddling to sleep. 

4. Is swaddling a newborn good?

Swaddling a newborn is good as it creates a womblike effect and helps the baby sleep well. However, you should stop swaddling the baby once it starts rolling over to prevent SIDS.

More Baby Sleep Tips:

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