How to Swaddle Your Baby
Swaddling is one of the most effective tools in soothing a baby to help them mimic the security they feel in your womb for the first eight weeks of age for fussiness and for sleep. For safety and comfort, it’s important to know the proper techniques of how to swaddle your baby.
The Traditional Swaddle Blanket
The first method in swaddling a baby involves a traditional blanket which comes in different forms. You may receive one from the hospital which is thicker and larger. Other swaddle blankets have more of an elastic fabric or are made of muslin. Any of these are fine for swaddle use, but it may depend on your child.
While muslin blankets are soft and light, you may need a more elastic jersey blanket for those babies who are a bit smaller and allow for a much snugger fit. Start with purchasing two or three to be able to try out what works for your child and stock up with three once you’ve chosen the one that works best for you. Three swaddling blankets give you the option to have one for use, one for standby, and one that might be in the wash.
How do you use a swaddle blanket?
Once you’ve found the right swaddle blanket, you will follow these steps.
Place your blanket on a diagonal in flat space and fold it down in half to create a triangle.
Place your baby on the blanket with the swaddle fold just an inch or two below the shoulder line.
Tuck your baby’s right arm to the side, slightly bent, and snuggly fold over that side of the blanket over and down while tucking it under your baby’s body.
Take the excess blanket corner at the bottom of your baby’s feed and fold it up to tuck it into the first fold over your baby’s body.
Tuck your baby’s left arm to the side, slightly bent, and fold over that side of the blanket over your baby’s body and wrap until snug.
Secure that last folded end piece into a fold on the blanket.
Do a safety check. Place two fingers between the blanket and your baby’s chest. If you can fit your fingers between the blanket and your baby’s chest, it is just right! If you find it to be a tight squeeze, you may need to loosen your swaddle.
Are traditional swaddle blankets not working for you? Do you have a Houdini child who seems to escape from any swaddle you fold? There are many alternatives to blanket swaddles! Other swaddles offer Velcro, zippers, and extra-long fabrics to keep those newborn startle reflexes from disrupting sleep!
Options are truly endless in the world of swaddles. Find the one that works for you, and it becomes an excellent tool for sleep and soothing. Remember, utilize those safety checks, transition into a transitional swaddle or sleep sack by eight weeks of age, and make sure to give your baby plenty of swaddle free time when feeding and awake!
Have you tried swaddling yet? How did it go?