How to Swaddle a Baby
Knowing how to swaddle a baby can greatly help with calming your baby. Unlike adults, babies feel safe being enclosed, whereas adults enjoy freedom to move. The following ‘how to’ is of crucial important for managing a grumpy baby.
1- Set out the blanket. Spread out a large, thin blanket and slightly fold over one corner. Lay your baby on their back on the blanket, placing his or her head at the edge of the folded corner. While holding your baby in place, pick up one corner of the blanket. Bring the blanket across your baby’s body. Tuck the blanket beneath him or her.
2- Cover baby’s feet. Fold the bottom point of the blanket up, leaving room for your baby’s feet to move freely. Swaddling a baby too tightly can increase the risk of overheating or developing a respiratory infection.
3- Fold over the corners and tuck. While holding your baby in place, pick up the other corner of the blanket. Bring the blanket across your baby’s body. Tuck the blanket beneath your baby, leaving only his or her head and neck exposed.
Swaddling a baby in a way that prevents his or her hips or knees from being able to move can also increase the risk of developmental dysplasia of the hip — a condition in which a baby’s hip can be partially or completely dislocated. If your baby has dysplasia, swaddling isn’t recommended.
Once you’ve swaddled your baby, be sure to practice safe sleep habits. Check with current best practice on how to lay your baby down to sleep (the theory changes regularly!)
Stop swaddling when your baby learns to roll onto his or her stomach.
If you have questions about how to safely swaddle your baby, consult your baby’s doctor.