How to Swaddle a Baby the Right Way

How to Swaddle a Baby the Right Way  from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

The average parent will lose about 109 minutes of sleep each night when they have a baby. In fact, new parents will only get about five to six hours of sleep a night throughout the first year. 

There’s a way to help your baby sleep better, and it will help you get some sleep too — swaddling.

There’s no need to go buy yet another baby item for swaddling. Swaddling a baby is not only the cutest thing ever, it can help calm and soothe your baby and help them sleep.

Not sure how to swaddle a newborn? Or maybe you tried but couldn’t quite get it down? Check out this guide to learn how to safely swaddle a baby the right way. 

Why Swaddle Your Baby: Baby Safety Guidelines

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that infants sleep on their backs until they turn one year. This is because sleeping on their backs reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

What’s more, babies should sleep on a firm sleep surface with a tight-fitting, firm mattress, and fitted sheet. Babies should not sleep with any other object in the crib including blankets, pillows, toys, bumpers, or comforters. 

It’s okay to swaddle your little one as long as your baby is laying on his or her back. You should also make sure the swaddle is too snug or tight on the baby’s hips.

Reasons to Swaddle a Baby

Swaddling a baby isn’t only for the cute-factor. When done correctly and safely, swaddling a baby can help them sleep better. Here are more reasons to swaddle your little one.

Resembles the Womb

When a baby is born, they come out of the mother’s womb and into a cold, unfamiliar world. They need time to adjust. They cry, a lot! 

Swaddling can resemble what it’s like to be back in the womb because it’s warm and cozy. It can keep your baby calm. 

Calms Baby From Moro Reflex

Swaddling can also help reduce startling a baby from the Moro reflex. The Moro reflex is a reflex that newborns have that makes them suddenly stretch out their arms and legs as if they’re startled. 

Some babies, when the Moro reflex is triggered, will wake up from sleep or cry. Swaddling a baby can help calm the baby during sleep so that they don’t wake themselves up or cry from the reflex. 

How to Swaddle a Baby

Maybe you’ve tried swaddling in the past, but it didn’t work out. Here are the step-by-step instructions for how to swaddle your little one in a way that allows the baby to bend their legs up and out

Step 1

First, layout the blanket that you’ll use for swaddling on a flat surface. Place it so that it’s in the shape of a diamond. Fold-down the top corner. 

Gently place your baby so that the baby’s head is above the folded corner of the swaddle and he or she is facing up. 

Step 2

Gently hold on to your baby while you gently straighten his or her left arm. Take the left corner of the swaddle and wrap it over the baby’s body. Tuck the blanket in between the baby’s right side of the body and right arm.

Step 3

Gently straighten the baby’s right arm down, take the right corner of the blanket and fold over the baby’s body. Tuck the blanket under the baby’s left side. 

Step 4

Take the bottom of the blanket and fold it at the bottom. Tuck the bottom of the blanket under one side of the baby to keep secure.

Swaddling Safely

After you finish swaddling your baby, check that the swaddle is snug but not too tight. You should be able to place two or three fingers between the swaddle and the baby’s chest.

Also, always make sure you swaddle your baby while they’re on their back, and that they always sleep on their back. 

Moreover, make sure the baby’s legs are not extended rigidly. There should be space for the baby to move their legs freely and move legs up and out at the hips.

If you wrap a baby’s legs too tightly and keep their legs rigidly straight, it can lead to hip dysplasia. 

Another baby safety tip is not to swaddle with a thick blanket. You should swaddle with a light blanket so that the baby doesn’t overheat. 

When Not to Swaddle

There are times when you don’t need to swaddle your little one. Here are some reasons why there is no need to swaddle. 

Baby Is Older

You should stop swaddling your baby when they’re ready to start rolling over which is around two months old. Your baby starts to become more active at that point.

If a baby is able to roll over, swaddling can be dangerous if he or she rolls over while swaddled and is unable to roll back. 

Baby Refuses to Swaddle

What if you tried swaddling but your baby doesn’t seem to love it? Maybe your baby sleeps fine without the swaddle. Should you keep trying with your newborn?

If you feel like your baby is fine without a swaddle, then you don’t need to swaddle them. 

Need More Parenting Tips?

The newborn baby phase is a short time in your life, yet it can feel like it stretches on forever when you’re in the middle of it. By learning how to swaddle a baby the right way, you can keep your little one feeling secure and snug.

To learn more baby tips and advice, check out more articles in our blog. 

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