How To Swaddle A Baby – Everything You Wanted To Learn But Did Not Know Where To Ask.

Learn How To Swaddle A Baby

A new parent’s life is filled with joy, excitement, new experiences, and a lot of questions. How to swaddle a baby? How to feed and burp your infant? What to do if the tiny tot just refuses to settle down and sleep? What is startle reflex? How to minimize risk of SIDS?

It is perfectly normal for new parents to have doubts about the right way to take care of the baby. Every parent goes through this phase, and it’s just a matter of practice and experience before you gain confidence.

Swaddling is an age-old phenomenon that has even found a mention in the Holy Bible. Read on for details about its benefits, potential risks, the right time to stop swaddling, and step-by-step instructions on how to swaddle your tiny tot.

What is Swaddling?

Consider the delivery process from the baby’s perspective and you will agree when I say it is probably a scary experience for your bundle of joy. From the safe and cozy confines of the mother’s womb, the baby comes into a big world where everything is a new experience. Swaddling refers to the process of snugly wrapping the baby in a cloth or blanket to the keep the baby warm and comfy, especially during the first three months after birth.

Parents need to learn how to swaddle a baby because it is something more than simply wrapping a cloth or small blanket around the baby. Apart from creating a womb-like coziness, swaddling your tiny tot has the following advantages:

Advantage 1 The baby’s arousal is kept under control, which helps the baby relax and sleep well.

Advantage 2 A swaddled baby can be lifted and carried, blanket and all, without any part of the blanket coming loose.

Advantage 3 You may have observed your baby getting startled and jerking out of sleep for no reason whatsoever. Swaddling helps control the baby’s limbs and ensures deep sleep for the child, which will give you some precious time for yourself as well.

Risks of Swaddling the Baby & Precautions to Consider

As a new parent, you need to understand that there is a fine line between caring for and harming the baby. While learning how to swaddle a baby is a smart move, you need to be aware of associated risks as well.

Remember, no two babies are alike. Some babies prefer a tight and snug fit. Others can start bawling the moment you try to wrap them up. Don’t force your baby into something he or she does not like. Observe your baby’s reaction and proceed ahead accordingly.

Swaddling A Baby

A swaddled baby should always be placed on their back.

A swaddled baby should always be placed on its back. Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or accidental suffocation is very high if a swaddled baby rolls over onto the stomach. Since babies start rolling over in two to three months, you should stop swaddling after the fourth trimester.

You should choose cotton or any other breathable fabric when swaddling your child. A blanket may seem very warm but there is the possibility of the baby becoming too hot in the blanket. Watch out of signs like flushed cheeks, respiration, and rapid breathing as it may indicate that the baby is overheated.

Most new parents are amazed at the rate at which a baby grows, especially in the first few months after birth. Hence, you should make sure the swaddle does not affect the child’s growth. A tight fit around the hip may lead to hip dislocation or hip dysplasia, a condition where the joint between the thigh bone and the hip socket does not develop properly. Similarly, avoid wrapping the baby’s arms and legs in an unnaturally straight position.

Finally, swaddling may cause discomfort as it reduces the baby’s contact with the mother’s touch. Skin to skin contact can, in many cases, reassure a distressed baby. A swaddled baby will not enjoy that touch even when he or she is held by the mother. Make sure your tiny tot enjoys the reassuring touch of a caring and responsible parent on a regular basis.

When to Stop Swaddling the Baby?

Many parents swaddle the baby because it helps them enjoy some peace and rest when the baby is asleep. Until a few centuries ago, parents used to swaddle their babies up to the age of twelve months. Today, there is no need to continue swaddling after the first two or three months.

By this time, the baby gets used to life outside the womb. Further, restricting the limbs can affect the overall growth of the child. In any case, you just cannot afford to take the risk of SIDS or suffocation in the event of the swaddled baby rolling over onto his or her stomach. Continue swaddling only until it is an enjoyable and safe experience for your little angel, even if that means some inconvenience to you.

How To Swaddle A Baby – One Step at a Time

Creating a comfy and cozy cocoon around your baby can seem like an impossibly difficult task until you break it down into the following steps.

1. Position the cloth or blanket like a diamond and fold the top corner down to the center of the cloth. Next, place the baby on the blanket with the neck at the top edge of the fold.

2. Grab the blanket around 3-4 inches from the baby’s left shoulder and arm, left or right—your choice, pull it to the right across the baby’s body and tuck the blanket under the child’s arm, back, and right buttock. Once tucked, the fold should resemble one half of a V-neck.

3. The first fold should be a snug fit. If this is loose, then the child’s arm will come loose and can cause the swaddled blanket to open up.

4. Next, lift the bottom of part of the cloth and bring it up over the child’s left hand. Tuck the bottom over the shoulder under the child’s back. After this fold, both the hands of the baby must be enclosed in the cloth.

5. The fit must be loose enough for the baby to move his or her hands but must be tight enough to ensure the hands don’t come free. Leave a bit of space below the legs to ensure the baby does not feel constricted.

6. Finally, fold the right side of the blanket over the child’s right shoulder to complete the V-neck. Continue with the fold and wrap the baby from back to front until the little tail can be tucked into the front. Voila, you’re done.


If you are nervous about swaddling your baby for the first time, get a baby-sized doll and try it as many times as you want. While your tiny tot is likely to be more of a handful than the doll, the knowledge you gain from practicing how to swaddle a baby will definitely serve as a big boost to your confidence.


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