Baby Swaddling Tips

Swaddling: a valuable soothing technique

Especially during the first few weeks, swaddling is a well-proven soothing technique you can use whether your baby’s awake or sleeping. Not only does it keep your baby warm, it gives your newborn a sense of security and comfort (possibly by approximating the tight quarters of the womb). At Westchester Health Pediatrics, we feel that swaddling may also help limit the startle reflex, which can wake a baby.

How to swaddle your baby:

Proper swaddling keeps a baby’s arms close to the body while still allowing some movement of the legs. Follow these 5 steps and you’ll soon be swaddling like a pro:

1. Spread out the baby blanket, with one corner folded over slightly.

2. Lay your baby face-up on the blanket with his/her head above the folded corner.

3. Wrap the left corner over the body and tuck it beneath your baby’s back, going under the right arm.

4. Bring the bottom corner up over your baby’s feet and pull it toward the head, folding the fabric down if it gets close to the face. Be sure not to wrap too tightly around the hips. Hips and knees should be slightly bent and turned out. Wrapping your baby too tightly may increase the chance of hip dysplasia.

5. Wrap the right corner around your baby, and tuck it under the baby’s back on the left side, leaving only the neck and head exposed. To make sure your baby is not wrapped too tight, make sure you can slip a hand between the blanket and your baby’s chest to allow for comfortable breathing. However, make sure that the blanket is not so loose that it could become undone.

Babies should not be swaddled after 2 months old

At this age, some babies can roll over while swaddled, which increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).