Parent-To-Parent Tip: How To Swaddle A Baby

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Learning how to swaddle a baby can be a lifesaver for new moms. If your baby is upset or crying, your immediate thought is that you want to help them any way you can. Swaddling is an easy, quick solution for calming their irritation. Even colicky babies can often find comfort in being swaddled. 

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Regardless of the reason for your want and need to swaddle your baby, it’s important to learn how! So if you’re ready with a swaddle in hand, let’s get down to the basics of how to safely swaddle that little bundle of joy. 

calm infant wrapped up showing how to swaddle a baby
Photo credit: Adobe Photo Stock

Is it OK to swaddle a newborn at night?

Yes, it is. The biggest thing to remember about swaddling your baby is that you’re wanting to create an environment that keeps them safe and calm. There are many great natural sleep tips out there that can help your baby, too! 

How many hours should a baby be swaddled?

This all depends on how many hours your baby likes to be swaddled. Some babies may last just a few hours a day, and some upwards of 10 hours per day. 

Swaddling is super similar to what your baby was like in the belly. So in there, they were “swaddled” for literally 24 hours every single day! 

Is it OK to swaddle baby all day?

You really don’t want to keep your baby swaddled all day long. Let them stretch and move and work on developing their muscles and fine motor skills. 

How do I know if my baby doesn’t want to be swaddled?

Your baby will let you know if they don’t want to be swaddled — trust me! If you notice them fighting to get their body free or being overly fussy, this is an indication they’re not happy with their current setup.

And yes, it’s true. Not all babies like to be swaddled! And some prefer a light, stretchy muslin blanket over the heavier fabrics that may get too hot. If your little one doesn’t like the ones with velcro attachments, try the muslin alternative before giving up.

How to swaddle a baby step-by-step

Start by folding down one corner of the cloth into a triangle.

Then lay the baby onto the blanket and line up their shoulder with the edge of the blanket that you just folded down. 

Bring your baby’s hands together and center them on the middle of their body. Then pull the other corner of the blanket across the baby. Tuck the opposite bottom corner into the top portion, under the shoulder. 

Then pull the bottom of the blanket up to tuck in his feet and tuck that under the shoulder. 

Next, wrap the other side and corner across the baby and then tuck it underneath his back.

And just in case that sounded like a jumbled mess — here is the visual video that shows you how to swaddle in 30 seconds. Fast and simple — I promise!

Remember, swaddling your baby is meant to help them feel safe and secure so they can rest easy! The purpose of swaddling is to give them that comforting feeling of being back in your belly where they happily spent the first 9 months of their development. 

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