How to Swaddle a Baby Like a Pro

How to Swaddle a Baby Like a Pro | Baby Chick

How to Swaddle a Baby Like a Pro

In every newborn care class you will learn several essential parenting tips that will help you get through parenthood. Bathing your baby, burping your baby, diapering your baby, and swaddling your baby. Those are just to name a few. If you are unable to make it to a newborn care class, but still want to know how to swaddle your baby, you’ve come to the right place! But first, why would you want to swaddle a baby?? People have only been swaddling babies for centuries. The oldest archaeological evidence of mothers swaddling their babies begins in 4000 B.C. with the migrating peoples of ancient central Asia. The ancient Greeks and Romans swaddled. There are even biblical references to the practice. But why are all of these mothers swaddling their babies?

Benefits of Swaddling

1. Soothe Your Baby

If you aren’t familiar with pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp and his wildly popular baby care book and video, The Happiest Baby on the Block, you should be. He talks about how to soothe your baby with the Five S’s. One of those S’s being Swaddling. He explains that swaddling triggers a “relaxation” mechanism in infants that helps soothe them and lull them to sleep. This is why so many parents try swaddling. If something can help calm their child, they are going to do it. Research has shown that swaddling can decrease crying by 42% in infants 8 weeks old or younger. So if your baby is overly tired, overstimulated, or just fussy, swaddling him can help.

2. Better Night’s Sleep

Being swaddled is a familiar feeling for babies. It recreates the secure and cozy feeling of being inside the womb. While a newborn sleeps about 16 hours per day (in 3- to 4-hour increments), recreating a womb-like environment can help increase the amount of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep that newborns get within those sleeping hours. This REM sleep is a deeper sleep state that makes it less likely for baby to fully awaken when startled. Being swaddled prevents spontaneous movements called moro or startle reflexes from waking up baby. His arms are tucked in the blanket, which will help baby continue in his REM sleep cycle when the startle reflex occurs. All of this means fewer trips for you jumping up to baby’s side and a much more peaceful night’s sleep.

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3. Reduce Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Studies have shown that babies who sleep on their stomachs are at higher risk of SIDS. This is why the “Back to Sleep” campaign started encouraging parents to place their babies to sleep on their backs. When you swaddle your newborn, with his face up, your baby will be less likely to fidget and shift in sleep and accidentally end up on his tummy.

4. Touch Therapy

Some touch therapists say that swaddling can even help develop an infant’s tactile system so he becomes comfortable with being touched, which is key to healthy development.

All of these benefits explain why it’s a good idea to know how to make a nice, snug swaddle for your baby. The cozy wrapping allows your child to feel safe and secure. Here is a step-by-step guide to swaddling your baby.

How to Swaddle A Baby

Below I am writing out for you the Happiest Baby on the Block swaddle method, the “DUDU”. 😉

Start with a folded diamond

swaddling a baby, baby chick

Lay a swaddling blanket or a muslin blanket on a flat surface. Position the blanket like a diamond with a corner at the top, left and right, and a corner at the bottom. Fold down the top corner partially. Place your baby on his back in the center of the blanket with his neck on the fold. His shoulders should be just below the fold.

Then do the right side tuck

Hold your baby’s right arm down alongside the body, slightly bent. Pull the left corner of the blanket over his right arm and across his chest and body. Then tuck the fabric under his left arm and roll him to your left to wrap whatever is remaining under his back. Tuck it in securely while making sure your baby can still bend his hips up and outwards. Leave the left arm free.

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Do the up-and-around tuck

Hold your baby’s left arm down and pull the bottom corner of the swaddle up over baby’s feet and over his left shoulder. Tuck the point of the fabric into the top of the swaddle and tuck any extra material around his left arm, securing his left arm alongside the body.

Now the partial fold

Bring the loose right corner straight out to pull it taut, then pull part of the material down towards the chest. Hold the material there to create almost a V-neck on your baby’s chest.

Now the finishing tuck

Then pull the remaining material across your baby’s body and roll him to your right a bit so you can wrap the corner all the way around his back. Tuck the remaining fabric inside the fold on the front to secure the swaddle.

Final thoughts on the do’s and don’ts of swaddling

  • Do place your baby on his or her back to sleep while swaddled. Sleeping swaddled and on his belly can increase a baby’s risk of SIDS.
  • Do use a light cotton blanket that is breathable and not liable to cause overheating.
  • Don’t cover your baby’s face. This can lead to overheating or suffocation.
  • Don’t wrap too tightly. Swaddling too snuggly could cause your baby to be at risk for overheating, decreased circulation, or over-extension of his hips and knees.

About the Author /

Nina is The Baby Chick® & CEO of Baby Chick®. She is a baby planner, birth doula, postpartum doula, childbirth educator, newborn care specialist, and a mother. With over eight years of experience, she has supported hundreds of families during their pregnancies, births, and postpartum journeys.

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Instagram post 18073051357163780 When it comes to clamping the cord, our mottos is "what's the rush?" The blood volume in the placenta and cord at the time of birth is BABY'S blood. It's simply mid-circulation in the placenta at the time of birth. It just makes sense to leave it be and let it finish its job.⁠
No, the blood won't drain out of baby and go backwards into the placenta.⁠
No, your baby is not more likely to get sick from jaundice.⁠
Yes, your baby will still be getting oxygen while they figure out breathing, especially important if they need resuscitation.⁠
Yes, your baby will have better iron levels for the first year of their life.⁠
Look at how thick and engorged this cord still is at 4 and 18 minutes after baby was born. Just imagine how much blood baby would have lost if the cord had been clamped immediately, or at 60 seconds, 90 seconds, or 3 minutes! The placenta was expelled immediately before the 18 minute photo was taken. The pulse in the cord could still be felt even AFTER THE PLACENTA HAD BEEN DELIVERED! The cord was finally clamped and cut more than an hour after birth at 73 minutes. ❤️⁠
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Here are some tips to combat isolation:⁠
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1️⃣ Get outside when possible.⁠
2️⃣ Video chat with friends/family.⁠
3️⃣ Join a virtual group.⁠
4️⃣ Invite someone to come over.⁠
5️⃣ Find a local mom's group.⁠
6️⃣ Listen to the radio or a podcast (it's interesting how this can make us feel connected with others)⁠
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Flying on a plane with your little one for the first time can be terrifying. Are they going to cry the whole time? How will they handle the airport, the turbulence and the landing? Well we have some tips that will help prepare you for your flight with your kids. Here's what to do to have a more enjoyable experience 😊 {Link in bio!}⁠
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