Want to help settle your baby sleep in their crib? How about swaddling your little bundle of joy in the early months after birth? Just like you protected your baby inside your womb, swaddling helps to provide that coziness and warmth which helps them sleep better. Whether you’re a first-time parent or have raised a child before, swaddling can help your baby feel at ease while sleeping and you can take that time to get some rest for yourself. But, you’ll have to be mindful of certain things when swaddling your little one. Read on as we take you through some of the best tips on how to swaddle your baby.
What Is Swaddling?
Swaddling is a technique in which you wrap your baby in a blanket so that they can sleep soundly and comfortably. It shouldn’t come to you as a surprise that swaddling actually helps to create that warm and comfortable space just like in your womb. You can assure yourself and your little one a good night’s sleep as your baby’s natural reflex is protected by swaddling.
Here are some of the benefits of swaddling:
- Provides a safe and secure environment for your baby
- Reduces the stress and anxiety in babies
- Your baby is able to rest on the back when sleeping
- Swaddling can help your baby sleep for long hours
- Reduces the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) as a swaddled baby won’t be suffocated by things like pillows, blankets, or toys
- Keeps your baby warm
How To Swaddle Your Baby: Step-By-Step Guide
Swaddling will soothe your baby only if you do it correctly. One of the most important things to remember is that the swaddling blanket should be of breathable material. You can choose a blanket made of cotton, muslin, cotton blend, or any other comfortable fabric. There are specialized swaddle blankets available in the market that prevent your baby from overheating. The best time to swaddle your baby is during nighttime before you put your little one to sleep. Even colic babies can be calmed down with the help of swaddling.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to swaddle your baby:
Step 1: Spread The Blanket On A Flat Surface
The first thing you need to do is get a comfortable blanket and arrange it on a flat surface. Make sure that the bottom of the blanket is facing towards you and the blanket should be in a diamond shape. See to it that you fold the top corner of the blanket.
Step 2: Place Your Baby On The Blanket
After you’re done arranging the blanket, you need to carefully place your baby at the folded corner. While doing so, make sure that your baby’s body is straight towards the bottom corner of the blanket.
Step 3: Tuck In Your Baby’s Arms
Hold your baby’s right arm and place it carefully next to the body. Then pull the right side of the blanket over your baby’s body and tuck it in the left side. Similarly, straighten your baby’s left arm and cover the left side of the blanket over the left arm and chest.
Step 4: Fold The Bottom Of The Blanket
Whatever side of the blanket is remaining at the bottom needs to be folded over your baby’s body. Make sure that you tuck this extra material under the first fold beneath your little one’s chin.
Step 5: Secure The Blanket
It’s important that you secure the blanket and do a final check to see if your little one is swaddled comfortably. See to it that you haven’t tied your baby too tightly as that increases the risk of dysplasia or dislocation. Make sure that you’ve tied your baby in such a way that the legs can bend at the hips while keeping the knees apart.
Safety Tips To Keep In Mind When Swaddling A Baby
As mentioned earlier, swaddling has a lot of benefits for your baby, but only if done correctly. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when swaddling a baby:
Always Place Your Baby On Their Back
While swaddling your baby and even after swaddling, you need to ensure that you place your baby on their back. One of the main reasons to do this is to avoid the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Although there’s no specific reason that causes SIDS, it’s best to take precautions. Also, see to it that you avoid keeping any jewelry, toys, pillows, or blankets near your baby as it can suffocate your little one.
Don’t Wrap Your Baby Too Tightly
If you wrap your baby too tightly in the swaddle blanket, there are chances that your little one can develop hip problems. That’s why it’s important that you make sure that your baby can bend the legs even after swaddling. Just in case your little one prefers to have the arms left free, you can keep one of your baby’s arms outside the swaddle.
Avoid Overdressing Your Baby
A swaddle blanket is enough to keep your baby warm, so there’s no need for you to use another blanket to cover your baby. Also, overdressing your little one can cause your baby to suffocate especially when you’ve already wrapped your baby in a blanket. You need to look out for signs like rashes on the skin, sweating, flushed cheeks, or rapid breathing. If you notice any of this, you’ve overdressed your baby.
There’s no doubt that swaddling has tons of benefits for your baby. After a few attempts, you will definitely learn the right way to swaddle your little one. In case you’re feeling unsure, you can always consult your pediatrician who can guide you through swaddling skills. As your baby grows, you’ll have to keep a record of their immunization and vaccination records. To help you with that, our ImmunifyMe app helps you keep digitized vaccination records. So you won’t have to worry about misplacing them or losing them, they’ll be readily available whenever you need them.
FAQs On How To Swaddle A Baby
Is It Ok Not To Swaddle A Newborn?
It’s absolutely okay if your baby doesn’t feel comfortable after being swaddled. You can choose not to swaddle your baby provided you put them to sleep on their back.
Is It Okay To Swaddle A Newborn At Night?
It’s okay to swaddle your newborn at night, provided you do it correctly. Swaddling actually provides a comfortable and secure environment for your little one. If you swaddle your baby during nighttime, your baby will be able to sleep soundly and for long hours.
How Many Hours Should A Newborn Be Swaddled?
If yours is a newborn baby, you can swaddle them for around 12-20 hours a day. Do keep in mind that as your baby grows older, they should spend less time inside a swaddle blanket. You can keep swaddling your baby till your baby is 3 months old.
What Can I Do Instead Of Swaddling?
If your baby is not that keen on swaddling, then you can try massaging them before bedtime. Along with swaddling, massaging also helps your baby relax and be at ease. You can massage your baby during a warm bath or before bedtime. Massaging your baby also helps to treat your baby’s excessive farting and gas problems.