How to Swaddle Your Baby

New baby

Are you looking for help on how to swaddle your baby? I am a huge fan of swaddling!

Swaddling is the art of snugly wrapping a baby in a blanket. It provides warmth and security and more closely mimics what life is like in the womb, where your baby happily resided for up to 9 months. In addition to keeping your baby warm, it prevents your baby from being disturbed from their startle reflex, or Moro response.

It is calming and soothing to newborns.

Swaddling provides warmth and security and more closely mimics what life is like in the womb, where your baby happily resided for up to 9 months.

Most babies are swaddled by the midwife or nurse after birth, and you may have had an on-the-go lesson. But right after birth is no time to learn anything, in my opinion, so I will show you how now. It will take some getting used to, and some practice. When I learned how to swaddle it was from videos just like this; I watched one step, paused the video, performed the step, and repeat. Now I am a pro.

Here’s a video I made to help show you how to swaddle your baby properly.

We swaddled each of our three kids, and it made a huge difference for their ability to soothe and sleep while not in my arms. For my three, the choice was swaddle and they could sleep on their backs in the bassinet, or not swaddle and either, a) keep on the breast all day and night, or b) hold to sleep, sitting upright only. Given the available options and my picky babies, I chose to swaddle.

Speak to your doctor to see if swaddling is a good choice for your family.

A few tips when you swaddle your baby:

  • Always ensure the blanket is nowhere near the baby’s face – swaddling should not pose a suffocation risk.
  • Leave the legs relatively loose to allow hip movement.
  • Tuck in all free edges.
  • Only lay your child down on a flat surface, face up. Remember back-to-sleep.
  • Ensure your child is well fed and the diaper is changed before you swaddle.
  • Ensure your baby is gaining weight well.
  • Don’t swaddle all day, every day. I prefer swaddling for sleep, and otherwise leaving the baby’s arms and legs free to discover the world.
  • Stop swaddling when your baby is learning to roll–around 2-3 months of age (as per the American Academy of Pediatrics).

 Check out on YouTube for tips on how to swaddle, and more!

Dr. Dina Kulik, MD, FRCPC, PEM

Written By: Dr. Dina Kulik, MD, FRCPC, PEM

Dina is a wife, mother of 4, and adrenaline junky. She loves to share children’s health information from her professional and personal experience. More About Dr Dina.

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