How to Swaddle a Newborn Baby
Newborns have an innate need to feel secure, and swaddling can help to achieve this. Swaddling is especially comforting for your baby as she tries to sleep, since it feels similar being in the womb. Preventing the baby from moving too much also stops her from waking herself up by flailing around inside her crib.
Parents who learn how to swaddle their newborn properly give themselves a better chance of keeping the baby calm, which gives everyone in the family the chance to get some much-needed rest.
Things You’ll Need
- Thin receiving blanket
6 Steps to Swaddle a Newborn Baby
1. Place the blanket on a flat surface and fold down one corner.
2. Set the infant on the blanket facing upward with her head placed right above the corner that you have folded.
This prevents the folded blanket from covering her face when swaddled.
3. Pin the infant’s left arm at his side and then fold the left side of the blanket over his arm and across his body, tucking it under his right side.
This keeps his left arm in place.
4. Hold the baby’s right arm to her side and fold the right side of the blanket over her arm and body.
Tuck it under her left side, over the top of her arm. This keeps her right arm in place and covers the baby’s entire body, except for her face and neck.
5. Grab the bottom of the blanket and fold it under one side of the baby.
Avoid pulling the bottom too tight because the baby needs room to his move hips slightly. When the blanket is pulled too tight on the hips, it can do permanent damage, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
6. Place the baby to sleep on her back.
As other sleeping positions are not considered safe, suggests the AAP.
Tips and Warnings
- Stop swaddling at about 2 months, before the baby intentionally tries to roll over, suggests Dr. Rachel Moon of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Swaddling can make a baby very warm, so check on her continually to prevent overheating.
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