How to Swaddle a Baby
When you first got your baby from the nursery at the hospital, they probably came out neatly wrapped up a cute package, with just their head sticking out from the top. That is because nurses know the secret to a calm, happy baby, which is: swaddling.
Swaddling has been around for years, and it has multiple benefits. The most obvious are: it makes your baby look cute when wrapped up in the neat little package. Secondly, it makes for a relaxed, calm little baby.
It helps your baby to become cosier and more protected when it is inside this little package. This helps it to adjust to life when it comes out of the womb. Your baby also won’t be able to swing their arms of legs around, which means that their startle reflex can’t be triggered, meaning they can sleep more deeply. It also keeps their core temperature at a safe level before their “internal thermostat” is up and running.
So there are several good reasons for swaddling your baby. The only real drawback that we can think of is: it’s hard. Yes, swaddling your baby can be somewhat intimidating. Here then, is a step-by-step guide to swaddling your newborn baby better than you ever have done before, Please also check out the NHS website on resources to do with your baby!
How to swaddle a baby:
Step one: Get a flat, even surface
It’s usually best to start by spreading out the blanket into a diamond-shape. Then, you should take the top and fold it down by around 5-6 inches.
Step two: place your baby on a blanket
Next, your baby’s head should be placed just above the fold that you have to create in the previous step. Their body should fall all the way down to the bottom corner.
Step three: Place the left arm by their side
Once you place the baby’s arm by their side, you should grab the left of the blanket and cross it over their left arm and their chest. Then, fold the sheet under their right arm and their back. Now, their left arm should be covered, but their other arm shouldn’t be.
Step four: Take up the bottom
Next, take the blanket’s bottom corner over the body of your baby and tuck it right below their chin. Now, take their right arm and straighten it along their body, then fold it underneath her left side.
Step five: make sure it’s tight enough
Finally, all that we have to do is make a twist with the bottom of the blanket and then place it under the baby. A few important things to keep in mind are that the swaddle should be reasonably tight, but not too snug. Make sure that there is enough space to place some of your fingers between the chest of your baby and the blanket.
Also, if it seems that your baby prefers to have its arms free, then it’s okay to leave their arms open of the swaddle. If they show real discomfort when you try and put them into the swaddle, then it’s possible that your baby just doesn’t like it. That’s normal; not all babies enjoy being wrapped around in that blanket!
Is swaddling dangerous?
Of course, swaddling isn’t entirely free of risk, but as long as you follow standard sleep safety guidelines, then the chance of danger is very, very low. When done correctly, swaddling is a great tool to use to help your little one sleep more soundly, for longer.
If your swaddle blanket is too loose, it may come undone while your baby is sleeping, which poses the risk of suffocation. This risk is later amplified by the fact that babies often tend to sleep very deeply. This means that should anything go wrong. They may be less likely to wake up and adjust their position.
Furthermore, you have to make sure that your swaddle blanket isn’t too tight, either. This is particularly problematic around your baby’s hips. If your swaddle is also right and your baby is then forced into an unnatural position, it may cause damage to their hip and leg joints.
So to make sure that your little one’s hips and joints are safe, you should make sure that your swaddle is loose enough for your baby to extend and bend their legs in the same way that they would if they weren’t in a swaddle. This will encourage them to sleep much more soundly and give both of you a little bit of peace.
Swaddling safety tips:
When swaddling your baby, always make sure that they can sleep on their backs. Regardless of whether you are wrapping them or not, placing them down to sleep on their backs is often the best position.
When swaddling your baby, always make sure that you get the temperature right. Wrapping too tightly may put your baby at risk of overheating. Ensure the room is at a reasonable temperature (around 21°-22°), and hold back from placing your baby into multiple layers. For example, some pyjamas and a swaddle blanket should be enough to keep her comfortable. Any sweat, damp hair or quick breathing are some common signs that your baby may be getting too warm.
When it comes to sleeping at night time, you may be a little bit apprehensive about wrapping your baby in this swaddle. But you can rest assured that doing so is not any more dangerous than doing it during the day. Besides, you can still call in to check on her when you have to feed them. But if you want to have a little peek more often, then feel free to do so as often as you wish.
In conclusion, then, there are many advantages to swaddling a baby. It can help them sleep much more soundly, not to mention that it will give you a little bit more peace as well!
It is an extremely safe procedure. As long as you follow some basic guidelines and practices, then you shouldn’t see any kind of problem whatsoever when swaddling your baby.