As a new parent, nothing is more satisfying than seeing your baby sleep soundly. Swaddling your little one can be a game-changer when it comes to achieving this, and this guide on how to swaddle your baby will help you do it right.
Swaddling entails tightly covering your infant in a receiving blanket. It maintains a womb-like atmosphere for your infant, which calms them and encourages better sleep. Learn how to safely and comfortably swaddle a newborn by continuing to read.
How to Swaddle a Baby
Before swaddling, keep in mind that not all infants enjoy being tightly wrapped. Some find it oppressive and claustrophobic, while others find it deliciously soothing. Follow these instructions on how to swaddle a newborn, and then observe the baby’s reaction.
1. Place the Blanket
Spread the receiving blanket out in a diamond formation on a bed, the floor, or a couch. Fold one corner down approximately the length of your hand. Then, position the infant’s head and neck above the blanket’s fold. Apart from the diaper, they may be dressed in light clothing or left unclothed.
Always maintain one hand on top of your kid if he or she is positioned on an elevated surface. Even though swaddled infants lack the coordination to roll over, a quick response could compel them to shift.
2. Tuck the left side
Pull the left side of the blanket across the infant’s torso while maintaining a tiny bend in their right arm. Put the blanket beneath the left side of the infant. Leave some leeway around the hips; swaddling the lower body too tightly may cause hip dysplasia.
3. Fold the Bottom
Fold the blanket’s tail up (towards the baby’s head), covering their feet and legs and overlapping the fold on the left side. Place the tail beneath the upper right edge. Ensure that the baby’s mouth and nose are not covered.
4. Wrap the Right Side
Pull the blanket’s right side across the infant’s body. Wrap it around the infant (it should go over their left arm, belly, and back). Tuck the loose end around their chin into the top fold.
5. Let Your Infant to Sleep
Ensure that your baby is not too tightly wrapped. They will be most comfortable when they fit snugly, not tightly. After they have fallen asleep, place them on their back in the cot.
A full-body swaddle is not suggested after the first 60 days of a baby’s life since swaddling is restrictive and may inhibit motor development. When the child reaches this age, it is advisable to utilize a version that does not restrict their arms.
Is Swaddling Infants Safe?
Swaddling induces deep slumber in infants, which is precisely why parents utilize it. Yet, this peaceful slumber can be hazardous. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that reduced arousal increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) (AAP). To prevent sudden infant death syndrome, adopt these tips:
- Always place your infant to sleep on his or her back.
- Never place pillows, blankets, or toys in the crib.
- Ensure that the swaddling blanket does not go unwrapped, as it could suffocate the infant if it covers their face.
- While swaddling raises your baby’s body temperature, avoid allowing them to become overheated. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) enunciates that the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) increases when a baby is less alert.
- Do not swaddle the infant too tightly. Two to three fingers should be able to fit between the baby and the blanket.
When Your Infant Should No Longer Be Swaddled
The AAP advises parents to discontinue swaddling their infant once they exhibit symptoms of trying to roll over (usually around 3 or 4 months). Because swaddling restricts movement, it may impede vital motor development. Consider using a sleep sack to keep your older baby warm and comfy if they have outgrown the swaddling period.