How to Swaddle a Baby
Love’s First Embrace: Six Steps to the Perfect Swaddle
When your baby is first born you want to spend every minute holding that tiny perfect body in your arms. Even though you love your little one more than anything in the world, sometimes you have to put him or her down to indulge in life’s little luxuries… like going to the bathroom and changing your clothes. How can you make sure our newborn always feels like he or she is wrapped in your loving embrace? Swaddling a baby is an art form that every mom and dad should learn.
Swaddling is an age-old practice, and for a good reason, as it benefits babies and caregivers alike. Infants can easily become over stimulated by all of the new sights and sounds around them, and the womb-like swaddle can have a calming effect by minimizing that stimulation. Newborns do not yet regulate their body temperature well, so swaddling also offers the simple benefit of warmth. In addition, many parents report that their swaddled infants sleep better. Newborns have a strong startle relax (the Moro reflex, in which the baby jerks his or her arms up or out to the side), which can awaken them from sleep; a swaddled baby’s arms are contained, so this reflex is much less likely to disrupt sleep. You may need to experiment with the snugness of the swaddle, but regardless of variations in technique, your baby is likely to experience more periods of quiet wakefulness and longer stretches of deep sleep when nicely bundled up, which means happier, more well-rested moms and dads.
Six Steps to the Perfect Swaddle (adapted from Baby Center)
- Choose a safe flat surface and lay your blanket flat in a diamond shaped orientation.
- Fold the top corner down about 6 inches.
- Lay your baby on her back with her head placed on the fold.
- Pull the corner of the blanket near your baby’s left hand across her body tightly, and tuck it under the right side of her back under the arm.
- Pull the bottom corner up under your bay’s chin.
- Fold the left corner of the blanket over your baby’s right arm and tuck it under the back on her left side.
The end result is a perfect baby burrito, and with any luck you r little one will be calm and snoozing away in no time at all.