Swaddling baby brings so much comfort to your bundle of joy. Learning how to swaddle your newborn baby will serve both of you well when it’s time for soothing, whether or not it’s bedtime.
To swaddle, spread out a blanket and fold down one corner. Place your baby's head above the fold. Wrap one side of the blanket over the body, arms inside. Tuck it underneath. Now fold up from the bottom. Make sure your baby's legs can bend and that the blanket isn't wrapped too tight. Finally, wrap the other side of the blanket across the body. Tuck it under. You're done!
Always lay your bundled baby down on her back. Stop swaddling around two months, just before baby can roll over. Meanwhile, enjoy the extra calm that swaddling can bring.
THE BENEFITS OF SWADDLING
For as long as there have been mothers and babies—and baby blankies—there has been swaddling. The oft-repeated benefit of swaddling is that it reminds baby of the comfort and safety of being in the womb. This is true, and that’s thanks to these swaddling benefits:i
- Being securely contained helps baby adjust to life outside of their mothe
- Baby’s wriggling arms and legs are kept in place, which prevents the startle reflex
- The warmth of a swaddle keeps baby cozy until they can regulate their own temperature
The added security of being swaddled may encourage baby to sleep longer and cry less. What’s not to love about this tried and true wrap?
HOW TO SWADDLE A NEWBORN BABY
Swaddling may seem daunting at first—especially if your newborn is particularly wriggly—but with patience and practice you’ll know how to swaddle your newborn baby quickly, even in your sleepiest state. Here’s a step-by-step how-to for learning how to swaddle your newborn baby:ii
- Spread out baby’s blanket with the corners pointing north and south, east and west.
- Fold the top corner down about six inches.
- Place baby face up on the blanket, head above the corner’s fold.
- Wrap one of the east-west corners over baby, keeping the arms inside and at baby’s sides; tuck the corner snugly around the other arm and under baby.
- Fold up the bottom corner; make sure it’s not too tight and baby can move and bend their legs.
- Wrap the remaining corner over and under baby.
And don’t forget to always place a swaddled baby on their back!
While you’re waiting for baby to arrive, you may want to practice, but you’ll likely find that you’ll get the hang of how to swaddle your baby quickly, wrapping your little one into a perfectly snuggly bundle of joy at a moment’s notice.
WHEN TO STOP SWADDLING
When baby starts to become more active—like trying to roll over or managing to roll over onto their tummy—it’s time to stop swaddling.iii Continuing to swaddle at this developmental stage may set back the development of baby’s motor skills.
First-time moms shouldn’t feel overwhelmed by the number of new things they may have to learn in order to care for their forthcoming little one. Enfamil A+ has a library of helpful articles and how-tos for new moms, including tips for decorating the nursery, how to build your pregnancy wardrobe, and, of course, important information about feeding your baby.