To swaddle a baby is to wrap the baby in a blanket that will restrict the movement. The key is restricting the movement of the baby. By limiting the baby’s movement, the baby will be less startle when it sleeps and have uncontrolled reflex movement. A startle baby will naturally wake up in response to the non-comfortable situation. The restricted movement will help keep babies sleeping in the supine (baby’s back on bed, facing up) position. This has shown to reduce the occurrence of SIDS. Lastly, the restraint in movement brings comfort to babies as it reminds them of their time in the mom’s womb where movement was restrictive.
To begin swaddling you will need the proper equipment. Please see the Top 5 swaddling blanket list for the best swaddle blanket that fits your baby and you. Once equipped, you will need to lay the blanket down a flat surface unobstructed by other items the baby can grab and potential fall on top of your baby.
Lay down the swaddling blanket in a diamond shape. Fold the top tip of the swaddle blanket down. Then length of the fold should result in a fold crease that is longer than your baby’s shoulders. You do not want the edges to rough up your baby. Additionally, the edge makes it easier for babies to loosen themselves out of the swaddle. Place your baby on top of the swaddle blanket with the shoulders slightly below the folded crease. Hold the right arm steady, but keep the arm bent in its natural and comfortable position. You can hold the arm to the side or on top of the chest. Try each position one at a time and see which position your baby prefers. With one hand holding the left arm, bring the left portion of the swaddle blanket over the arm and body of the baby.
Next, hold the two feet down, but keep them in a natural bent position. In this way, the baby’s kicking won’t hinder your from swaddling the him or her. Pull the bottom portion of the swaddle blanket up and over the shoulder. To get snug fit, tuck the swaddle blanket over the back shoulder and in-between the bottom portion of swaddle blanket.
Then, with one hand hold the left arm in a natural, comfortable position. With the other hand, pull the left portion of the swaddle blanket over the arm and body of the baby. Pull the left portion over until you get the right tightness to for your baby.
Viola, after these steps your baby should be completely swaddle and ready for longer naps, less crying, and feeling more comfortable.