Do you want to learn how to easily swaddle your baby without them getting out? This step-by-step tutorial (with video) will show you a simple swaddling hack to keep your infant wrapped perfectly!
There is nothing more peaceful than a sleeping newborn wrapped perfectly in their light swaddling blanket. They look like the perfect little present! Unfortunately, swaddling a baby is possibly the #1 thing that flusters and frustrates new parents more than anything else. But it doesn’t have to be hard! I want to show you my favorite way (as a former nursery nurse) to swaddle a baby. Not only is it the easiest way to swaddle, it is the only way to swaddle a baby (that I know of) without your baby getting out! Are you ready to learn how to swaddle your baby like a pro?!
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Why is it important to Swaddle Newborn Babies?
Simply put, for babies swaddling mimics the comfort and compactness of still being inside their mother’s womb. This is why swaddled babies sleep better and longer than non-swaddled babies. Swaddling really helps to calm your baby. To really understand exactly how swaddling works it is important to understand the moro reflex in newborns.
What is a newborn’s moro reflex?
The moro reflex is more commonly known as the newborn’s startle reflex. It develops around 29-30 weeks gestation and usually goes away between 3-6 months of age. It happens when a baby no longer feels support so they startle-spreading their arms out wide and then pull them back in and it is usually accompanied with crying too. If you are interested in more info. about the moro reflex this link is very good. By swaddling, you eliminate that feeling of not being supported. I was always told (by the more experienced nurses I worked with) that the feeling of the moro reflex is very similar to falling. Just like when we fall we spread our arms out to catch ourselves, well newborns do the same thing.
When Should I Stop Swaddling my Infant?
I feel like I should just touch on this briefly since we are talking about swaddling, after all. The recommended age to stop swaddling your baby is around 2 months of age. The reason they say 2 months is because that is when babies begin to move around more and the blanket can present a suffocation risk. At this point, it is best to switch to a sleep sack at night, so your little one can move around freely. With that being said my 5 month old still enjoys being swaddled, specifically when he wants to take a nap. It is really calming for him and helps him to fall asleep almost right away. But I want to stress that I only swaddle him during the day when I can keep an eye on him. As soon as he wakes up I take him out of his swaddling blanket and he is free to roll around again. I also want to stress that when swaddled (or anytime really) always, always, always put baby down to sleep on their backs!!
The Best Swaddling Blankets to Swaddle Your Baby In
The easiest blankets to swaddle with are made from muslin. It is very lightweight and stretchy. Muslin is also a very breathable fabric, which is important to prevent overheating. Naturally I recommend using organic swaddling blankets. Depending on the brand, organic muslin swaddling blankets come in a wide range of prices but these ones are my favorite! They are affordable, nice quality and come in really nice patterns. If you want other swaddling blanket options I have some more recommendations in my post about the best organic winter baby products!
*Bonus tip: muslin swaddling blankets also make great nursing covers for nursing mamas and then pretty scarves when your baby is grown!
Simple Step-By-Step Tutorial For Swaddling with A Swaddling Blanket
If your newborn breaks out of their swaddle easily or if you are looking for a way to keep your baby’s arms inside their swaddle, this swaddling tutorial is for you. This is also the absolute easiest way to swaddle a baby…ever! There is no way for babies to get out of this swaddle because their weight holds the blanket in place under them. This is also a really great way to swaddle because it helps to keep your baby’s legs in the proper position. Thus preventing hip dysplasia.
The Best Swaddling Hack…Ever!
Here it is! But before we get started I just want to point out that my little model here is 5 months old and obviously a lot bigger than your average newborn…so adjust your blanket and swaddling accordingly!
- Lay the blanket out flat, with the long sides on the top and bottom. Place your baby with their head above the edge of the blanket and centered between the left and right sides. Just a quick note: all swaddling blankets come in different sizes and for that matter so do babies 🙂 . If your blanket is too big for your baby you may want to fold it down a little bit at the top just so that it doesn’t cover your little one’s face when you bring the bottom up in step 4!
- Starting with the right top corner bring it down on a diagonal and tuck it tightly behind baby’s back. Make sure to keep baby’s arm inside of the blanket.
- Now do the same with the left corner also making sure to tuck it tightly under infant’s back.
- The next step is to bring the whole bottom up! The bottom should come up no higher then chest level. If it does you can either go back to the beginning and readjust how much to fold the top down. Or you can just fold the blanket down at this point to have it hit at chest level.
- Now it is time to take the flap on the right side and tuck it tightly behind your infant.
- And finally do the same with the left side tucking it tightly behind your baby as well. And that is it! As you can see there is no way for baby to get out of this swaddle at all!
Swaddling Newborn Video Tutorial
Just in case it is easier to see this swaddling hack in video form here is the video tutorial!
This swaddling hack is so simple and should keep your newborn wrapped up tightly with no way to break out! This should give you a calm and comforted infant who sleeps peacefully for you (even if it is for just a couple hours 😉 )
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