step by step images showing how to swaddle a baby

How to Swaddle a Baby

When you're a new parent, it can be hard to get your baby to sleep. Fortunately, swaddling is one of the best ways to make them sleep soundly. It also helps to keep them calm and comfortable, which will help them drift off to sleep easily and faster. Learn how to swaddle your little one and put your baby to sleep quickly!


When you’re swaddling your little baby at first, you might not know where to begin.  Plus, babies are wiggly little creatures. The younger they are, the more likely they are to be comforted by being swaddled since a tight space is familiar to them. As they grow older, they might prefer to have their hands out and eventually they grow out of a swaddle.There are a lot of techniques and swaddling methods out there along with different swaddling products like sleep sacks, miracle blanket, a wearable blanket, swaddle wrap but really all you need is a simple cotton blanket that have a tiny bit of stretch to it. The truth is: there is no one perfect way on how to swaddle a baby. It depends on the individual child and their needs at the time. 


But don't worry! We'll cover the basics for you here and share some tips that'll help you get your sweet little one wrapped up tight in no time. This is one of the easiest ways to get a good swaddle for your little one.

I'd like to emphasize that the technique I'm about to share is distinct from the commonly known triangle fold typically recommended for newborns. If you're interested in the traditional swaddling method for newborns, we have a step-by-step guide here: How to Swaddle a Newborn. This method is particularly effective for tiny babies who may not have the strength to escape a simple swaddle.

However, the swaddling technique I'm presenting here is a step beyond. It is especially beneficial for parents dealing with babies who easily break out of a standard swaddle. This method provides an enhanced level of security and is the next logical step in swaddling for those facing such challenges.

So, if you need a more secure swaddling method, read on!


Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to swaddle a baby:

Items needed: Pick a large swaddling blanket for babies aged newborn to 3 months. It needs to be big enough to wrap around the baby's body a few times. For this tutorial, I am using our Magnolia Tree muslin swaddle blanket sized at 47 x 47 inches.


Step 1: To start swaddling, lay your baby down on a large open blanket, making sure that the top of the blanket is aligned with the baby's neck and the baby is situated right in the middle. With this method, you do not fold the blanket diagonally into a triangle. You lay the blanket out flat in a square.

how to swaddle a baby

Step 2: Grab the top left of the blanket, bring it across the baby's body and tuck it underneath them, smoothing it out, making sure it contours to the baby's shoulder. 


Step 3: Continue tucking in the blanket alongside the baby's body by sliding your hand down until the left side of the blanket is completely under the baby.

how to swaddle

 Step 4: Position the baby's left arm down before pulling the right side of the blanket tight and bringing it across to your left side. PRO TIP: If your baby starts preferring to have one hand loose, you can tuck one side of the blanket under the arm and let the baby keep one of their hands free.


Step 5: Keep the swaddle snug fit, and start tucking it under the baby on the left side. Be sure it's not too tight. The baby should be able to move their arms a little bit inside the swaddle but not be able to break free from the wrap.


 Step 6: You can slightly lift the baby as you continue tucking the swaddle all the way behind. The swaddle does not need to be tight around the hips, the baby should have room to bend their legs. 


Step 7: At this point the baby should be swaddled but you will have a large amount of blanket left on the bottom. 

how to swaddle

Step 8: Don't leave those loose ends hanging, you will use them to wrap the baby one more time. Gather all the leftover fabric. 


Step 9: Get the bottom of the blanket and bring all that fabric up and over to the baby's chest.steps on how to swaddle a baby

Step 10: Fold in the extra fabric on the very top so that the blanket is not covering the baby's face.

PRO TIP: Once your baby gets older, leave more room on the bottom of the swaddle so the baby has room to kick their feet. You won’t have extra fabric to fold in on top when they get bigger.


Step 11: Take the right side of the fabric and tuck it behind the baby.

how to swaddle a newborn

 Step 12:  Then tuck the left side of the leftover blanket underneath the baby. PRO TIP: Smooth out the fabric with each swaddling step so there aren't too many uncomfortable wrinkles on the swaddle wrap.


Step 13: Tuck in any loose pieces of the corner of the blanket for aesthetic purposes to make it nice and pretty! You can see that the swaddle is loose around the hips, but the baby’s legs are bent, so there is no concern for hip dysplasia.

how to swaddle a baby

Step 14: All DONE! Admire your beautiful swaddled baby!


This seems like a lot of steps but I wanted to be very thorough. I also have a video of this exact method on our Instagram HERE


We used our Magnolia Tree Gray Swaddle for this tutorial because it is such a great neutral option. I think a muslin blanket is best for this technique but you can use a stretchy jersey blanket as well. Just make sure it is big enough.


With summer coming up, the muslin is a great option because it is lightweight, the natural cotton is moisture wicking. If you notice signs that your baby is too hot while sleeping, try using this blanket! Muslin keeps your baby snug without overheating them.


This swaddling technique is very practical but it also turns out very pretty! Plus, swaddling makes for the happiest baby because being swaddled reminds them of being cozy in the womb. And I love using this method to take some cute baby photos. Also, the bassinet that the baby is using in this tutorial is a Snuggle Me Organic Lounger.



Remember safely swaddle by having no loose blanket ends next to the babies face. Stop swaddling as your baby learn to roll over. You can also leave the arms out if they are close to rolling over, that way they can prop themselves up in case they do. We want to reduce any risk of SIDs so don't be afraid of restarting the swaddle if you feel like it is too loose. 

And that’s it! I hope you enjoyed our guide. Feel free to share this to your fellow mothers so many more babies can sleep quickly and longer through the old-school proven benefits of swaddling. I created a more simple graphic below that you can pin or save on your phone for a quick refresher on how to swaddle a baby. Happy Swaddling:)


how to swaddle a baby steps
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