newborn baby girl being swaddled in a rose mauve stripe swaddling cloth

Newborn Swaddling 101: A Step-by-Step Guide

Introduction

Newborn swaddling is a popular technique for comforting and settling newborns. It involves wrapping the baby in a blanket or other fabric, such as a newborn swaddle wrap, in a specific way to help them feel secure and comforted. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of newborn swaddling, how to properly swaddle a newborn, and some tips for successful swaddling. We will also explore some alternatives to traditional newborn swaddling.

Benefits of Newborn Swaddling

Newborn swaddling can have many benefits for your little one. For one, it can help your new baby feel more secure and comforted, as the snug wrapping can mimic the feeling of being in the womb, cozy and warm. Newborn swaddling can also promote better sleep for newborns, as it can help them feel more settled and prevent them from startling awake due to their own movements. In addition, newborn swaddling has been shown to potentially reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by keeping the baby in a supine position (on their back).

How to Swaddle a Newborn

Swaddling a newborn is not difficult, but it is important to follow proper techniques to ensure the baby's comfort and safety. Here is a step-by-step guide to newborn swaddling:

  1. Choose a suitable blanket or newborn swaddle wrap. The blanket should be large enough to wrap around the baby's body, but not too large that it becomes cumbersome. A muslin or cotton blanket is a good choice, as it is soft and breathable.
  2. Lay the blanket out in a diamond shape and fold it into a triangle.
  3. Place the newborn in the middle of the blanket with their head above the top.
  4. Bring the left corner of the blanket over the baby's body and tuck it under the right side of their body.
  5. Bring the bottom corner of the blanket up and tuck it under the baby's chin.
  6. Bring the right corner of the blanket over the baby's body and tuck it under the left side of their body.

 

newborn baby boy being swaddled in a yellow geo muslin blanket

Tips for Successful Newborn Swaddling

While newborn swaddling can be a helpful technique for comforting and settling newborns, it is important to follow some tips to ensure the baby's comfort and safety. Here are some things to consider:

  • Make sure the newborn swaddle is not too tight. The baby should be able to move their hips and legs freely, as restricting movement can lead to hip dysplasia.

  • Leave some space for the newborn to move their hips and legs. This is important for proper hip development.

  • Avoid covering the newborn's face or head. The baby should be able to breathe easily while swaddled.

  • Remember a swaddle adds a layer of warmth. Avoid overheating by using a light and breathable swaddle.

Alternatives to Newborn Swaddling

While traditional newborn swaddling with a blanket can be effective, there are also other options available. Swaddle wraps or swaddle sacks are specifically designed for newborn swaddling and can be easier to use than a blanket. Sleep sacks or wearable blankets are another option, as they allow the newborn to move their arms and legs freely while still providing warmth and security.

 

Conclusion

Newborn swaddling can be a useful technique for comforting and settling newborns. It can help them feel secure and promote better sleep, and may also reduce the risk of SIDS. When looking for the best swaddle for a newborn, one of our favorite options is using a traditional muslin swaddle. Muslin is a soft and breathable fabric that is perfect for a newborn's delicate skin. And as the baby outgrows the need for newborn swaddling, the muslin blanket can still be used for other baby care such as covering the newborn while nursing or as a light blanket for warmer weather.

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