How To Swaddle With 3 Techniques
The majority of babies love to be swaddled, as it helps to replicate a strong sense of security that was felt within the womb. In order to perfect the swaddle, it needs to be wrapped snug and safe, keeping little one warm, but ensuring there is space for some movement and air to flow through. When swaddling a baby you should leave just enough room to slide your hand in between the material and baby’s chest - you can do this test to make sure they are not wrapped too tightly.
Studies and experience have shown that swaddling improves the quality of newborn sleep as they feel far more relaxed. Although it is a proven way to help most babies to sleep better, please be advised that all little ones are different and some may not like being swaddled - but trust your parenting intuitive and everything will be fine.
As little ones develop and grow during the first few weeks and months, different types of swaddling can be used depending on their needs. We look at three of the most popular swaddling techniques and how you can simply follow the steps for a better night’s sleep.
Hands Up Swaddle
For very young babies (the first couple of weeks) it’s best to go for a swaddle that keeps baby’s arms and legs in their natural position and doesn’t forcefully stretch them out before they are ready. The Hands Up Swaddle, keeps babies hands near to their face and their legs in a frog position until they are ready to naturally start stretching out, which is when you can move onto a different swaddling position.
1) Place your muslin on a flat surface, and make sure that is it big enough to cover the whole of your baby.
2) Take one corner and fold down approximately the length of your baby’s body from neck to bum. You will end up with almost a triangle shape.
3) Tuck baby’s left hand underneath the fold that you have made, and then wrap that side across their body and tuck underneath them.
4) Fold up the bottom on the muslin and tuck just the tip of the corner into the top of the swaddle. Make sure there is enough room at the bottom for their legs to move about and also be in a frog position.
5) Then tuck baby’s right hand underneath the fold (ensuring hands are next to their face) and fold the right-hand side across baby’s body. You will see a ‘V’ shape underneath their chin.
6) Finally, wrap the right side all the way underneath, tucking the end of the corner into the front of the swaddle.
If they weren’t yummy enough with those chunky thighs and chubby cheeks, now you can turn your little one into a little burrito. The Burrito Wrap works perfectly for large square or rectangular blankets and is often one of the easier types of swaddling to master.
1) Place the blanket on a flat surface and ensure that it is large enough to cover the baby’s body, we suggest a size of approx. 110 x 110cm
2) Fold one corner down about 10cm, giving you a diamond shape or slightly skewed diamond with a rectangle blanket.
3) Place baby on their back with the top line of the diamond just above their neck.
4) Tuck your baby’s hands underneath the fold of the muslin swaddle, so that they are naturally by their shoulders or face. Alternatively, you can leave baby’s arms out and tuck underneath their armpits instead (this is great for older babies).
5) Take the right side of the muslin across little one’s body and tuck underneath them on the left side of their body.
6) Fold the bottom tail of the blanket up towards baby’s head, and securely tuck into the top right side fold.
7) Finally, take the left side and wrap it across baby’s body, and tuck underneath them on the right-hand side. You know have your own baby burrito!
Once baby is a little bigger and started to develop their motor skills, you can move onto a simpler swaddle, which is designed to keep their hands neatly tucked away. Once their motor skills are working, they will experience flailing limbs (much like adults do when we sleep) which means they can wake themselves up with arm and leg movements. This Simple Swaddle is quick and easy to do, and will keep them secure.
1) Using a large square shaped muslin, place flat and fold one corner approximately a hand length downwards.
2) Place baby on top of the muslin with the top of the fold just above their neckline. Put little one’s left arm down by their side and take the left side of the muslin across their body and tuck underneath.
3) Repeat the same process on the right-hand side of baby.
4) Fold the bottom of the muslin upwards and either tuck in the top or tuck each side underneath baby.
Let us know in the comments below your favourite kind of swaddle & how it helps your baby to sleep better!
Download your free sleep guide
Expert sleep advice from pregnancy to parenthood to help the whole family get a better night's sleep. Just enter your email address, click the below button and your download link will appear.