How to Swaddle your Baby

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Mar 04, 2014
Quick Bites

  • Swaddling makes the baby sleep longer.
  • It prevents the baby from being fussy and irritable.
  • Swaddling prevents movement, preventing scratches.
  • It is important to know the amount of time that a baby should be swaddled.

When babies come out of the mother’s womb, they are reassurance that they are safe and secure and one of the best ways to pin this assurance is by swaddling him/her. Swaddling is an ancient practice of snuggly wrapping of a baby. This practice has been said to stop a baby from being disturbed by his/her own reflexes that the body makes when they are sleeping. The best part about swaddling is that it also acts like a blanket. Before you go ahead with swaddling your baby, make sure that he/she is not hungry or wet.

Swaddling steps

Steps to Swaddle your Baby

1.    Lay a square blanket on the bed or on a flat surface. Now, fold one corner of the blanket down to about the length of your hand. Bring the baby and make it lie diagonally in such fashion that the fold is above his/her neck. It is important for new mothers to know that swaddling confines a baby’s motor development and therefore, it is best to avoid full-body swaddle once the baby is 60 days old. After this duration, the hands may be allowed to go unrestricted.
2.    Take the right side of the blanket and pull it across the baby’s body. Now tuck the blanket under the baby’s left side.
3.    Pull the left side of the blanket across the body of the baby and tuck it under the baby’s right side.
4.    Lift the baby and tuck the left over tail of the blanket under the baby’s back as well as legs.

Benefits of Swaddling

Benefits of Swaddling

1.    Helps the baby to sleep longer: because babies are used to snuggle tightly in the womb, they love to be wrapped tightly in the blanket once they are born.
2.    Prevents scratches: a newborn baby’s nails are sharp and they grow much faster than that of a fully grown baby. With repeated, jerky movements during sleep, a baby tends to scratch his/her face. So when you wrap the baby and inhibit his/her hand movements, there is almost negligible number of scratches.
3.    Soothes the baby: one of the common reasons why babies cry after they are born is because their body takes time to adjust to fluctuating climatic conditions. It is much colder/warmer outside of the mother’s womb. Besides, the startle reflexes that a baby experiences while he/she is sleeping can be uber discomforting and swaddling helps to control this.

It is important to keep in the mind the amount of time that your baby is swaddled because he/she is still in infancy and at the crust of development. Swaddling always and even after a few weeks of being born may deter growth.


Image courtesy: Getty Images

Read more articles on Newborn Care.

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