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Swaddling your baby will make him/her feel like their surroundings are familiar because of it being so similar to the way he/she was held in your womb. It will calm your baby for sleep, and it also lowers the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

We do not advise that you swaddle your baby during breastfeeding, but rather keep your baby skin-to-skin. Swaddling is nowhere near as beneficial as skin to skin time and should only be done when the mother or partner is not holding the baby skin to skin. 

What is it and Where did it Originate?

Swaddle techniques were used by Ancient Egyptians, who wrapped their babies in long strips of cloth, a procedure taking as long as two hours. Infant swaddle was believed to develop proper posture.

Why Swaddle?

  • If your baby usually wakes himself with muscle spasms.
  • It will help to calm your baby just before he/she goes to bed. It may help your baby sleep longer stretches at a time. 
  • It may help reduce colic symptoms. 

When and how Long to Swaddle Baby?

  • You should only wrap your baby until he/she is a month old, continuing longer than this, can inhibit motor skill development.
  • Too hot to swaddle your baby? Do not wrap your baby, if the room is already warm enough this will just overheat him/her and increase the risk of SIDS.

Different Swaddles

  • You can swaddle your baby with his arms up and out of the swaddle blanket.
  • You can also swaddle your baby with his/her arms bent at the elbow so that only his/her hands are visible on top. 

How to Swaddle Your Baby

  • Place the blanket in front of you in a diamond shape and on a flat surface.
  • Fold the top corner of your blanket halfway down to the center of the blanket.
  • Put your baby in the middle, with his/her head above the edge of the blanket.
  • Pull the left corner of the blanket across your baby’s chest, keeping the left arm next to your baby's body. Wrap your baby snugly, not tightly, you don’t want to restrict his/her breathing! Allow for hip and knee movement.
  • Bring the bottom of the blanket at the feet, up towards the first fold and tuck it in.
  • Bring the right corner over. Tuck the blanket under your baby as far as it will go. Do not worry if your baby gets his/her arms free, some babies prefer to have their arms free.

Potential Negative Effects of Swaddling

  • Recent research suggests that there is a higher danger for hip displacement. The video below has a special swaddle blanket that allows for free movement of a baby's legs and hips. 
  • There is a bigger possibility of overheating your baby.
  • An increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, if a baby is placed on his/her stomach or if the baby is able to turn onto the stomach while swaddled.

Bath and Swaddle your Newborn

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