Swaddling is an Age-Old Art
Swaddling has been done for thousands of years, since even before Mary wrapped Jesus in “swaddling clothes” and laid him in the manger.
Nothing is cuter than a little baby burrito with a contentedly sleeping baby. It’s a sight that leaves many mothers wondering, “How do they do that?”
Of course, there is a certain way of doing it to ensure that it is not too tight and still allows your baby to move. In addition, you only want to swaddle after all his/her other needs have been met.
Done properly, swaddling can soothe a baby when many other methods fail because it recreates the womb experience.
6 Simple Swaddling Steps
To address the above concerns, follow these six simple swaddling steps:
1) Use a large blanket or official swaddling blanket not a receiving blanket -- at least 40 x 40. Receiving blankets are too small. As your baby grows, you will need to increase the size of swaddling blankets you use.
2) Lay the blanket on a flat surface as a diamond, and fold down the top corner about 6 inches so you have a straight edge.
3) When you place your baby on the blanket on his back, that straight edge should be at shoulder level.
4) Bring your baby’s left arm down to his side so that the elbow is slightly bent and his hand is resting on his tummy, then pull the corner of the blanket closest to his left hand across his arms and chest. The swaddle should be snug but not tight. Tuck the leading edge of the blanket under his back on the right side.
5) Grasp the last corner of blanket about 5 inches away from baby’s neck, fold it over his chest until it meets your thumb at his neck creating a “V”.
6) Hold the V with your thumb, then grasp the remaining portion of blanket and fold it up and over the opposite shoulder, around and across the back of the shoulders and neck, and tuck the tip into the fold on the near shoulder.
Knit (wool) or fleece blankets should not be used for swaddling, as these materials are too thick and may cause your baby to overheat. Light cotton or flannel is fine, and any other material that breathes.