How to Swaddle a Baby

How to Swaddle a Baby


How to Swaddle a Newborn Baby

We all know what swaddling clothes are and why we need them. These are the best comfortable clothes for newborn babies. They have been in use for centuries. These clothes are also popular today. Many young mothers want to learn how to swaddle a baby. In this article, we’ll tell you about how to swaddle a baby, what ways of swaddling there are and whether it’s necessary to swaddle a baby.

Do You Need to Swaddle Your Baby?

Our grandmother and grand-grandmothers didn’t even wonder if they needed to swaddle their newborn babies. They couldn’t even imagine that it’s possible to do without it. Swaddling appeared lots of years ago, when there were only crawlers sold. Of course, they were meant for those babies who already learnt to crawl. Swaddling clothes served as an alternative for crawlers.

Nowadays, it’s possible to find an alternative almost for every kind of clothes. That’s why it’s up to you to decide whether to swaddle your baby or not. Below, you’ll see advantages and disadvantages of swaddling.

Benefits and Positive Impact of Swaddling

  • A newborn baby can’t yet control his/her movements. He/she moves spontaneously in a way. Consequently, a baby can get scared by the “jerks” he/she makes with hands and legs. That’s why there is a need for him/her to touch a kind of surface. Of course, the best “surface” he/she can touch is his/her mother. Still, a mother can’t be always near her baby. In this case, there is a need for swaddling clothes. A baby will be warm, comfortable and safe in them. These are the things a newborn baby needs the most.
  • A baby sleeps better in swaddling clothes. If he/she wears crawlers and baby camisoles, he/she may get tangled in them during the nighttime. Therefore, he/she will wake up more often during the night.
  • The most important benefit we need to point out is that you’ll save money. Swaddling clothes are cheaper than any other kind of baby clothes. Besides, you don’t need to buy them very often. As a rule, you buy them once in 4 months. As for other kinds of baby clothes, you buy them once in 3 weeks. The thing is that your baby will be growing very fast. Consequently, he/she will need new camisoles, tights and pants. It’s needles to say that you’ll spent lots of money on all these clothes.

Disadvantages of Swaddling and its Negative Impact

when should i stop swaddling my baby

  • If there is something wrong with the tonus of a baby’s muscles, he/she needs clothes that he/she will feel comfortable in (a special pajamas or baby nest). If you swaddle your baby, he/she maybe hot especially if it’s quite warm in the room he/she is. The reason for it is a disorder of temperature regulation. if it’s warm in a baby’s room and the weather is hot, you need to put loose clothes on your baby.
  • A baby may start to lag behind in terms of his/her development.
  • It’s useful for a newborn baby to sleep on his/her baby. The thing is that it’s not comfortable to sleep on it if a baby is swaddled. A baby will stretch his arms up and pull his/her legs to the belly.
  • One more disadvantage of swaddling clothes is that it’s uncomfortable to do simple exercises with your baby and cut off his/her nails.
  • When a father needs to put on some clothes on his baby, it’s easier for him to put camisoles and pants on his baby than to swaddle the baby properly.

Up Until What Age Should You Swaddle Your Baby?

When a baby was in the womb of his/her mother, the space around him/her was significantly different than the one he/she is in now. A baby needs some time to get accustomed to it. Some babies get accustomed to it within 1 week. At the same time, there are those who get accustomed to it within 6 months after the day of birth. As a rule, when a baby turns 1.5-3 months old, it’s enough to swaddle only his/her legs and leave hands free.

Of course there is no exact period of time defined as to when swaddling becomes unnecessary. Parents should pay attention to the way their baby falls asleep and the way he/she sleeps. If a baby can’t fall asleep without swaddling or he/she wakes up too often, it means that it’s too early to stop swaddling him/her.

How to Properly Swaddle a Newborn Baby

As a rule, nurses in a maternity hospital show young mothers how to swaddle a baby properly. Some future mothers learn to do it on dolls. However, you should remember that a baby won’t lie still while you’re swaddling him/her. Therefore, the main thing in the process is to do it as fast as possible so that a baby doesn’t have time to get free from the swaddling clothes. There are several ways to swaddle your baby.

Tight Swaddling

swaddle baby girl

This method of swaddling implies that you should wrap all body parts of a newborn baby in the swaddling clothes, including his/her arms. You need to use the method if your baby is hyperactive right from the very birth.

Let’s see how to swaddle your baby tightly in a right way:

  • Put a warm blanket on any hard surface. Put a thin chintz blanket on top of it;
  • You need to take a diaper;
  • Put a baby so that the upper part of the blanket is parallel to his/her neck. Put the diaper on your baby;
  • When swaddling your baby, check that his/her arms are lying freely. You shouldn’t try to put them along his body if a baby doesn’t keep them this way;
  • Pass one edge of the chintz blanket in between your baby’s legs. This way you’ll protect him/her from any callosities;
  • Pass one edge of the blanket along a baby’s arm and to his/her back;
  • Take both the blankets by their edges and put them to the back of your baby;
  • Cover your baby with the lower part of the blanket. You should cover all his/her body up until the chest. Fix the free edge.

Free Swaddling

when to stop swaddling baby

Free swaddling is considered to be a better way of swaddling that doesn’t restrict movements. By swaddling your baby in this way, you can calm a newborn baby down and help him/her fall asleep. The thing is that the pose when the hands of a baby are crisscrossed on his/her chest and the legs are pulled on to the chin is the pose that is very much like the pose he/she was in when in the womb of the mother. A baby knows the pose. Consequently, if he/she rolls himself/herself up in a ball when swaddled, he/she will feel more comfortable.

There are 2 types of free swaddling: you may either swaddle your baby so that his/her hands are left free or so that both the legs and the hands are free. A good alternative for a usual method of swaddling is a baby nest. It is comfortable and doesn’t restrict a baby’s movements.

Wide Swaddling

baby swaddling blankets

This method is used if there is something wrong with the muscle tonus and a baby has orthopedic problems. If you use this method of swaddling a baby is in a comfortable pose – his legs are bent and the hips are retracted. The most important benefit of this method is that it doesn’t prevent the normal formation of the pelvis joint, prevents hip dislocation or incomplete dislocation of a newborn’s hip. Wide swaddling may serve as a kind of light treatment measure in case of light dysplasia. The method is used from the very first days of a baby’s life and up until he/she turns 6 months old. Alternatively, you may use special panties or usual blankets.

Video: How to Swaddle a Baby Tutorial.

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