How and Why Swaddling Your Baby Works

Many moms-to-be think that swaddling a baby is something they’ll know how to do naturally, until they have to do it themselves. If you’re one of those moms searching for “instructions on swaddling a baby”, you’re not alone.

Swaddling Your Baby

Learning how to swaddle a baby is something every parent can learn. While you may not figure it out in one go, you’ll eventually get the hang of this timeless technique.

There are many reasons to learn the secret to swaddling your baby. The burrito-style wrapping method of swaddling your baby is something that has been used by parents for centuries. Swaddling has many benefits from helping your child sleep and soothing them to being an effective carrying method.

How to Swaddle a Baby

Though swaddling a baby seems relatively simple, it can be confusing to figure out on your own. Many parents actually learn how to swaddle a baby from an instructor in a parenting class prior to the birth of their child. While swaddling a baby can be difficult to figure out at first, once you get the hang of it, you and your baby will love this technique.

Once you’ve decided to learn the art of swaddling, you’ll find that there are multiple techniques for swaddling:

  • The diamond swaddle: This swaddle uses the traditional swaddling method. However, this method does take a bit more time to get the hang of.
  • Quick swaddle or square swaddle: The quick swaddle gets its name for how efficient it is, especially for swaddling newbies. With a few wraps to the side and under the baby, parents can tackle this swaddling technique quite quickly.
  • Sleep sack swaddle: Simple and easy, this swaddling technique requires a sleep sack with a zipper and velcro.

Each swaddling technique has its own benefits. The choice is of swaddling technique doesn’t matter, as long as you are swaddling your baby properly.

Instructions on Swaddling a Baby with the Diamond Method

Parents searching for instructions on swaddling a baby should go step by step and follow along with a blanket and their baby or a doll (if baby has yet to be born). Ready to learn tips for swaddling a baby, as well as how swaddling your baby will change your life?

The following are basic instructions and tips for swaddling a baby:

1. Lay the blanket down flat: The blanket should be around 40 x 40 inches, which is large enough to fully swaddle baby.

2. Fold the top corner down: Keeping the blanket in a diamond shape, fold the top corner down. The length of this fold should match the length of your baby.

3. Place your baby. Lay your baby down on the blanket. Their neck should be on top of the fold. Make sure their head is properly supported when swaddling a baby.

4. Move their arm into position: Your baby’s arm should be placed at their side when you make the next fold.

5. Wrap the baby: Start wrapping baby by pulling the corner that is closest to the arm from the previous step over baby’s body. Then, tuck this corner underneath their back. This blanket must be tucked in snugly to ensure that the baby’s arm is held in place.

6. Move your baby’s other arm toward their side: Repeat the previous steps on the other side with baby’s other arm.

7. Close the bottom of the swaddle: Pull up the blanket’s bottom corner toward baby’s shoulders. You will then tuck this corner behind the left shoulder. As you do this, leave enough room so that baby’s feet can move in the swaddle.

8. Finish swaddling your baby: Finish the swaddling process by pulling the blanket’s right corner over your baby. The right and left corners should make a V swaddle. As you hold the blanket in place, flip the corner, bring it past and over your baby’s feet.

You’ll finish the swaddle by pulling the right corner over the right shoulder, tucking it in the back of baby’s swaddle.

Best Practices When Swaddling

Swaddling a baby is a very effective method, when done correctly. First-time swaddlers are often afraid that they aren’t following the tips for swaddling a baby properly.

If you’re just learning how to swaddle a baby, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Always keep baby safely on their back.
  • Never swaddle baby with a pacifier in their mouth.
  • Don’t swaddle too tightly.
  • Understand what SIDS is and how to prevent it.
  • Use a lightweight blanket.
  • Make sure baby’s hips are loose.

Once you get the hang of swaddling a baby, you’ll see why so many parents have fallen in love with this practice. As you get more comfortable with swaddling, you may want to explore various techniques for swaddling a baby, as well as different types of swaddles. Just as every baby is different, each baby responds uniquely to certain techniques.

The Popularity of Swaddling

Swaddling is definitely experiencing a bit of a revival. Though modern mothers everywhere are searching for “tips for swaddling a baby” since swaddling became popular again, it is a method that has been used for thousands of years. So much so that the earliest paintings in art history depict swaddled babies wrapped tightly, being held in their mother’s arms.

Despite the popularity of swaddling, some people question how safe it is. With the right tips for swaddling a baby and clear instruction from a professional, you too will be able to reap the benefits of swaddling.

The Benefits of Swaddling

The fact that today’s mothers are still swaddling their babies speaks to how effective it is. Once you learn how to swaddle, the benefits of swaddling a baby are wonderfully obvious.

Need a little more convincing to start swaddling your baby? The following are the best reasons every parent should learn how to swaddle a baby:

  • Improve baby’s quality of sleep. According to certain studies, swaddling a baby will increase their amount of REM. This allows for a deeper state of sleep and helps the baby to sleep soundly for a longer period of time.
  • Soothe your crying baby. While some babies cry very little, parents with babies that can’t get enough of their own voice often search desperately for any tips to help stop the crying. The soothing feeling that comes from swaddling a baby is the primary reason parents learn how to swaddle a baby.

Why Swaddling a Baby Works

Swaddling a baby is incredibly comforting to baby because it reminds them of that same snug feeling that they experience when they were developing in their mother’s womb. This comforting closeness creates this sense of safety that the womb used to provide for them. Prior to being born, baby’s moves were more restricted as they were completely surrounded by the womb.

When parents start swaddling their baby, they are allowing baby to feel that same sort of tightness that was felt in the months and weeks leading up to their birth. Essentially, swaddling a baby feels like a giant hug. This closeness is incredibly comforting and works wonders when keeping a child calm.

When to Stop Swaddling Your Baby

Parents that have fallen in love after learning all of the methods for swaddling often are taken by surprise when swaddling stops working. Swaddling is an effective technique up until the point that your baby outgrows it. Just as parents can clearly see their baby warm up to swaddling, at some point, they will be able to tell when the swaddling is no longer pleasing to their baby.

As babies get older, they will start to reject swaddling. Babies between six – nine months usually start to squirm uncomfortably if parents attempt to swaddle them. That being said, the average age most babies stop being swaddled is around three or four months old.

If you’ve yet to experience the effects of swaddling, use this guide to help you get started. Once you start using this method for swaddling a baby, you’ll see why this method is so beloved by mothers everywhere.