How to swaddle baby to keep them warm and cosy
Swaddling your baby can make your little one feel comfortable and nicely-positioned. Read on as we guide you through the process of swaddling your baby!
Within your womb your baby lies cradled, snug and warm for a period of up to nine months. Post-delivery, your tiny son or daughter misses this secure feeling. Experts advise swaddling your baby for the first few months post-delivery to help them feel safe and warm. Swaddling helps babies counter their ‘Startle Reflex’ and keeps them warm, calm and cosy until their body is able to regulate temperature better. Read on to understand how to swaddle a baby and how significant it is to their growth and development.
How to swaddle a newborn
Once you have delivered your baby, the hospital’s nursing staff will immediately bundle them up in swaddling clothes. You can practice the same swaddling techniques at home. Experts recommend swaddling your baby throughout the day until they are a month old. When they are older, you can swaddle them only when they are sleeping as it will help them sleep better. It is vital that parents learn the art of swaddling correctly because improper swaddling can be uncomfortable, and sometimes painful, for your baby.
Effective swaddling techniques
Swaddling is a technique that you may not be able to pick right away. Sometimes your baby may create a fuss or be unwilling to let you tuck them in but, as is the case with most babies, they generally find peace once swaddled. There are several swaddling techniques that you may try with your newborn.
The diamond swaddle
These steps below will demonstrate how to swaddle a newborn using the diamond swaddle
- Place a swaddling blanket or swaddling cloth in the shape of a diamond on a flat surface like a bed and fold down the top corner to get a straight edge
- Now place your baby on the swaddling cloth at shoulder level
- Gently bring down your baby’s left arm and the corner of the swaddling cloth that is on the left; it should be pulled over and brought to the right end covering your baby’s chest and left arm. Tuck this bit under their back on the right side.
- Now bring your baby’s right arm down and repeat the same step on the left.
- For the bottom end of the swaddling blanket, fold and tuck it loosely behind your baby, ensuring that they are able to spread and bend their legs and move their hips.
The square swaddle or quick swaddle
- Lay the swaddling cloth or blanket on a flat surface in a square shape and fold the top right corner down for your baby’s head (4 to 6 inches)
- Lay your baby down on the swaddling cloth on his or her back; your baby’s neck must lie on the top of the fold. Your little one will lie diagonally across the swaddling blanket
- Now you need to pull the right side and tuck it under your baby
- Next, follow the same step with the left side.
- Tuck the bottom of the swaddling cloth behind your baby and you are done!
The sleep sack swaddle
The third swaddling technique is the sleep sack swaddle. For this, you will need to purchase a sleep sack. This method is quick and easy and you don’t go through the exercise of wrapping your baby up as with the previous two methods:
- Place your baby in a special sleep sack that looks like a onesie
- Next, zip up the sleep sack
- Wrap your baby and secure the Velcro
What are the benefits of swaddling a baby?
Mothers all across the world have been swaddling their babies from as early as 4000 B.C. Here’s why you should continue in this long tradition.
- Swaddling eases your baby’s transition from your womb to the world that he or she is going to be a part of. Swaddling can help babies develop their tactile system which will make them comfortable to touch.
- Swaddling gives your baby peaceful sleep and plenty of opportunities to grow. It also helps in moderating the effects of Moro Reflex by letting them sleep undisturbed for longer periods of time.
- Swaddling babies alleviates the discomfort that arises from colic. Colic is a huge challenge for both parents and infants and swaddling can help provide relief to babies from extreme pain.
When to stop swaddling your baby?
Babies have their own unique way of letting you know they are keen on not being swaddled anymore. They will start fussing or finding a way to free themselves from the swaddle. In some cases, they may cry every time you put them in a swaddle. This should signal you to stop swaddling your baby. In most cases, babies will reach this stage anywhere between 3 to 6 months. If need be, you may now graduate to a sleeping bag or sack but that is a matter of personal preference.
Swaddling gives your baby that snug, warm and cosy feeling that they need in the first few months post birth. Babies are relaxed when they are swaddled, and it helps them develop a feeling of trust and safety. For any queries regarding your baby’s growth and development, feel free to consult the city’s top paediatricians at mfine.