Tips on how to swaddle a newborn baby step by step
How to Swaddle a Newborn
Taking care of a newborn baby is surely a daunting task. It is one of those periods of your motherhood life that you will experience a lot of hardship and stress. Having sleepless nights is not uncommon for mothers that are taking care of a newborn baby. Almost every minute, the baby will need something which the mother will have to provide. It could range from an itchy insect bite to a hungry stomach. Since babies can’t talk yet, they express themselves by crying. Once they start crying, it is time for the mother to determine the reason why they are crying. However, there are also times that a baby will cry for no reason at all. This is a tricky part for most mothers.
If your baby is feeling uncomfortable and wants some warm environment where they can relax or sleep, swaddling is a good option. Swaddling will give them a warm and comfortable place to relax. This is an age-old tradition for making the baby feel better. If your baby doesn’t stop and crying, the cold weather might be the reason. Swaddling is a way of mimicking the condition of the womb. It is very easy to do, and all you need is a blanket.
How to swaddle your newborn
Like what we’ve just said, swaddling a baby is not a hard task. It is also highly effective in making your baby happy and comfortable. However, there are still a couple of things that you have to remember when preparing the blanket for your baby’s swaddling. Of course, a mother’s hug can also be enough. But, if the mother is too busy, swaddling is a nice alternative. Here are the steps to successfully swaddling your baby.
1. Get the right blanket
The blanket which you will be using when swaddling the baby plays an important role. Don’t use a thick blanket to avoid overheating the baby. You should pick a thin blanket that will provide enough ventilation for your baby. The blanket should be quite stretchy, too, so that you can do the swaddle easily. If you have a blanket that specifically designed for swaddling, that is much better. After getting the right blanket for your baby, it is time to lay it down on a dry and flat surface.
Lay down the blanket on the flat surface in a diamond position. Then, fold the top corner down. The fold should be about the same height as the baby. From the baby’s shoulder to its foot.
2. Place the baby on top of the blanket
After that, you can now place the baby on top of the blanket. The neck of your baby should be on the fold of the blanket. Their head should overlap above the blanket while the top of the fold is on the neck area. Calm your baby down if it is crying and put their arms on the sides. Do it gently and hold them in place.
If you find it hard to put their hands on the sides, you can bend them towards their chest or tummy instead. This position is almost identical when they are still in the womb. It will make them more comfortable. However, this is harder to secure or swaddle tightly.
3. Start wrapping
You can start wrapping on the right side of the baby. Pull one corner of the blanket across the body then tuck it under the baby’s left arm. You should also roll the baby gently to the left so that you can tuck the corner of the blanket nicely. The tightness of the wrap should be just enough to let the baby bend his hips up and outwards.
Now that you have folded the right side of the blanket, you can then fold the bottom part upwards. Pull it towards the center of the shoulder. You can then tuck it behind the left shoulder of the baby. It is important to leave enough room for the baby’s feet to move while inside the swaddle.
4. The left side of the swaddle
Proceed to the left side of the baby. Fold it across the baby’s body, the same as what you did with the right side. Then, you also have to position the right arm of the baby nicely. Either you put it on the sides or bend it towards their chest or tummy. The left and the right corners should form a V-neck swaddle. However, don’t tuck this side of the blanket yet. Just hold this side using your left hand over the baby’s chest.
5. Final step
Now, you should notice the loss right corner of the blanket. This is somewhere near the baby’s right feet. You have to flip this corner over the baby’s right shoulder. You can now tuck this corner into the back of the swaddle. Avoid making this final tuck too tight for the baby. The airway to the inside of the swaddle should not be blocked to avoid overheating.
Swaddling techniques and safety tips
Although swaddling is entirely safe, major mistakes can put your baby to harm. It is important to know some of the swaddling techniques so that you would be aware of the hazards and keep your baby safe. Keep reading below so that you will know some of the safety tips. We have listed a couple of tips and techniques which would be highly useful. Once you are already aware of the safety tips and techniques, you can swaddle your baby confidently.
1. Inform yourself about SIDS
SIDS is an abbreviation for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It is the sudden death of an infant with no single explanation. This is a highly shocking and disheartening event. It is also scary and worrying for mothers that are currently taking care of a baby. Now, SIDS is associated with some people with swaddling. After all, it eventually found out that the cause of SIDS is suffocation. Well, there is no need to fear to swaddle your baby. As long as you can perform the right way of swaddling, there is no harm at all. Swaddling is highly beneficial and safe for your baby.
2. Avoid making the swaddle too tight
Although this is very obvious, it is still worth pointing out. You should make a very tight swaddle. A tight swaddle does look neat and secure. However, it poses harm to your baby. You need to give them move their hips and feet a little. This is to avoid overheating and dysplasia. To avoid dysplasia, always make sure that your baby’s legs are bent up and out while inside the swaddle. Don’t position the legs too straight while swaddling.
Another important reason why you should not make the swaddle too tight is to avoid suffocation. Your baby will have trouble breathing or filling their lungs with air if the swaddle is too tight. Make the swaddle tight enough so that your baby can breathe properly. But no too loose that their arms can break free out of the swaddle. It would also help if you checked your baby from time to time.
3. Best time to swaddle
Of course, you can’t swaddle your baby forever. Although it is very cute to look at your baby while inside the swaddle, you have to stop doing it when they are about 2 or 4 months of age already. While swaddling your baby, you should make sure that they are always lying on their backs. If they show signs of rolling on their own, that is the time where you have to stop swaddling them altogether. This is because there is an increasing possibility of SIDS if your baby rolls while inside the swaddle. This could be due to overheating or even suffocation.
4. Don’t hold the pacifier by swaddling
Your baby will tend to spit their pacifier out. They then proceed to cry once they realize that they don’t have the pacifier anymore. Now, parents might get tempted to hold the pacifier on the baby’s mouth by swaddling. This is not a good idea. It will put the baby to a lot of harm. Once the pacifier secured into the mouth, your baby won’t be able to breathe through the mouth anymore. If they decided to breathe through there mouth, they would end up getting choked or suffocated.
5. Use a firm mattress and remove all excess the items inside the crib
Avoid using a very soft mattress inside the crib or in any area where you will let the baby sleep. A highly soft mattress can suffocate the baby. If you haven’t notice that your baby already can roll and you still swaddle them, this could be dangerous. Using a firm mattress will prevent your baby from suffocating if they ended up rolling while swaddled. Also, make sure to remove unnecessary items inside the crib.