How to Swaddle a Baby

on March 05, 2021
newborn baby in the delivery room the first hours of life swaddling - Roll Up Baby

Swaddling is an ancient technique for wrapping newborn babies in a cloth or thin blanket. Newborns are swaddled for a reason: swaddling is believed to promote comfort, warmth, and better sleep.

At Roll Up Baby, we believe that every baby deserves to be swaddled correctly. In this guide, we are going to cover:

  • Whether it is safe to swaddle a baby
  • How to swaddle a baby step-by-step
  • How to swaddle a preemie baby
  • How long should you swaddle a baby to sleep
  • How to select the right swaddle blanket

Is It Safe to Swaddle a Baby?

A cute Asian baby being swaddled - Roll Up Baby

Swaddling is recommended for babies, as it promotes deeper sleep and reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

However, it is important that swaddling be practiced correctly:

  • Always put your baby to sleep on her back and tuck the bottom of the blanket underneath the baby.
  • Swaddle snuggly, but not too snuggly.
  • Keep the room at a comfortable temperature and do not over-bundle your baby in extra layers.
  • Swaddle both for naps and night sleeps.

Step by Step Guide to How to Swaddle a Baby

How to swaddle a baby instructions manual - Roll Up Baby

Learning how to tightly swaddle a baby may seem tricky, but, with sufficient practice and high-quality swaddle blankets from Roll Up Baby, you can be confident to master the art of swaddling quickly.

Here is how to swaddle a baby step-by-step:

  1. Position the blanket. Start by spreading the blanket out on a flat surface in a diamond shape. Fold one of the corners down at about the length of your hand. Lay the baby on the blanket so that their neck and head are above the fold.
  2. Tuck the left side. Position the left side of the blanket across the baby’s body, while keeping your right arm slightly bent underneath it. Then, tuck the blanket under the baby on the left side. Make sure not to keep the blanket too tight around the lower body area.
  3. Fold the bottom. Take the bottom tail of the blanket and fold it up toward the baby’s head and tuck the tail under the top-right edge. Make sure that the baby’s face is not covered.
  4. Wrap the right side. Take the right side of the blanket and wrap it around your baby’s body, then tuck the loose end into the top fold under the baby’s chin.
  5. Let your baby sleep. Finally, let your baby sleep snuggly. Make sure that the swaddle blanket isn’t wrapped too tightly, so the baby doesn’t feel squeezed.

How to Swaddle a Preemie Baby

To swaddle a premature baby, you can follow the steps described above. The only difference is that preemie babies should be swaddled with their arms on their chest, not by their sides.

In addition, preemies are overstimulated easily, so it is a good idea to swaddle them for most of the day, and not just for sleeping. Once the infant reaches their due day, you can reduce the frequency of swaddling.

How Long Should You Swaddle a Baby

According to the AAP, parents should stop swaddling their babies at around 3 or 4 months, as soon as they start trying to roll over. This is because swaddling limits movement, which could hinder the development of important motor functions.

Once your baby outgrows the swaddle blanket, you can keep them warm and comfortable with a sleeping sack.

Buying Guide to Select the Right Swaddle

In-The-Wild-Swaddle-Set-for-Blog - Roll Up Baby

When choosing the right swaddle for your baby, pay attention to the material it is made of.

At Roll Up Baby, we always recommend going for muslin swaddle blankets, as muslins present one of the simplest, purest, and most gentle fabrics you can find. The lightweight and open weave muslin fabric ensures great airflow and reduces the chances of the baby overheating.

The breathability of muslin blankets keeps your baby safe and comfortable and gives you complete peace of mind. Moreover, muslin fabrics are incredibly durable and get softer after every wash.

Browse through the selection of muslin swaddle blankets from Roll Up Baby.