After being cozy in your womb for nine months, it’s no surprise that your newborn may have trouble sleeping soundly during the first weeks of her life. One way to help baby catch her zzzzz’s is to swaddle.
- To prevent baby from scratching herself.
- To keep her arms from flailing about—babies don’t have control of their muscles yet and involuntary jerking could wake her up.
- To recreate the familiar womb-like feeling.
Think of it as if you’re making a burrito.
- Lie out the swaddle blanket (on the bed, the floor, or any large surface). If it is a square, fold down the top corner about 6 inches.
- Place baby on her back with her neck resting on the fold and her arms down at her side.
- Fold one corner of the blanket across the baby and tuck it behind her arm and back.
- Fold up bottom corner, covering the baby’s feet, and tuck the corner under the cross fold.
- Take remaining corner and fold over the baby, tucking behind the back.
Make sure that each time you fold a piece of the blanket you snugly pull it across your baby so she can’t pull a Houdini and slip out of it!
Note: Make sure your baby doesn’t get too hot— keep the room at a comfortable temperature (between 65–70 degrees) to reduce the risk of SIDS.
What Kind of Blanket Should I Use?
There are literally hundreds of different blankets you can use; some are marketed for swaddling with a catchy name, while others add a feature or two like extra long tabs for tucking, Velcro for making sure your swaddle stays put, and/or extra pieces of fabric to keep baby’s arms from flailing around. You might find great success with one of these blankets, or you might find an ordinary blanket (or muslin wrap for the summer months) that just happens to be the perfect length and weight for wrapping up your little bundle.