Every parent needs to know how to swaddle their baby. It's an essential skill to have if you want your baby to get sound, restful sleep. It's also important for your family's sanity. When your baby is in the womb, she feels safe and secure because that's all she knows, so you want to simulate that environment for her by wrapping her tightly before she falls asleep. A good swaddle will also prevent her from startling herself awake at night. Here's how to swaddle your baby.
1. Lay a receiving blanket on a sturdy, flat surface.
Position the blanket like a diamond with one of its points facing you. Fold the top corner down toward the center. Lay your baby on her back in the center of the blanket with her neck on the fold so her head will peek out of the swaddle. (NEVER cover a baby’s face.)
2. Fold one side.
Put your baby’s right arm down her side. Pull the left side of the blanket (your left) over your baby’s body. Tuck this side under her left arm. You might have to roll her a bit to fit the blanket beneath her. Be sure to mind the head and neck. Tuck it good and tight – babies want to be tighter than you would think, but make sure she can bend her hips a bit. If her arms are pinned tightly to the sides, that little bit of room will give her leverage to pull the swaddle apart.
3. Fold the bottom.
Place your baby’s left arm down to her side and the bottom corner of the blanket (the one nearest you) up and over her left shoulder. Tuck any extra material around her left arm and back. Again, keep everything secure and tight but don’t cramp her inside. You don’t want her toes, feet, or knees bent uncomfortably. Her legs should be lying flat.
4. Fold the final side.
Pull the final corner across her body nice and taut. Roll her just a bit (always mind the head and neck!) so you can tuck the remaining material behind her back. At this point, your little one should be relaxed and calm. After months of swaddling, she will start to yawn as soon as you tuck the first side.
"My baby keeps breaking free! What do I do?"
If your baby is often breaking out of her swaddle, she may be at the age where it’s starting to feel confining. Try leaving one arm exposed when you put her to sleep. She won’t be able to use a single arm to break out of the rest of the swaddle, but she might prefer the freedom. If she breaks out but needs the swaddle to sleep, pick up a specially designed swaddle with a zipper so she can’t undo it.
Guest Blog by Laura Gravett, Inventor of PunkinWrap
Laura, a mom of two, is the inventor of PunkinWrap, a multi-use car seat cover and baby wrap. PunkinWrap is the only wrap purposely designed to multi-task as a blanket, car seat cover, sunshade, changing pad, tummy time mat, and nursing cover. The 7-in-one baby solution can be placed over baby while nursing, over the car seat, or over the stroller to keep baby protected from the sun at all times. The wrap is lightweight and breathable so baby is always comfy. Plus, it also gives baby privacy while sleeping and protects him from the other elements like rain and wind.
More so, Laura is a former nanny with a degree in psychology who formerly worked at Yale University doing research. As an Atlanta native and currently residing in the best suburb of Atlanta: Roswell, Laura and her husband love their community. Laura volunteers on various committees in their city to help give back in any way she can. Laura and her husband spent several years taking care of rescue dogs - transport, intakes, fostering, etc. and had to step away a bit once they had their first child. The Gravetts now have two children (girls ages 3 and 10 months) and three rescue dogs.
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