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Unlocking the magic of swaddling: A guide to serene sleep for your baby (and you)

Javeria Adenwalla

Javeria Adenwalla

Javeria is a writer, a yogi and an absolute lover of life. She reports live from the trenches of motherhood, stepping on metaphoric landmines, and sharing her experiences with unwavering optimism as she raises her three musketeers. Whenever life throws her off balance, she swivels back to zen mode with the power of yoga. When she’s not busy mastering the art of parenting,...
Created on Oct 30, 2023 · 5 mins read

Congratulations! You’ve officially joined the secret society of sleep-deprived superheroes. And when it comes to soothing our little bundles of joy, we’re willing to try just about anything to bring them comfort and help them sleep peacefully.


One tried and true technique that has been passed down through the ages is swaddling. Yes, swaddling! The art of snugly wrapping your baby in a cozy blanket can work wonders in creating a sense of security and calm.

But before you go all origami with those baby wraps, let’s dive into the question: why should one swaddle? And most importantly, how to do it safely. Because let’s face it, the last thing we want is to end up with a baby burrito!

Why swaddle?


Swaddling is all about recreating the cozy and secure feeling of the womb. By snugly wrapping your baby in a soft blanket, you’re providing a comforting environment that can help them feel safe and calm. Moreover, the snugness and gentle pressure of the swaddle mimic the feeling of being held and contained, which creates a sense of comfort and security.

Now that we’ve established why a swaddle is a good option, let’s uncover the awesome benefits of swaddling for both you and your little munchkin:


The benefits of swaddling


  1. Soothes the savage beast: Okay, maybe your baby isn’t a savage beast, but we all know that fussy, inconsolable crying can make even the most composed parent want to pull their hair out. Swaddling can work like magic to calm a fussy baby. The gentle pressure and snugness of the wrap can help soothe your little one, promoting better sleep and reducing crying episodes.
  1. Sleep, glorious sleep: As any sleep-deprived parent will tell you, a baby who sleeps is a blessing beyond compare. Swaddling helps promote longer and more restful sleep by preventing startle reflexes. You know, those adorable yet annoying jerky movements that can wake your sleeping angel just as you’re settling into your own bed.
  1. Keeps baby safe and sound: Swaddling can provide a sense of containment for your baby, preventing those tiny hands from flailing about and accidentally scratching their delicate face. It also helps regulate body temperature, keeping them cozy without overheating.

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The safest way to swaddle


Now that we’ve got the lowdown on why swaddling is a solid choice, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of swaddle safety.

Here’s the scoop on how to get that perfect, snug wrap for your little one:

  1. Lay the blanket flat on a safe and clean surface, forming a diamond shape. Fold down the top corner about 6 inches to create a straight edge.
  1. Place your baby on their back, with their shoulders aligned with the fold you made. Their head should be above the folded corner.
  1. Gently take your baby’s right arm and bring it across their chest. Extend the arm slightly and tuck the blanket underneath their body, ensuring the fabric is not covering their face.
  1. Repeat the same process with the left arm, bringing it across the chest and securing it under your baby’s body.
  1. Next, fold the bottom corner of the blanket up and over your baby’s feet, ensuring their hips can move naturally and their legs are slightly bent.
  1. Finally, take the remaining corner of the blanket and wrap it snugly across your baby’s chest, tucking it securely underneath their body.

Voila! You’ve successfully swaddled your little one in a safe and cozy manner. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a few attempts to get the hang of it.

Tips for safe and comfortable bundling


Before you embark on the art of baby cocooning, let’s make sure you’ve got these must-know tips in your back pocket:

  1. Choose the right blanket: Opt for a lightweight, breathable blanket made of natural fibres like cotton or muslin. These materials will help regulate your baby’s body temperature and reduce the risk of overheating.
  1. Left or Right? You Choose! Take the left corner of the blanket and bring it over your baby’s chest, tucking it snugly under their right arm. Then, take the right corner and bring it across, tucking it under their left side.
  1. Keep it loose down below: Leave plenty of room for your baby to move their hips and legs freely. Tight swaddling around the hips can increase the risk of hip dysplasia. We want our little ones to be cozy, not constricted!
  1. Watch out for overheating: Remember, babies are like tiny furnaces, and they don’t regulate their body temperature as efficiently as adults. Keep an eye out for signs of overheating, such as sweating or flushed skin. If your baby seems too warm, simply loosen the swaddle or choose a lighter blanket.

Word of caution: Swaddling can be a game-changer when it comes to helping your little angel sleep soundly through the night. However, it’s essential to transition away from swaddling once your baby starts showing signs of rolling over independently. At this point, swaddling may pose a risk as it can impede their ability to move freely and could increase the chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

There you have it! Swaddling is an ancient art that has stood the test of time for a reason. By providing a secure and cozy environment for your little one, swaddling can work wonders in soothing them to sleep and reducing those fussy moments.

With a little practice and the wisdom of trusted resources, you’ll soon become a swaddling whisperer, ready to lull your baby into dreamland with a snug and comforting embrace.

Remember, every baby is different, and what works for one may not work for another. If your little one seems uncomfortable or resists being swaddled, it’s okay to try different sleep strategies that suit their needs. Trust your instincts as a parent and adapt to what works best for your baby.


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3 things you need to know about your newborn’s sleep
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How to soothe a fussy newborn

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