How to Swaddle a Baby: A Guide for Absolute Beginners

If you’re a new parent, or currently expecting your first child, you will naturally have lots of questions about caring for your baby. Trust us, you’re not alone! One of the most useful procedures you can learn is how to swaddle your infant. Swaddling techniques have been used for centuries as a reliable method of keeping babies safe, snug, and secure. 

The key benefit of swaddling is the comfort it provides to your baby. Newborns are particularly receptive; research has demonstrated that wrapping can reduce crying by up to 42% in babies aged 8 weeks old and younger. During the pivotal first few weeks of welcoming a new child into your home, this can be a saving grace! 

These techniques also promote longer, more restful sleep. When infants are securely covered, they tend to spend longer in the REM stage of sleep, which makes them less likely to stir and wake up fully. Swaddling can also reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which occurs more frequently in babies who sleep on their tummies. A wrapped infant, placed on their back, is less likely to wriggle onto their front, keeping them safe as they snooze. 

Now that you know about the benefits of this practice, you might be wondering how you go about it. Rest assured, we’re on hand to help you learn how to swaddle your new baby! 

Burrito wrap swaddle 

One of the most popular and straightforward swaddling techniques is the burrito wrap. All you need is a large square blanket and a beautiful baby! 

  1. Start by placingthe blanket on a secure surface, rotated 45˚ so that it resembles a diamond.  
  2. Fold the top pointdown, almost halfway. If your newborn is very small, you can fold the top point down to meet the bottom point, creating a downward-facing triangle. 
  3. Gently lay your babyon the blanket, with the foldedtop edge about an inch above their neck.  
  4. Pull the right side of the blanket over, and tuck under the opposite side of your baby.
  5. Fold the bottom point of the blanket up, ensuring that your baby’s feet and legs are covered. Tuck into the fold at the top right of the blanket.
  6. Pull the left side of the blanket snug, and tuck into the top of the swaddle. Your baby will now be safely and comfortably wrapped!

Houdini swaddle 

If your baby is a wriggler with the escape powers of Houdini, don’t worry; they can still be contained! Here’s how to swaddle your baby using this super secure technique: 

  1. We’ll start again with a large square blanket, laid straight on a secure surface. Place your baby on the top edge. As before, allow about an inch of fabric above your baby’s neck.
  2. Take the top right point of the blanket and tuck underneath your baby’s closest armpit (their left, your right). Gently lift your baby and pull the fabric through, so that your baby is lying on top of the former top right section, and their left arm is contained.
  3. Repeat with the top left of the blanket. Tuck underneath the closest armpit (their right, your left), then pull through, so that your baby is now lying on top of both pieces, and both arms are contained. The blanket now resembles a rough triangle shape.
  4. Lift the bottom edge of the blanket upwards, to meet your baby’s shoulders. Fold the right side underneath your baby, then the left. Tuck the final point in, and your baby is now securelycovered!

Now that you know how to swaddle, we are certain that these techniques will work well for you and your baby. Practice makes perfect, so make sure to brush up on your skills as often as possible. Good luck!