Swaddling: What Why How


Subhashree Rout

Subhashree Rout

What is Swaddling

Swaddling is an ancient practice of wrapping a baby snugly in a blanket or cloth. This technique helps to make the baby feel secure and warm, mimicking the comfort of the womb. Swaddling can calm babies and help them sleep better. It’s often used in the first few months of a baby’s life.

Why It is Required for Babies

Babies are used to being in a tight space inside the womb. After birth, they can feel overwhelmed by the new, open environment. Swaddling helps them feel secure by recreating the cosiness of the womb. It can also prevent them from waking up due to their startle reflex, which is common in newborns.

How Can It Be Done

Choosing the Right Blanket

Pick a soft, breathable blanket. Muslin cloths are a popular choice.

Wrapping Steps

  1. Lay the Blanket Flat: Spread the blanket on a flat surface in a diamond shape.
  2. Fold Down the Top Corner: Fold the top corner down about six inches.
  3. Place the Baby: Lay your baby on its back with its neck on the folded edge.
  4. Wrap One Side: Pull one side of the blanket over the baby and tuck it under their body.
  5. Fold the Bottom: Fold the bottom of the blanket up over the baby’s feet.
  6. Wrap the Other Side: Pull the remaining side across the baby and tuck it under them snugly.

Safety Tips

Make sure the swaddle is not too tight. The baby’s hips should be able to move freely to prevent hip dysplasia. Always place your baby on their back to sleep.

Benefits of Swaddling

Better Sleep

Swaddled babies often sleep longer and more soundly. The secure feeling helps them stay asleep without startling themselves awake.

Reduced Crying

Swaddling can help calm a fussy baby. It provides a sense of security, which can reduce crying.

Promotes Self-Soothing

Swaddling helps babies learn to soothe themselves, which can make bedtime easier for both the baby and the parents.

Supporting Material for Swaddling

Swaddle Blankets

There are special swaddle blankets designed for easy wrapping. These often have Velcro or zippers to ensure a snug fit.

Swaddle Sacks

Swaddle sacks are wearable blankets that make swaddling easier. They often come with adjustable wings to wrap around the baby.

Online Tutorials

Many videos and articles are available online to help parents learn how to swaddle correctly. Watching these can make the process easier.

Tips to Parents

Monitor Baby’s Temperature

Make sure your baby doesn’t get too hot while swaddled. Feel their neck to check if they’re sweaty or overheated.

Transition Out of Swaddling

As your baby grows and starts to roll over, it’s time to stop swaddling. Transitioning to a sleep sack can be helpful.

Follow Safe Sleep Guidelines

Always place your baby on their back to sleep and ensure there are no loose blankets in the crib.

Listen to Your Baby

Not all babies like being swaddled. If your baby seems uncomfortable, it’s okay to stop swaddling and try other soothing methods.


1. When should I start swaddling my baby?
You can start swaddling from birth. It’s best to swaddle during naps and nighttime sleep.

2. How long should I swaddle my baby?
Swaddling is usually recommended until the baby starts to show signs of rolling over, typically around 2-4 months old.

3. Is swaddling safe for all babies?
Swaddling is generally safe for most babies. However, following safe sleep guidelines and ensuring the swaddle isn’t too tight is important.

4. What if my baby doesn’t like being swaddled?
Some babies don’t enjoy being swaddled. If this is the case, try other soothing techniques like gentle rocking or using a pacifier.

By following these guidelines, parents can help their babies feel more secure and comfortable, leading to better sleep and happier days. Swaddling, when done correctly, can be a wonderful tool in the early months of a baby’s life.

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