Swaddling is the practice of wrapping infants in blankets to restrict their movement. This age old technique has been the subject of several modern studies, and these medical studies suggest that swaddling helps the babies sleep, and to remain asleep. Furthermore, since swaddling helps babies sleep on their backs, it helps lowers the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
We have found that swaddling helps calm our newborn. While there are no conclusive studies that prove that swaddling is calming, I think it replicates conditions in the womb, and makes the baby feel comfortable.
We stopped swaddling after a couple months, as we saw the benefits lessen, and did not want to prevent our son from being able to develop mobility, however, our research indicated that swaddling older babies was fine, if kept to nap time.
So lets learn how to swaddle a fussy newborn.
I will say that, when William started to get fussy in the first few weeks after bringing him home from the hospital, swaddling him tightly did help.
The video will illustrate this better than my words, but here is how we swaddle babies.
- Lay a blanket on a flat surface like a diamond and fold down the top corner about 6 inches to form a straight edge.
- Place your baby on his back so that the top of the fabric is at shoulder level.
- Bring your baby’s left arm down. Pull the corner of the blanket near his left hand over his arm and chest, and tuck the leading edge under his back on his right side.
- Bring your baby’s right arm down. Pull the corner of the blanket near his right hand over his arm and chest, and tuck the cloth under his left side.
- Twist or fold the bottom end of the blanket and tuck it loosely behind your baby, making sure that both legs are bent up and out from his body, his hips can move, and his legs can spread apart naturally.