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Swaddling Baby

For nine months, baby has been in the warmth environment of his mom’s womb. Those last few months things have been cramped, so when baby enters the world and is suddenly exposed in a big open world, it can be scary. One way to comfort your newborn regularly for the next month is to swaddle him. After about the one month mark, swaddling should only be done for sleeping as too much swaddling may hinder baby’s motor development. But, no one taught you how and now you’re home with no help. It is okay, you’ll get it sooner than you think – probably after the first time.

It is not difficult to swaddle a baby; basically, you are simply wrapping baby relatively tightly with his arms and legs inside the blanket to keep him snug and secure. Don’t worry if baby seems to be trying to wriggle away; he is not refusing the swaddle, just doing what he did in the womb. When swaddling a baby it’s best to use a thin blanket too prevent baby from getting too hot.
So, how do you swaddle baby?

Lay the blanket flat on the whatever surface is easiest for you to place baby and wrap him, the floor, crib or your bed are best. The blanket should look like a diamond as it is facing you. Fold the top corner of blanket toward you and lay it flat on the blanket. The amount folded should be about the length of your hand. Lay the baby on the blanket so that the top folded edge is just under his shoulders. Gently hold the baby’s arms at his sides and take the right or left corner of the blanket and fold it over baby tucking it under him. Then pull the bottom corner up over the baby without crunching baby’s legs too much if any. If the corner of the bottom reaches past baby’s shoulder then fold it in until it fits comfortably. Finally, making sure the baby’s other arm is still at his side, pull the corner you didn’t use first over baby and tuck it under his back.

That’s all there is to it.  Baby is now snug and secure and can be placed in a stroller, crib, cradle or baby seat while you tend to other chores. Baby may likely fall asleep.  Always place baby down on his back, especially if swaddled.

Learn more about baby skin care at our baby health care website.

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