Swaddling Secrets 101

baby swaddle

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Some mornings, I really don’t want to get out of bed. I’m deeply snuggled in, the comforter wrapped around me just so, and I am 100% totally content. But, coffee beckons, my alarm is ting-a-linging, and I have to get the kiddo to school in less than 31 minutes. That delicious bundled moment is just that: a moment.

I imagine that moment as I’m wrapped in those covers is similar to the way babies feel when they are swaddled. With a soft blanket and a few folds, we mimic that safe, womb-like environment our little one was used to for 40 weeks. When swaddled, babies seem rather blissful and usually sleep better – big win for Mama and Baby, no?


Some people swaddle their babies all throughout the first months, others prefer to only swaddle at nighttime. No matter when you do it, you have to do it correctly, or else your baby will pull a Houdini and escape his or her blanket confines. How do we recreate the awesome swaddle those hospital nurses seem to be able to do in 3.2 seconds flat? Here’s the five-step guide on everything you need to know on becoming a Master Swaddler.

1. Place the blanket on a flat surface, and arrange it in front of you in a diamond shape.

2. Fold the top corner of the blanket down. It should now be a triangle shape.

3. Place your little one on the blanket, in the center, with his head right above the top folded area. The key here is to make sure that his shoulders are below the fold.

4.  Starting with the left corner of the blanket, bring it across his chest, while keeping his little right arm bent at the elbow and resting it on his body. Tuck that corner of the blanket under the left side of this body (like you are making a baby burrito or sandwich wrap), and be sure it is pretty tight across his body. If it’s loose, then he will most likely escape the swaddle later.

5. Fold the bottom corner up and over his feet, and then bring the right corner of the blanket across him, tucking it under the right side of his body. Again, make sure his left arm is bent and resting on his body inside the blanket.

Bonus hint: Always choose a lightweight cotton blanket as your swaddling tool. If you are concerned about your wee one being cold, just add more layers of clothing instead of using a thicker blanket. Those fleeces or quilts are easier for him to escape from and harder for you to fold. 

How many times has your baby "escaped" from his swaddle?

Image© iStock.com/artisticcaptures

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