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How to swaddle a baby: a step by step guide

Swaddling is a technique for wrapping newborn babies in a cloth or thin blanket that has been around for quite some time. For a new parent, learning to swaddle a baby can seem like some mind-bending skill that only nurses have mastered. However, with a bit of guidance and useful tips, you can learn how to make a cute baby burrito on your own – here’s how.

There are three main techniques for swaddling a baby:

The diamond swaddle

Here is a step-by-step guide for a diamond swaddle:

  • Start by laying a muslin or thin blanket on a safe, flat surface. Position it like a diamond, and fold the top-most corner down 4-6 inches for your baby’s head.
  • Lay your little one on his/her back in the center of the cloth. Make sure that he/she is positioned with their neck on the fold.
  • Hold your baby’s right arm alongside the body, slightly bent. Take the right corner of the cloth and pull it securely over the child’s chest, making sure to keep the right arm under the fabric. Tuck the edge of the cloth under the left side of the body, careful to leave the baby’s hips loose. At this point, your baby’s left arm will be free.
  • Pull the bottom corner of the cloth up and over your baby’s body and tuck it securely under the first fold, under his chin. Straighten your baby's left arm, and then take the right corner of the blanket and wrap it over the baby's body, carefully tucking it under his right side.
  • Secure the swaddle by loosely twisting the bottom of the cloth and tucking it underneath your little one.

The square swaddle

If a diamond swaddle is not for you, consider trying the square swaddle, sometimes known as the quick swaddle:

  • Lay a swaddling cloth on a safe, even surface in a square position. Fold the top right corner down about 4-6 inches.
  • Lay your baby down on their back onto the cloth, positioning his/her neck at the top of the fold. Your baby should be lying diagonally across the cloth.
  • Pull the right side of the cloth over and tuck it snugly underneath your baby’s left side
  • Pull the left side over and tuck it under your baby’s right side.
  • Twist the bottom of the cloth and tuck it under the baby to secure the swaddle.

The sleep sack swaddle

Do you want an easier option? For this swaddling technique, you need to have a special sleep sack swaddle.

  • Put your little one in the sleep sack, just like you would footie pajamas. Your baby’s head should sit above the sleep sack
  • Snap up the sleep sack
  • Wrap it securely over your baby’s body and secure it.

Final thoughts

Swaddling is a simple yet useful method of calming a baby. It’s just about discovering a technique you like and establishing a routine that both you and your baby are comfortable with. With the suggested methods, you can have your little one wrapped up perfectly in no time.

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