Wrap that baby tight! Learn step-by-step instructions for making the perfect swaddle from Artscroll’s new release, Baby’s First Year
By Rochel Istrin, RN from Baby’s First Year
The Baby’s First Year, by veteran nurse Rochel Istrin, RN, is the Jewish mother’s complete resource for any questions related to their baby’s development, following the baby from birth through the first year. While it’s the perfect gift for new mothers, experienced mothers will also find themselves enlightened by learning things about their baby they never knew! There are lots of adorable illustrations and how-to’s included in the book, such as those shared here for how to swaddle a baby. – BCP Staff
Before your baby was born, he grew in a small, warm, closed place. Now that he is big enough to be in the world, firm (but not too tight) swaddling can recreate the familiar and secure feeling he knew before birth, and it’s a very effective way to calm newborns during the first weeks of life. Use a soft receiving blanket, preferably one made of stretchy material.
Once the baby is swaddled correctly, his trunk and limbs will be strong and stable. If the swaddle is too loose it will upset the baby, but take care that the hips are not bound uncomfortably tight.
You know you’ve done it right when the baby opens his eyes wide and appears relaxed.
After he is well wrapped, grasp your baby securely on each side and lift him. Try slowly raising and lowering the precious bundle in your hands, and you will be amazed to see him open his eyes wide and gaze around in calm wonder. Even babies who have held their eyes tightly shut since birth will relax and look around when swaddled. If baby is very hungry or in pain, swaddling will only help temporarily, but if he’s clean and satisfied, the swaddled baby will eventually fall into a deep sleep until he’s ready to eat again. (For the first three weeks, if baby is sleeping deeply, wake him after three hours to feed, to ensure adequate feedings and growth.)
Note: At this age, do not put a swaddled baby on his tummy. There is some disagreement on when a baby should no longer be swaddled: some say by three to four months, others up until six months. But once a baby can roll over he should not be swaddled, to avoid risk of suffocation.
- Take a thin baby blanket and spread on a surface (bed, changing table, etc.). Place baby in the middle of the blanket with his head above the top edge of the shorter side of the blanket (there should be enough blanket beneath the baby’s feet to bring it up at least to his waist later).
- Holding baby’s arms in a natural position close to his body (either alongside the body or folded across the baby’s chest), wrap first one side and then the other around the baby’s body, tucking it in beneath him.
- Spread bottom corners of blanket open and lift to cover baby’s body, preferably up to the chin if it reaches and at least to his waist.
- Wrap one corner and then the other around the baby’s body, tucking it in under previous folds.
This post was sponsored in part by Artscroll Publications. All opinions are our own.