How to swaddle your infant for safe and comfortable sleep
Chances are you learned how to swaddle your infant for safe sleep in a childbirth class or at the hospital. Swaddling your baby helps them feel comfortable, secure and soothed during sleep. A well-done wrap helps to calm a colicky baby and reduces the startle reflex that wakes infants at times. While there are many benefits of swaddling, there are also some important things our Plano pediatricians think you should know to keep your baby safely cocooned.
Learning to swaddle your infant correctly is an essential part of safe sleep
Swaddle your baby with a thin, receiving blanket or one of the wraps on the market that have Velcro fasteners or zippers. If you use a purchased wrap, follow the manufacturer’s directions for swaddling for safe sleep. Our Plano pediatricians explain how to wrap your baby up like a burrito with a blanket swaddle technique.
- Place a blanket on a flat surface and fold down one corner.
- Place the baby on his or her back with the head at the top of the fold.
- Bring one corner of the blanket across the baby’s body and tuck it underneath his or her back.
- Gently fold the bottom of the blanket over your baby’s feet. Keep it loose enough for the baby’s legs to move within the fold, never forcing the legs to be rigidly straight.
- Fold the other side of the blanket across the baby’s body and tuck it in around the back. You should be able to insert two or three fingers between your baby’s chest and the swaddle blanket.
Safety tips for swaddling
Here are some vital things to know when you swaddle your infant.
- Always place your baby on his or her back for safe sleep.
- The swaddle should not be loose enough to come undone; nor should it be tight enough to keep the baby’s legs from moving or to cause overheating.
- Stop swaddling your baby at the age of two months or sooner if he or she can roll from back to stomach.
If your baby struggles in a swaddle, try leaving one or both arms out of the wrap. Keep in mind that swaddling doesn’t work for every baby, so if you have any questions about how to swaddle your infant, contact our Plano pediatricians.