Research4 has shown that swaddling helps babies sleep better. They experienced fewer startles, awoke less often, and spent more time sleeping. It is crucial to follow safety guidelines when swaddling:
- Avoid swaddling a baby's chest so tightly that he can't inhale deeply. When it’s too tight, there is an increased risk of respiratory infections.
- Your baby should still be able to rotate his hips and flex their knees. If the swaddle is too tight, it increases the risk of hip dislocation.
- Ensure that your baby’s head is not covered and your little one isn’t wearing too many layers of clothing to prevent overheating.
- Always lay your baby down to sleep on his back. Once your baby can flip or turn on his own, stop swaddling.
4 van Sleuwen, B. E., Engelberts, A. C., Boere-Boonekamp, M. M., Kuis, W., Schulpen, T. W., & L'Hoir, M. P. (2007). Swaddling: a systematic review. Pediatrics, 120(4), e1097–e1106. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2006-2083
Guide to Swaddling
Spread the blanket out flat, with one corner folded down.
Lay your baby face-up on the blanket with his head above the folded corner.
Straighten your baby’s left arm and wrap the left corner of the blanket over the body and tuck it between the right arm and the right side of the body.
Tuck the right arm down and fold the right corner of the blanket over your baby’s body and under the left side.
Fold or twist the bottom of the blanket loosely and tuck it under one side of your baby.
Make sure the hips and legs can move freely and that the blanket is not too tight. You should be able to fit two or three fingers between the baby’s chest and the blanket.