How to Swaddle Your Baby Step by Step

Swaddling babies in a baby swaddle is an age-old traditional practice followed by our grandmothers and great-grandmothers that we have adopted from. But before we get to "How to swaddle a newborn baby?" let us understand what exactly swaddling is. 

Swaddling means wrapping a baby up gently in a soft, light, and breathable cloth to help them feel calm, so they can sleep better. The baby swaddle, or newborn swaddle is wrapped around their body, leaving the neck and head out.  The aim is to make your baby feel snug and secure, just like in the mother's womb, making the transition from the womb to the world easier.

Benefits of swaddling

  • Babies are born with the Moro reflex, also known as the startle reflex. It is a neurological response that causes a newborn to feel as though they are free falling. Babies experience this all the time during the first 3 to 6 months of their life. While it is very normal and is a sign of a healthy baby, this reflex can often disturb a baby's sleep. If you swaddle the baby, it helps prevent those spontaneous movements and considerably reduces the effect of the Moro reflex, allowing for a much more relaxed & uninterrupted sleep for your precious little one.
  • A swaddle wrap for newborns keeps them snug and warm while they are sleeping. 
  • The babies are snug and feel secure while inside the womb of their mother. Swaddling helps by mimicking this warmth and helps the baby feel the same safety & security outside the womb. 
  • A lot of babies are bothered with colic pain that continues till the time they start solids. Swaddling also helps in making colicky babies feel comfortable and calm. 
  • On tougher days for babies, like vaccination days, sick days, etc., wrapped in a cozy & comfortable swaddle can calm them and help them sleep better. 

How to swaddle your baby

Method 1 - Simple Swaddle

So, now the question is, how to wrap your newborn baby or how to swaddle your baby. Your search for the best way to swaddle your little one ends here! Here is an easy reference video along with step by step instructions to make it easier for you to follow and understand the swaddle position and style better.

Step 1 – Find a flat and safe surface with no sharp edges or corners from where there is a risk of your baby rolling over or falling. 

Step 2 – Fold the swaddle from one corner and place your baby face-up on the swaddle. The head should be above the swaddling cloth over the folded corner. 

Step 3 – Straighten your baby's arms a bit and place them over their body. Bring the swaddle from one side over the body and tuck it under the body on the opposite side.

Step 4 – Repeat the process on the opposite end and then secure the tail, as shown in the video.

Method 2 - Burrito Wrap

Step 1 - Lay the swaddle on a flat surface.

Step 2 - fold the swaddle from one side a few inches inwards to give it a diamond shape. Step 3 - Lay the baby on it’s back with the folded portion below their neck. 

Step 4 - tuck your baby’s hands underneath the fold of the swaddle, so that they are placed by their shoulders or face. Alternatively, you can leave their arms out and tuck the swaddle underneath their armpits as per their comfort

Step 5 - take the right side of the swaddle across their body and tuck underneath their left side.

Step 6 - fold the bottom tail of the swaddle upwards towards the baby’s head and securely tuck into the top right side of the fold.

Step 7 - finally, take the left side and wrap it across their body and tuck underneath them on the right-hand side.

Method 3 - Hands Up Swaddle

This method does not work when the baby starts to move or wiggle much, as the chances of the swaddle coming off or the baby getting uncomfortable are high.

Step 1 - Place the swaddle on a flat surface and fold it inwards a few inches to create a diamond shape

Step 2 - Place the baby on its back over the cloth so that the folded side is below their neck. 

Step 3 - Put their arm above their shoulder on their side & pull one side of the swaddle over the baby’s body, leaving the arm out. Tuck it under the baby.

Step 4 - repeat on the opposite side and tuck the extra cloth under the folds of the swaddle or under the baby.

Is swaddling a safe practice?

As parents, we always weigh all pros and cons before deciding anything for our little bundle of joy. Thus, it is also important to know if there are any safety considerations or precautions to practice while using a swaddle wrap for newborns.

Here are some tips one must keep in mind 

  • Swaddling is recommended for babies who cannot roll over yet. 
  • In the summertime, avoid using a blanket or covering sheet if your baby is swaddled, as the swaddle is the first layer, and more layers can make your baby's body temperature rise. 
  • Do not use synthetic or heavy material for swaddling your baby. Go for a light and breathable swaddle such as SuperBottoms Mulmul 100% Cotton Swaddle
  • Please ensure that the swaddle is snug enough but not tight. That might make your baby uncomfortable. 
  • If your baby prefers their hands to be out of the swaddle, let them lead and do what makes them comfortable. 
  • Ensure not to stretch your baby's legs and let them be in a natural infant position while swaddling. 

Which is the best swaddle for a newborn baby?

Old cotton sarees of moms and grandmas in the family were always kept aside to be cut into squares and used as a swaddle, towels, wraps, and what not for the next baby that would arrive.

With time and our societal fabric changing, the way we dress also changed. But, unfortunately, as an after-effect, many of us lost out on those soft, broken-in cotton sarees to swaddle our babies in.

But what if we said it is still possible to swaddle your babies in the softest, gentlest, Mulmul cloth, with an added bonus of them looking just like our grandma's sarees.

Yes, SuperBottoms has introduced beautiful 100% Cotton Mulmul swaddles , which are extremely soft, square pieces of cloth, available in beautiful traditional Indian prints and earthy colors, just as loving as grandma's snuggles.

Here are some quick tips you might want to know about swaddling

  • When to swaddle a newborn baby?

Nighttime for sleeping, while putting them down for a nap, to calm or comfort them when they need it. 

  • For how long can one swaddle the baby?

It is recommended to stop swaddling your baby before they start rolling over from supine to prone (back to tummy). 

  • Can you breastfeed a swaddled baby?

Swaddling the baby makes them very comfortable, and thus they can doze off to sleep. Although there is no risk or harm in breastfeeding a swaddled baby, it is better to let the baby feed first then swaddle them to put them down for a nap. 

To conclude, there are many benefits associated with swaddling. So go for nothing but the best swaddles for your little one, coz you know, the snuggle is real! 

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