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An Introduction to Swaddling Techniques

What is swaddling?

The term swaddling is a word as old as the 1800s. For those not familiar, swaddling is an age-old practice of wrapping infants in blankets or cloth wraps so that movement of the limbs is tightly restricted. Swaddling fell out of favor in the 17th century but has been rising in popularity lately in recent times.


Benefits of swaddling include soothing and comfort of your newborn as swaddling reminds them of being back in the mother’s womb until they adjust to their new surroundings.


There are common swaddling techniques but there are varied types of swaddling. Here is one example of a common swaddling technique.


How to Swaddle Correctly


  1. To swaddle, spread the blanket out flat with one corner folded down.
  2. Lay the baby face-up on the blanket, with her head above the folded corner.
  3. Straighten her left arm, and wrap the left corner of the blanket over her body and tuck it between her right arm and the right side of her body.
  4. Then tuck the right arm down, and fold the right corner of the blanket over her body and under her left side.
  5. Fold or twist the bottom of the blanket loosely and tuck it under one side of the baby.
  6. Make sure her hips can move and that the blanket is not too tight. Ideally you want to be able to get at least two or three fingers between the baby’s chest and the swaddle.


Here are other techniques with links to videos so you can master the swaddling technique that is appropriate for your newborn baby.


Baby Burrito Wrap

When properly dressed in a Baby Burrito Wrap, the baby will resemble a popular Mexican foodstuff that consists of a flour tortilla rolled around a delicious filling. A secure and longer-lasting wrap.


Arm Capture

We use the Arm Capture for warm climates with babies who like their kick space, but need their arms restrained for better sleep. This technique also helps babies avoid scratching their faces during sleep.


Miracle Blanket Swaddle

‘“Research shows that the two best fussiness “eliminators” are classic swaddling and gentle abdominal pressure. A lateral belly wrap is a very old Irish remedy for fussiness that is comprised of a long band of “stretchy” fabric that is wrapped around a baby’s abdomen to provide gentle, even, lateral pressure around the baby’s mid-section. Ours is the first and only product that combines these two incredibly effective solutions in one product.”’ -Miracleware


Dr. Karp’s Swaddle


Also known as a “DUDU” wrap. (DUDU, pronounced “doo doo,” stands for Down -Up -Down -Up.) When learning to wrap, practice on a doll or on your baby when he (or she) is calm.


Hospital Swaddle

The common technique taught by many hospitals, with different variations. Step-by-step instructions courtesy of the Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana!


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