How to Swaddle a Newborn: A Step-by-Step Guide

One of the ways to keep your newborn happy is by keeping them swaddled. Trying to get the perfect swaddle can be difficult.

I remember when my daughter was born and was still in the hospital. It always intimidated me how easily and quickly the nurse could swaddle her.

And how perfect my daughter was swaddled. (Although, to be fair, the nurse would have had a lot of practice. But still.)

It took me a while to figure out how to swaddle my daughter. A lot longer than I would have preferred. I had trouble figuring out how to properly swaddle my daughter. When I did figure it out, I was giddy. (It’s the simple pleasures in life, especially as a mom.) How to Swaddle a Newborn: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you have been struggling to swaddle your baby or are wondering how to swaddle a newborn, here is a step-by-step guide especially for you. To teach you how to swaddle with a blanket.

There is more than one method to swaddle a newborn, but the method I describe below is personally my favorite. Because I feel like it keeps your baby the most secure. Their arms stay nice and snug, but they can still move their legs.


How to Swaddle a Newborn?

Step 1: Find a Flat Surface

  • On a flat surface, spread out the blanket in the shape of a diamond with one corner pointing up.
  • Fold the top corner down about 6 inches.
  • Place your baby on their back on the blanket.
  • Their head should rest right above the folded edge of the blanket.
  • The rest of their body should be straight on the blanket.

Step 2: Hold Your Baby’s Right Arm Against Their Side

  • As you hold your baby’s right arm against their side, grab the blanket about 4 inches from their right shoulder.
  • Pull it down snugly and across their body, tucking it under your baby’s left buttock.
  • Grab the free part of the blanket on the left side.
  • Give the blanket a firm tug away from your baby’s body in order to remove any slack.
  • Your baby’s right arm should now be straight and snug.

This step is the key to swaddling. If the blanket is not snug enough then the whole thing will unravel. That being said make sure it is not too snug for your baby.

Step 3: Now, Hold Your Baby’s Left Arm Against Their Side

  • Next, hold your baby’s left arm against their side.
  • Bring the point of the bottom of the blanket straight up and place it on your baby’s left shoulder.
  • The blanket edge should be tucked snugly around the left arm.
  • Like before, grab the extra blanket next to your baby’s arm and pull it straight out away from their body to remove slack.

Step 4: Grab the Blanket a Few Inches From the Left Shoulder

  • Pull the blanket from the left shoulder a few inches down slightly. Only slightly.
  • This small flap should come down to your baby’s upper chest. And only to do your baby’s chest, not to their feet. That would be too far.
  • Lightly press the flap against the breastbone.

Step 5: Keep Holding the Flap on Your Baby’s Breastbone

  • Hold the flap against your baby’s breastbone.
  • With your other hand, grab the free corner of the blanket and pull it straight out to remove any slack.
  • In one fluid movement, lift that corner up and pull it straight across your baby’s forearms as if it were a belt.
  • The blanket needs to be big enough for this part to go around your baby’s body.
  • Make sure the blanket is snug and tuck it inside the front of the “belt.”

Wrapping Up

With practice and following these steps, you will be able to swaddle your newborn with no problems.

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