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I consider myself a swaddling preacher.
I have swaddled many babies in my lifetime and truly believe in it’s magical powers.
Babies crave that tight, cozy wrap, and if done right, every baby will cozy in and calm down.
When you have your first baby, the nurses in the hospital will teach you everything they can in the short amount of time they have you there, and it’s easy to forget it all the second you get home. If you’ve never really been around babies then all this new info can REALLY be overwhelming. One of the most frustrating things for me was the need for better swaddling lessons. I think a lot of getting swaddling right is in the little tricks, not just how to wrap.
So consider this your breakdown of the classic swaddle, as well as a BONUS lesson on how to wrap your baby in a Mother Teresa swaddle.
First off, you need to understand why you are swaddling bebe.
It keeps baby warm: Babies aren’t born with that internal thermostat, so we swaddle them to keep them cozy and warm.
Security: Your baby spent nine months on the inside. Comfort means tight and scrunched up. It seems uncomfortable to us, less flexible adults, but baby needs to feel security like they did in the womb.
Helps to keep baby still : Ever notice your baby jerk in his/her sleep? Swaddling helps to keep them from waking up when that happens.
It’s cute: Ok, so not really a medical reason, but it’s true.
Now you need to have the right tools. Yep, if you want the best results, you need the best tools.
1. You need a GREAT swaddling blanket. A swaddling blanket is bigger than a receiving blanket, which makes it easier to keep baby from getting out of the swaddle. My absolute favorite swaddling blankets are made by aden & anais (seen on baby S above).
They come in the most adorable prints (yep, that’s super important) and are made from muslin, which is extremely light and great for summer babies, yet you can add an extra blanket for more warmth. They are very large blankets and make swaddling easy for everyone.
Another swaddling blanket I’m in love with is the Hands to Heart Sleep Swaddle. I usually do not promote the blankets with velcro and weird shapes because I believe you can get the best swaddle by using a big square blanket, but this specific blanket is amazing, made with the correct swaddle in mind! You can truly get this blanket tight like you need it (which other velcro blankets cannot do) and it keeps baby swaddled with their arms over their heart, which is exactly where they should be. I’ll talk more about them in a later post, but if you are looking for a blanket that will make swaddling a little easier, this is the one to get!!
Ok, now that you’re informed on why you swaddle, you have the blanket, you’re ready to wrap.
For that, I made you a little video to go with my tutorial.
A Classic Swaddle:
Lay your blanket out in a diamond and fold the top corner down six to 12 inches. Lay baby on top, with their head above the top of the folded corner. Make sure the top of the blanket is still above baby’s shoulders. Pull down one of the side corners over the baby tightly (tightly, people. CRUCIAL) with their arms over their chest and tuck under baby. Next, bring up the bottom corner up and over one of baby’s shoulders and tightly tuck the tip of the corner under baby’s shoulder. Now bring the remaining corner over the baby tightly and wrap it up and over the opposite shoulder. Tucking the blanket over the shoulders helps to keep baby’s hands secure. Make the wrap as tight as you feel comfortable with—tight is key!
This was my first time trying out the Mother Teresa swaddle, and I don’t think I will swaddle my future babies any other way. This technique keeps baby so secure, and Baby Sydney (whose hands are very, very busy) was not able to squirm her little arms out. If you have a squirmy baby, try this one out! A really neat new way to swaddle. Plus, it looks so darn cute!!!
I can’t stress enough how important swaddling is for a baby in those first few months. If you’ve been having trouble, stick with it and find a way that works for you AND for your baby.
*I was not compensated for mentioning the products in this post. They are my personal choices for swaddling your little one.