As a newborn photographer, I swaddle babies everyday and I thought I would share my tips and tricks to get those perfect swaddles for new parents out there. I’ve swaddled over hundreds of babies and every time parents ask,
“How did you get them swaddled like that?”
Swaddling can be calming and nurturing to new babies. It can help with gas, sleeping and reduce crying. Like anything that involves parenting or babies, there is more than one way to do something. That being said, this is not the end all be all of swaddling 101, but hopefully a valuable resource or an “AH HA” moment about how to help swaddle your baby if you choose.
Before we begin, know that swaddling is NOT for every baby and there are some wonderful benefits along with some cautions/risks you should be aware of.
First, before you swaddle it’s helpful to have babies clothes off and just a diaper on to help them from overheating. Also, use a breathable fabric, such as bamboo swaddle blankets from Aden and Anais or light knit rather than fleece or heavy cotton. Additionally, careful to not to swaddle too tightly or loosely. You can check your swaddles snugness by making sure your hand should fit between the baby and swaddle. Lastly, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, swaddling is most helpful and appropriate the first 2-3 months of babies life.
When done correctly, the cautions/risks of swaddling are minimal and its benefits are significant for baby and parents.
So lets get started with some sweet swaddling steps.
1. Grab your swaddle blanket, fold it in half to make a large triangle. Lay baby in the middle, neck should be on the fold of the top of blanket.
2. Cross baby’s arms or leave them to the side then, fold over one side of triangle blanket.
3. Next, you’ll want to take the very bottom point of your triangle and fold up up towards baby’s head. Depending on size and comfort of baby, you can cross their legs, like a sitting position, or leave them straight down.
4. Take the last side of the triangle and fold it over top of baby.
5. Wrap and tuck any extra material behind baby. Congratulations you’ve just completed a perfect swaddle wrap!