There are more swaddle blankets on the market now than ever before. There are two kinds of swaddling: one with a traditional blanket and one with an all-in-one swaddler.
For the traditional swaddle, take a square blanket that is at least 42″ x 42″ and fold down the top so it resembles a diamond shape with the top folded down. The baby’s head gets placed at the top of the blanket with the head and part of the neck above the fold. Grab one corner, tuck the baby’s arm to their side, wrap the blanket around, and tuck it underneath their side nice and snug. Take the bottom of the blanket, bring it up to the side you just folded over, and wrap it loosely inside. The legs should be covered, but the mobility should not be restricted in the hips or knees. Then tuck the other arm down, bring the other side of the blanket over, wrap it under your baby’s body, and tuck it in underneath them.
Babies like to be swaddled because after nine months of being in the womb, it feels very cozy and familiar. For the all-inclusive swaddler, place the baby at the top with the head and neck slightly out, and put the arms in the armholes. Any extra fabric can be tucked underneath their back. One end is wrapped down and around underneath the baby and the other side is wrapped around the outside where the velcro can help keep it in place. Some swaddlers come with a piece that comes up underneath the baby and velcros to their body to keep the swaddler secure. Then there’s a little papoose that the legs go into that keeps them inside but give them lots of room.
It’s important to remember to never leave an infant alone in a bed, not even for a moment.
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, August 2019