When performed correctly, swaddling can be a safe and effective way to calm babies and promote better sleep. Additionally, swaddling of both term and pre-term infants may foster more appropriate body positioning and midline orientation, thus contributing to improved neuromotor development. Babies who are swaddled incorrectly may be at risk for hip injuries. If swaddled correctly, the hips should be free to move up and out. To swaddle correctly, follow the steps below:
Step 1: Lay a lightweight swaddling blanket out flat on the surface in a diamond and fold the top corner back to create a straight edge.
Step 2: Place the baby face up on the blanket with shoulders across the straight edge.
Step 3: Gently bring the left arm down. Snugly wrap the left side of the blanket over the arm and chest and tuck under the right side of the body.
Step 4: Gently bring the right arm down. Snugly wrap the right side of the blanket over the arm and chest and tuck under the left side of the body using the baby’s weight to hold the blanket in place.
Step 5: Twist or fold the bottom of the blanket and comfortably tuck it behind the baby.
Important: Put baby to sleep on his or her back. Discontinue swaddling once a baby can initiate rolling.