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Swaddling tips and tricks
October 12 2010, 12:00 pm
Originally published in the Brandon Sun, Sept. 2, 2010
I’ve Got You Babe
For Sept. 2, 2010
By Kyla Henderson
I get a lot of questions, doing what I do, about swaddling a baby and swaddling blankets. Swaddling is something is something I learned to do when my monkey was about a half an hour old, taught to me by my fabulous midwife Kari and using just a receiving blanket. Being a new parent, I didn’t really get at first why babies had to be swaddled, but as I got the hang of it, I learned of benefits of swaddling.
1. Sleeping for your baby and for you. (We all love that idea.) A newborn is used to the tight confinements of its mother’s womb and many babies cannot settle down to sleep with their arms and legs flailing everywhere. So if your baby is swaddled and sleeping soundly, chances are you could be sleeping soundly too. (Never mind the housework – go to bed!)
2. Comfort for your baby. Again a newborn is so used to being curled in a ball in mom’s tummy that it can be a little freaky to be all stretched out. Swaddling them keeps their legs and arms confined and therefore, most comforted. In some cases however, certain babies don’t like their arms swaddled, or this might even happen as your baby gets older, so you can still swaddle them, but leave their arms out or swaddle them more loosely.
Swaddling is a lot harder than it looks. Of course your nurse or midwife might hand you a perfectly swaddled little newborn, but once you are on your own it will take a lot of practice, sometimes with a screaming baby. A large, thin receiving blanket works best, but there are a lot of products on the market that have you tucking, velcroing and tying. I’m still a fan of the old fashioned way, where you wrap your baby like a little pita pocket. Here’s how it’s done:
Step 1: Lay the blanket out in a diamond shape.
Step 2: Fold the top corner down about four inches. (This is where your baby’s head goes.)
Step 3: Place your baby on the blanket, head above the folded down corner at the top.
Step 4: Take the right corner and wrap it over your baby, tucking the right corner underneath them.
Step 5: Take the bottom corner up and place it over their legs and tummy.
Step 6: Take the left corner and wrap it over and under your baby.
Voila! There you have it a swaddled, and hopefully happier little pita, I mean, baby!