A swaddling pro, Karina from A Kiss & A Cuddle shares her swaddling tips with us
Swaddling is a wonderful way to soothe and comfort newborns as it imitates the feeling of being in the womb. It can also assist babies in settling quickly and keep them asleep as it can prevent them from waking due to the Moro (startle) reflex. This reflex – the sudden extension of the arms legs and arcing of the back – can occur if your baby is startled by a loud noise, sudden movement, or they feel like they are falling (like when you are putting them down). This reflex can wake a baby up and undo all the hard work you have just put in to get them to sleep in the first place.
Swaddling your baby can be a daunting task for new mums, it was something I thought would be easy until I had my son. I remember being in the hospital watching how the nurses wrapped him thinking it would be simple to do. That was until I had to actually do it and I had my son laying in front of me crying and I was under the pump trying desperately to wrap him properly so he would settle down.
I wanted to show you two tried and tested ways that you can try with your newborn or you can practice on a soft toy before your little one is born.
I’d like to thank Mallory and baby Fyfe for kindly helping me out with the photos.
Step 1: Lay swaddle flat and fold in half to form a rectangle. Place bub in the middle of the wrap with their shoulders just below the fold.
Step 2: Place arm by your baby’s side and pull wrap firmly across bub’s chest and tuck the fabric under the other arm and flat around bub’s back and legs.
Step 3: Place the other arm down by bub’s side and pull the wrap firmly across body, over the free arm and tuck fabric flat under back.
Step 4: Tuck bottom of wrap under or over feet to secure the swaddle, ensuing legs and feet are not restricted.
Step 1: Fold wrap diagonally in half and lay on flat surface.
Step 2: Place bub in the middle of the wrap with shoulders just under the top.
Step 3: Place arm by your baby’s side and pull wrap firmly across bub and tuck the fabric under the arm and flat around bub’s back and legs.
Step 4: Bring bottom of fabric up over the feet and tuck under fabric across the chest. Ensure legs and feet are not restricted.
Step 5: Place arm by your baby’s side and pull wrap firmly across bub and tuck the excess fabric under the arm and flat around bub’s back and legs.
Some Swaddling Tips:
- Practice makes perfect.
- Some babies may prefer their arms slightly bent at the elbow and up against their chest when swaddled. Just change it up and see what works for your baby.
- Ensure you allow enough room for your baby’s legs to move freely.
- Use a good quality wrap. Muslin is a perfect swaddling fabric as it is breathable and naturally ‘give’ so you wrap your baby firmly – Ensure you do not restrict chest wall movement by wrapping too tightly.
- Use a large wrap – There are a couple of different size wraps on the market but your baby will get more use out of a large wrap (1.2m x 1.2m). They can outgrow the smaller wraps quickly plus you are better off having more material than less so you can get the most coverage and use the excess to secure to swaddle.
- You can refer to Red Nose Australia for safe sleep and wrapping practices or consult with your doctor.
View A Kiss & A Cuddle’s beautiful GOTS certified organic cotton swaddles here