How to Swaddle Your Baby

by Tara Bruno

How to Swaddle Your Baby

Does your newborn’s nighttime waking have you desperate for shut-eye? Wrapping her in a blanket like a little burrito may be the secret to a peaceful (and silent) night’s sleep for both of you.

Swaddling, which recreates the warm, cozy feeling in the womb, is soothing to some babies and keeps them from waking themselves up in the middle of the night with their own movements.

You can swaddle your baby up to 4 months old (beyond then, she may feel too confined, and it may begin to restrict motor development). How to do it:

* Spread out a square blanket on a flat surface so it looks like a diamond.
* Fold down the top corner a few inches. Put your baby on her back in the middle of the diamond with her head above the edge of the folded-down corner.
* Pull the left corner of the blanket tightly across her chest (make sure her right arm is across her chest or down by her side).
* Bring the bottom corner of the blanket up under her chin. Tuck the tip under the fold beneath her neck.
* Put her free left arm against her side, and bring the right side of the blanket over her body, tucking it under her back on her right side. If your baby’s squirmy, try leaving her arms outside the blanket while you swaddle her so she has some freedom to move around. Same goes if your baby’s older than 4 months and still loves being wrapped up.

Sleep tight: Swaddled babies sleep better and longer, are less likely to be startled awake, and fall back to sleep more quickly, according to a study featured in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Need more help with swaddling? Watch this step-by-step demonstration:

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