HOW TO SWADDLE THE RIGHT WAY
As Indian parents most of us are privileged to have the blessings of elders during and after childbirth. Having said that, ‘swaddling’ has never been part of the Indian ethos! The very idea of keeping a new-born wrapped in a cloth makes Indian parents paranoid. For them it was a very clear concept, they wanted their children to be free and playful.
But after my son was born, I realised that our parents belonged to a very different generation. Mothers did share the experience of childbearing and motherhood, but there was no logical validation to the age old practices. Thus, my motherhood experience has been mostly about reading books, blogs and articles about every problem faced by every new-generation mom till date.
Keeping my struggles in mind, one of the first thoughts after becoming a mother was to share the stories of my motherhood. Needless to say, it’s difficult to devote time to much else with a toddler around my heels.
So here I am, two years later, sharing my blog with the benefits of swaddling the right way, with all my readers!
For a new mama, learning how to swaddle a baby can seem like some secret jujitsu that only nurses have mastered. I remember watching the nurses swaddle my baby at the birth centre and marvelling at their skilled hands. And yet, when I tried to swaddle our son, he’d break free in a matter of minutes.
But soon my husband and I got the hang of it. And we learned two key things:
- There is a swaddle for every baby (blanket swaddle and swaddling clothes) and for every mama (who knew zippers could be involved?)
- With some helpful tips for swaddling success, you too can swaddle like a pro!
Three Ways to Swaddle a Baby
For a very long time I was under the impression there was only one way to swaddle a new-born. The diamond swaddle was the only technique I knew.
Luckily, for those of us who like to have options, there are three excellent swaddling techniques. Life is not the same every day, our time and patience for day-to-day operations of motherhood changes, and so can our swaddling techniques.
- Lay a blanket down on a safe, flat place for baby in a diamond shape/position with the top-most corner folded down 4-6 inches for baby’s head.
- Lay baby down on their back in the centre of the blanket with their neck on the folded corner.
- Pull the left side over and snugly tuck under baby, making sure to keep baby’s hips loose. Never pull their legs straight or force their joints, as this could cause hip dysplasia
- Now pull the blanket on the top right towards the chest area of the baby.
- Pull the bottom corner up and over baby’s left shoulder and then wrap the last corner all the way around baby. Tuck into the little blanket pocket you’ve created on their front
If the diamond swaddle isn’t for you, don’t worry, there are other ways.
- Lay a blanket down in a safe, flat place for baby in a square shape/position folding the top right corner down about 4-6 inches for baby’s head. Lay baby down on their back on the blanket with their neck at the top of the fold; baby will be diagonal across the blanket.
- Pull the right side over and snugly tuck under baby (always making sure they have frog legs/loose hips).
- Pull the left side over, and snugly tuck under baby.
- Tuck the bottom of the blanket behind baby and you’re good to go.
Looking for an even faster option? This method involves a special sleep sack swaddle, but once you’ve got one it’s super simple.
- Put baby in sleep sack like you would a onesie or footie pajamas
- Zip sleep sack (https://tulobaby.com/collections/sleeping-pod)
- Wrap and Velcro
These steps will vary depending on which product you purchase and prefer. We will show you some of our favourites later on in this article. Whether you don’t have enough time or want the simplicity of not having to wrap baby “just so,” a sleep sack is a fine option.
It’s okay if your baby swaddle doesn’t look picture-perfect the first time, or the second time, or even the third time. Take a breath, take your time, and keep trying. Your baby might be crying, and you’ll want to cry too, because you can’t get their little arms to stay in, but you will get it. Remember, many babies calm down once they feel that security in the swaddle.
Hope this works for you as well as it worked for me!
In my next blog, I will post the benefits of swaddling! (Moms won’t rest without knowing the why behind the how, trust me, I know!)