Wrap a Baby in a Blanket

How to Wrap a Baby in a Blanket - Step-by-Step Guide

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Swaddling is a traditional practice that provides security to newborn babies by wrapping them in a blanket. Proper swaddling technique is a cornerstone in helping to meet a baby’s basic needs. It reduces little one’s fussiness and contributes to better sleep in the first couple of months. The blanketing process may seem complicated, but wrapping a baby is not rocket science while equipped with the right skills and a little practice.

What Are the Benefits of Swaddling?

For babies, swaddling mimics the secure environment of the womb, which is naturally calming to babies and helps them fall asleep. The swaddle also accommodates the startle reflex that often wakes up the baby. This results in long-lasting sleep and overall quality of sleep. Babies that have a good night’s sleep are less irritable and easier to soothe. They are also easier to feed and gain weight.

Swaddle also offers a sense of warmth and confinement. It helps to relieve colic and crying in newborns. The wrapping process is based on the calming effect of touch while preventing excessive movements. Newborn swaddling is a method many parents use to quickly calm or comfort their upset baby.

From a practical perspective, swaddling the baby makes it easier for caregivers to move around. A baby swaddled in a blanket is not able to startle themselves awake with movements from their arms and legs. This implies that the parents can find it easier to carry a baby. They can attend to their needs without excessive squirming or accidental scratching.

For all these reasons, pediatric experts heavily advocate swaddling as a useful tool - especially in the first few months of the baby’s life. Swaddling is beneficial for little one’s health and growth when it is applied appropriately.

How to Wrap Baby in Swaddle

How to Wrap Baby in Swaddle

Choosing the Best Blanket for Swaddling

An ideal swaddling blanket should be lightweight and breathable. The piece must offer the perfect balance of stretch and security.

Muslin is one of the best blankets for swaddling because it is soft and airy. Such baby blankets are comfy and durable so that your baby can stay warm without being overheated. Another advantage of muslin is that it naturally stretches and it is easier to achieve a tight wrap.

Another option is a stretchy swaddling blanket. This blanket can be made with cotton and stretchy fabrics such as spandex or jersey. It offers a tight fit but still allows for the baby’s movement. A stretchy blanket comes in convenient sizes, and some even feature helpful prints or guides for proper wrapping.

Whichever fabric you choose, it should be a spacious blanket ranging from 40 to 50 inches square. This provides for enough coverage and a tight wrap without excess cloth that may come loose. Do not use warm and heavy blankets that may lead to overheating. Avoid blankets with beads and loose threads that could pose a safety hazard.

Preparing for Wrapping

Now, let’s establish a safe wrapping environment. Never place a swaddled baby on a soft surface like cushions, waterbeds, or beanbag chairs. The baby's crib must be equipped with a firm mattress to avoid suffocation in case the baby is able to roll over and end up in a position facing the mattress. Do not place a pillow and stuffed animals in the crib. Always place your baby on their back.

Make sure the room temperature is appropriate for both you and the baby. This will prevent overheating or chilling during the wrapping process.


Step-by-Step Guide

Start by laying the wrapping blanket in a diamond position and then fold down the top corner for about six inches. Lay the baby on its back on the folded corner of the blanket with their neck along the fold. While holding the baby’s head in the left hand, the right-hand pulls the left side of the blanket and folds it over the body to the right corner. Then, tuck it snugly under the back. Fold the right arm over the body, and then repeat the process with the left arm. Both arms should be within the wrap.

Next, fold or roll the bottom corner of the blanket over the baby’s feet. Tuck it under securely but still allow some action for the baby’s legs. Take the final corner and bring it diagonally across the baby and around their back on the left corner to tuck the swaddle. The wrap must be not too loose and not too tight. The baby's chest can expand while breathing, and the hips can move a little.

Alter the “cocoon” according to the needs of your child, providing some space for mobility. The baby’s nose and mouth should remain uncovered. The legs and hips should not be tightly covered to avoid hip dysplasia.

Swaddling Tips and Tricks to Follow

Even with proper wrapping techniques, there are some common issues you may face. If the swaddle is too loose, the baby will find it easy to escape, and this can lead to scratching or startling themselves awake. On the other hand, swaddling your baby too tightly may lead to suffocation and overheating. Keep an eye on your little one and their reaction, and ensure that the wrap is not too loose or too tight. This will reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).

You can apply different ways of swaddling for various situations. For sleeping, choose a tighter wrap to recreate the feeling of being in a womb and to encourage longer periods of sleep. A less tight wrap that allows for more leg movement is better for the baby when traveling or running errands.

Swaddle wrap baby blanket

Frequently Asked Questions

When Should I Swaddle My Baby?

Swaddling can be started immediately, right after the baby’s arrival. Swaddling is most beneficial when babies are in the newborn stage when they have a strong startle reflex. It is recommended to swaddle the baby until 2-3 months or until the baby starts showing signs of trying to roll over.

Should I Place My Baby’s Arms Up or Down When Swaddling?

The baby’s arms should be placed down and across the body when swaddling. This evokes the sense of enclosure and containment they had in the womb. However, some newborns like having their arms up by their head – follow your little one’s cue.

Is It Ok to Not Swaddle a Newborn?

There is nothing wrong if you do not want to swaddle your baby. Swaddling is not a must but rather an age-old method that offers comfort and sleep for most newborns. Other babies just do not like being wrapped in the swaddling blanket. You should find out what is beneficial for your baby, as each one is an individual.


Swaddling a baby in a blanket may appear to be a basic skill, but mastering the technique holds great potential for both the baby and the mother. Following these step-by-step instructions and practicing on a daily basis will soon make you an expert at baby swaddling. This way, you will provide your little one with the warmth and security they so desperately need. Keep in mind that safety should always be the top priority, and if there are any questions or doubts, it is best to consult healthcare professionals or experienced pediatrics.