Keeping baby cozy
Looking for a way to soothe your newborn? Research shows that swaddling — a technique that mimics the coziness of the womb — can keep your baby warm and secure, as well as possibly calm a baby with colic.
When swaddling isn't done properly, however, it can pose risks for your baby. To safely swaddle your baby, follow these tips.
To place your baby in a swaddle, spread out a blanket and slightly fold over one corner. Lay your baby faceup on the blanket, placing his or her head at the edge of the folded corner. While holding your baby in place, pick up one corner of the blanket. Bring the blanket across your baby's body. Tuck the blanket beneath him or her.
Completing the swaddle
While holding your baby in place, pick up the other corner of the blanket and wrap it across your baby's body. The swaddle will leave only your baby's head and neck exposed.
Don't rigidly extend your baby's legs or make the swaddle too tight. Swaddling a baby in a way that prevents his or her hips or knees from being able to move freely within the blanket can lead to developmental dysplasia of the hip — a condition in which the hip joint has not formed normally and might be easy to dislocate.
Keeping a swaddled baby safe
Once you've swaddled your baby, be sure to practice safe sleep habits. Always place a swaddled baby on his or her back to sleep. Stop swaddling when your baby learns to roll onto his or her stomach.
If you have questions about how to safely swaddle your baby, consult your baby's doctor.