How to Swaddle Your Baby Safely
After baby is tightly cuddled inside mom for nine months, babies love the comfort of being swaddled after birth. Swaddling is a technique that can help calm fussy or crying babies and even help them sleep longer their first few months of life, which is something all moms need! But, there are a couple of important things to remember in order to swaddle your baby safely.
Swaddle Safety Tips
ALWAYS place your baby to sleep on his or her back.
A baby should never be placed on his/her stomach for sleeping, but especially not while swaddled.
Baby's crib should be bare.
Do not put any loose blankets, pillows, bumpers or stuffed animals in the bed with your baby as they can be a suffocation hazard. Baby’s crib should be bare with just a tight fitting sheet.
When there are signs of rolling it's time to stop.
Swaddling should be discontinued when your baby shows signs of rolling over or breaking free from the swaddle wrap. When this occurs, transition your baby into a SleepSack® wearable blanket. While it varies for every baby, generally a baby should not be swaddled past 4 months.
Make sure the swaddle is securely wrapped.
To reduce the risk of the fabric accidentally covering baby’s mouth or nose, the swaddle wrap must be snug, appropriately sized, positioned around baby’s torso and securely fastened.
Some infants want to self-soothe by sucking on their fingers or touching their face. The option of having your baby’s arms across his chest or elbows bent with hands towards his face is helpful for allowing movement, if your baby is unsettled with the confinement of swaddling. If your baby is fighting to be free of the swaddle wrap we suggest transitioning to swaddling with arms out.
Always select the appropriate size for your baby.
We recommend selecting a size based on your baby’s current weight and length. It’s important that the swaddle is not too large for your baby. It should not be purchased like clothing as something that your child will grow into. Please refer to the SleepSack® wearable blanket size chart to select the proper size for your baby.
Your baby is safest in her own crib or bassinet, not in your bed.
Swaddling may increase the chance your baby will overheat, so avoid letting your baby get too hot. Your baby could be too hot if you notice sweating, damp hair, flushed cheeks, heat rash, and rapid breathing. To avoid overheating, baby should be dressed in just lightweight pajamas or a bodysuit underneath the swaddle. Keep baby’s room at 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Do not tightly swaddle your baby's hips.
Your baby should be able to freely move and flex her legs. Look for a swaddle with a generous sack design, like the HALO® SleepSack® swaddle. It's recognized as "hip healthy" by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.