Parents’ Guide to How to Swaddle Baby



Some babies like to be swaddled. Since swaddling mimics pressure in utero, it’s a familiar feeling to baby. Swaddling is meant to calm baby and promote sleep. Baby can be swaddled for as long as they like it, which could be up to 6 months.

Here’s one way to swaddle. Spread out a blanket that’s folded into a triangle. Place baby’s head above the side with the fold. Grab one side and wrap it over baby’s body, with their arms inside. Tuck in the blanket. Wrap the other side of the blanket across baby’s body and tuck. Make sure baby is snug and fold the bottom of the blanket under baby. You’ve swaddled baby! Another way to swaddle is to fold up the bottom first and then wrap!

It doesn’t need to be a perfect wrap, as long as baby is safely wrapped it’s fine! But sometimes baby doesn’t like to be swaddled. Here are some ideas if baby doesn’t like a traditional swaddle:
1. If baby wants their arms out of the swaddle, don’t discourage it. Swaddle them with arms outside.
2. If baby doesn’t like the leg restriction, try a sleeping bag, which allows more movement of legs.
3. If the swaddle doesn’t calm baby, try placing a hand lightly on baby’s chest.
4. If baby is having trouble transitioning out of swaddling, sleep suits can be an alternative that keeps baby’s arms in a T-shape.
If you’re having trouble swaddling, remember it’s more about safety than style.

Visit Pathways.org for more information about children’s development. All materials including videos are provided at no cost; no fees or charges may be associated with any of the Pathways.org materials without prior written approval.

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