Help your baby sleep snug and sound in a safer swaddle.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents keep their babies swaddled for 12–20 hours per day for the first few weeks after birth. This relaxes babies. Swaddling a baby correctly also protects her from overheating, injuries and sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS.
How to Swaddle
Step 1: Position a blanket like a diamond on a flat surface.
Step 2: Fold the top corner down.
Step 3: Place the baby on his back with his neck over the fold.
Step 4: Hold his left arm against his side.
Step 5: Pull the left corner of the blanket across the body. Tuck the extra material under his back with his right arm still out.
Step 6: Pull the bottom corner of the blanket up over his right shoulder. Make sure to leave room for him to bend his legs. Tuck extra material behind his back.
Step 7: Hold his right arm against his side. Pull the right corner all the way across. Wrap underneath. Make sure his hips can move and the blanket is not too tight. You should be able to fit two or three fingers between his chest and the swaddle.
Once swaddled, place babies to sleep on their backs, not on their sides or stomachs. Put them in their own cribs or bassinets without any soft items, such as blankets, bumper pads, wedges, positioners or toys.
SleepSacks are also options for parents who don’t want to swaddle. These “wearable blankets” keep baby warm but can’t get kicked off like loose blankets can. You can get one for a discounted price from St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s Safety Stop.
“Parents want their babies to be comfortable. Swaddling is a huge part of that. But safe sleep practices and swaddling correctly should always come first,” says Jagruti Shah Anadkat, MD, a Washington University newborn medicine physician at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.