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How to Swaddle a Baby (For Beginners!)

Swaddling for Beginners

Delivery nurses make it look easy. It’s not. Swaddling can be frustrating and confusing, especially when you’ve got a crying baby in your arms! In this video Roger Kirk gives you step by step methods for swaddling your baby, and a bonus method to help when those pesky kids bust out of their swaddle in the middle of nap time. Swaddling is a great way to help your baby fall asleep and stay asleep. All you need is the right technique. If you find this helpful, please like this video and subscribe to our channel for the latest tips from our friendly pediatricians! #Swaddling #SleepSack #HowToSwaddle #Babies #chachacha

Hey there. I’m Roger Kirk. I’m a nurse practitioner of pediatrics here at Preferred Medical Group. We’re going to talk a little bit today about safe sleep practices for your newborn. I’m going to do a couple of things to show how to swaddle. Now is swaddling safe? Swaddling is safe if you do it right. It is not the easiest thing in the world. I’ve done this for 20 years and I’m still not the best swaddler, but somebody was smart enough to come up with something just foolproof. But swaddling is fine up until about three months to four months when the baby starts to rollover. Once they start rolling over, then we want to not swaddle and just let them sleep in the crib unswaddled.

Traditional Blanket Method #1

Step 1

This is a nice big blanket that I folded up into a square. How we do this, and these are dolls, these are not real babies, so I’m just going to move them around kind of rough.

Step 2

We’re going to lay it down in a triangle. We’re going to bend the top down just a little bit. We’re going to take the baby’s head and put their shoulders right on the top part of the fold.

Step 3

We’ll take my short end, and I’m going to wrap, and you can either wrap it around the arm like this or you can wrap it across the body like this, tucking it under.

Step 4

Then I’m going to take the bottom part and fold up and over and bring over to this side.

Step 5

Finally, tucking the right arm in with the longer corner, pulling over and pulling it tight, but not so tight that the baby can’t move, but tight enough to where they feel secure, tucking underneath the baby. Baby’s arms are safely down by their side. They’re comfy. They’re cozy. They feel like with their mom. They sleep very well like that.

Traditional Blanket Method #2

Step 1

You can also do it where their arms are up like this close to the face. They can put hands up close to their mouth so they can soothe themselves.

Step 2

You would put the first arm up in there kind of tight, pull it over, pull this side up and over, and then this side.

Step 3

Pull it over, tucking underneath.

Step 4

Baby’s got her hands up near her mouth so that she can self soothe herself back to sleep. This is the traditional swaddling way. These nursery nurses make it look easy. It’s not that easy, but you can figure it out if you get a big enough blankets.

The Sleep Sack! (The Best Method IMHO)

The foolproof way and the way that I liked it are these little sleep sacks. It’s like a baby sleeping bag basically. Has nice Velcro wings, as I call them. It’s a little sack with short sleeve arms. The way you do that, you place baby in here…

Step 1

…put his arms through like he’s putting on a little jacket, and then it’s got a full length zipper.

Step 2

See there’s tons of room down here for his legs. Zip it up.

Step 3

Then I’m going to take this side that’s not got the Velcro, I’m going to pull it over, tuck.

Step 4

Then I’m going to pull this side over. You don’t want to bring it across his mouth. You want to bring it kind of at an angle. Velcro fastened.

Step 5

You want to leave about a finger width underneath for safety reasons.

Sleep Sack Safety Check

Hips are not bound tightly, which is what we don’t want to do because that can damage the growth of the hips, and his legs are free in case he wants to kick his legs around. Love these things. They’re sleep sacks. They’re about $15 to $20 depending on what store you look at them. Great baby gifts. Good way to to safely swaddle your baby. Either way, baby is snug, baby is cozy, baby sleeps well, and mom and dad sleep better.

Like I said, swaddling is great until about three or four months. Once they start rolling over, we want to unswaddle because if they roll over their arms are not going to be free to push over back this way, thus reducing the safety. We hope you got some good information from this. If you’d like to talk more about it when you come see us here at Preferred Medical Group we’ll be glad to. We hope you have a good day.


Preferred Medical Group is currently accepting new pediatric patients at our offices in Columbus / Phenix CityFort Mitchell, and Opelika. In addition to sick and wellness visits, we offer Behavioral Health counselling and ADHD assessments for children. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us directly or schedule your next visit through our convenient online appointment system.  

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