What Is Swaddling A Baby?

What Does Swaddle Mean & The Purpose

If you’ve ever looked inside the baby nursery at a hospital, chances are you’ve seen some cozy, snuggly, all wrapped-up, adorable, little baby burritos. That look is actually called swaddling.  But what is swaddling a baby and why is swaddling your baby so important? Swaddling is meant to soothe your newborn infant as they get used to life outside the womb. Traditional swaddling blankets are made of cotton, muslin, or bamboo – natural, soft fibers that are breathable and help regulate baby’s temperature. Some are large, thin blankets and you create the swaddle yourself – they come with instructions, don’t worry! Others come “swaddle-ready” which some parents find easier to manage.

Either way, with some practice, most parents get the hang of swaddling pretty quickly. We always suggest practice swaddling while baby is calm or even sleeping. It may take a minute to get used to, but once you get the hang of swaddling your baby, you’ll soon realize the benefits and keep swaddling like a pro. Keep reading for more info about swaddling:

What is swaddling?

Swaddling is meant to soothe your newborn infant by wrapping them up in a thin blanket to resemble the feeling of being in the womb. This helps calm a crying baby and is also used so that baby can get some comfortable sleep.

What is the purpose of swaddling a baby?

Swaddling works in those first few months as it reminds baby of life inside the womb where life was nice and tight and warm and snuggly.  Swaddling is meant to soothe and comfort your little one as she transitions to life outside of the womb.

Is it good to swaddle your baby?

When done properly, swaddling helps to soothe a baby, comfort her, and help her sleep more soundly.  Keep in mind that safety is always the primary concern when it comes to baby sleep. As such, according to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) baby should only ever be put to sleep in her swaddle, on her back, and with nothing else in the crib. No extra blankets or sheets or toys, nothing. Once baby starts to roll over on her own – at around 2-4 months – it’s a good time to transition to a sleep sack. Like swaddling, a sleep sack helps to regulate body temperature and eliminates the need for any extra blankets in the crib.

What does swaddle mean? 

When it comes to baby, by loose definition, swaddling means wrapping an infant in breathable fabric to restrict their movement. It’s that tight, snuggly, baby burrito feeling that helps baby feel comfortable.

How do you swaddle a baby?

Most swaddle blankets come with instructions and/or instructional videos on product websites. Read and/or watch them – it will be helpful! Below is the basic idea of how to swaddle:

  1. Make a diamond shape with your swaddle blanket. Fold down one of the corners about ⅓ of the way down. Place baby on her back in the center with her shoulders below the fold, keeping her head and face clear. 
  2. Cover your baby’s right side from shoulder to toes with that side of the blanket. Wrap it around her, arm in, and tuck it underneath the other side nice and snug.
  3. Pull up the bottom of the blanket and tuck that in under the new fold. It should be snug but also allow room so her legs and feet can kick. 
  4. Take the left side and do the same. Pull it over baby’s shoulder and arm and wrap her up until she looks like a yummy little burrito. Remember, the point is to mimic the feeling in the womb.

How long should babies be swaddled?

Once your little one is able to roll over on their own, they typically no longer like the swaddle as it may restrict their movement. While every baby is different and starts to roll over at different times, this milestone is usually reached between 2-4 months old.  By then it’s a great idea to transition to a wearable blanket, also known as a sleep sack, to ensure that your baby is still safe in her sleep space.

How often do you swaddle a newborn?

It’s best to swaddle a baby starting at birth until they’re able to roll over on their own at around 2-4 months. By using the swaddle for both daytime naps and nighttime sleep, chances are your baby will sleep better and for longer stretches of time.

What are the benefits of swaddling?

While every baby and family is different, some parents find that swaddling is the way to go when it comes to soothing their newborn. That’s because swaddling offers that snug feeling that baby is used to from spending 9 months in the womb. Some parents find that baby sleeps better and for longer stretches when swaddled.

A lot of new parents love swaddling because swaddling is meant to soothe your newborn infant as they get used to life outside the womb. Those first few months of life are sometimes referred to as the “fourth trimester” and to help ease that transition, swaddling is meant to mimic life inside the womb where baby has lived so snuggly for the past nine months. It’s that wrapped, tight feeling that helps baby feel comfortable, safe and secure – and who can resist how cute he looks as a little baby burrito?! Swaddling also helps flailing arms and legs that can trigger baby’s startle reflex (also known as the Moro reflex). 

What is a weighted swaddle?

The Dreamland Baby Weighted Sleep Swaddle has a built-in swaddle which means it can be used as a swaddle and a sleep sack. The swaddle features our exclusive CoverCalm™ Technology, gentle, evenly distributed weight that goes from your baby's shoulders to toes. This naturally reduces stress and increases relaxation which helps your baby feel calm, fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Dream Weighted Sleep Swaddle, 0-6 months