Some people call the first few weeks of life “the fourth trimester”—your newborn is adjusting to life outside the womb. Swaddling can help your baby from getting overstimulated by his own jerky limbs. If you decide to swaddle, here are some tips from experts to be sure that swaddling is safe and healthy for your baby’s development.
- Swaddling should only be used for sleeping or to calm a fussy baby. It is important that babies get plenty of time on the floor to stretch out of the womb position and move all of their limbs freely.
- If your baby is content without swaddling, it's not necessary. There's no reason that babies have to be swaddled.
- When in the swaddle, make sure your baby’s legs can fold open from his hips and legs have room to move. Focus the snug portion of the swaddle on baby’s arms, not his legs and lower body.
- See how expert mom positions the swaddle so baby can access his hands here.
- Use lightweight fabrics like the organic cotton muslin swaddle in the first Play Kit
- Make sure the blanket will not come loose while baby is sleeping, and that the top of the blanket is away from his face.
- The swaddle should be snug, but make sure your baby’s chest can expand when breathing.
- Stop swaddling your baby before he learns to roll onto his tummy or side.
Note: Be sure to put your baby on his back for sleeping. Learn why putting your baby to sleep on a flat surface (instead of in semi-reclined baby gear) is so important for development here.