Swaddling is the practice of wrapping babies in swaddling cloths, large muslins, lightweight blankets or cotton sheets.
Swaddling keeps a baby's arms close to their body and legs snuggled together, which may help your baby to sleep soundly and securely by recreating the comfort and snugness of the womb.
How to swaddle your baby
tips and advice
- choose lightweight fabrics for good air circulation, ideally soft and stretchy to wrap around baby's body.
- regularly check your baby is in the correct sleeping position, on their back.
- swaddling can help relieve symptoms of colic by providing gentle, even pressure around the abdomen.
- swaddling may also help with positioning your baby for breastfeeding by tucking away wriggling little hands and arms.
- please remember swaddling is only intended for use with young babies.
- do not allow your baby to get too warm – regularly check your baby's temperature.
- babies should not be swaddled at every sleep or nap time.
To make sure swaddling is practiced safely, it is best to follow the advice and diagrams within this page and follow any swaddling instructions you may receive.
how to swaddle
- 1. place baby as shown with their shoulders lined up with straight edge of the blanket.
- 2. firmly pull one side of the swaddling blanket around the baby and tuck it under baby's arm and body
- 3. firmly pull the last side of the blanket around baby and tuck underneath.
- swaddling is only recommended for the first 3-4 months.
- your baby will need to wear just a bodysuit (and sometimes a sleepsuit) underneath the swaddling sheet or blanket. But this will depend on the time of year (and the room temperature).
- make sure the sheet or blanket is no higher than your baby's shoulders.
- your baby's head should never be covered with the swaddling blanket, and needs to be clearly visible.
- heavy blankets should not be used for swaddling due to the risk of overheating
- we recommend using a room thermometer, the ideal room temperature for babies is between 16-20 centigrade.
- you should look and feel your baby regularly when swaddled to make sure they are comfortable and not too warm or too cold.
- always place your baby to sleep on his or her back.
- ensure your baby is not swaddled too tightly to restrict breathing, or too loosely so that your baby can move and become entangled in the cloth.
- it is important a baby can move with no restrictions throughout the day. They need to develop their muscles, which will help them, to crawl and sit in the future This is why babies should not be swaddled at every sleep or nap time.
1. lay baby on swaddling blanket
2. pull one side around
3. pull last side around