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How to Swaddle a Newborn Baby With a Receiving Blanket

Updated on September 30, 2012
My little girl Alyssa, 2 months
My little girl Alyssa, 2 months

A good swaddle is a useful tool for the parent of a newborn. It is a great way to calm and comfort. Make sure to balance swaddling with "exercise," give them time to kick and stretch and don't forget to take pictures... baby burritos are soooo cute ^_^

Swaddling is a very old practice. One that has gotten a bad reputation at times. Some methods of swaddling are extremely restrictive putting the baby at risk for hip dysplasia. Hip Dysplasia is when the hip joints become loose or even dislocate. A baby is born with soft hips that gradually harden over the first few months. If the baby is swaddled so that the legs are strait and pushed together, imagine a mermaid, then the hip joints are pulled out of their natural positions in the socket. Left untreated this can lead to trouble walking, painful arthritis, and in it's most severe form the person becomes crippled.

This method focuses the swaddle across the abdomen and not the legs. In fact the legs are encouraged into a somewhat bent position, the same position I see my children sleeping in when they aren't swaddled. Because the bottom flap isn't secured anywhere it easily allows the baby to kick its legs. Keep these points in mind when swaddling and you can rest assured that your not putting you baby in any greater risk. Just enjoy the wonderfully calm, sleeping baby!

Video instructions

Step #1

Start with your blanket's corners facing up and down.

Step #2

Fold top corner down as shown

Step #3

Place baby with head on the fold

Step #4

Make 2 folds near shoulders as shown

Step #5

Pin down right arm and pull corner of blanket over body and tuck under baby

Step #6

Pull bottom corner up onto baby

Step #7 Final Step

Pin down left arm and wrap last corner very tight around baby and tuck under body. Baby should not be able to undo even when fussing.

You've got your little one all nicely swaddled... now what's that smell? Hmm... time to change their diaper and start all over again ^_^

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    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
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      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Thank you so much Michelle!! You are too kind ^_^

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      Great for new mums, Sasha! Great pics to explain the process too! Thanks for sharing, and I share as well!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
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      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Denise, Thank you for your lovely comment ^_^ I'm so glad the fussier baby was the one that took to swaddling... I can't imagine if it had been the other way around! I'm so happy you found the instructions clear and thank you for complimenting my daughter. ^_^

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
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      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Ishwaryaa, Thank you so much for your generous comment! Always a pleasure hearing from you ^_^ I also thank you for the compliment to my baby ^_^ The moms in India sure know how to care for an infant ^_^

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 5 years ago from New York, New York

      So glad Sasha that it is back up and very happy to include you in my colic article. Hope you have a wonderful day too!!!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
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      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Yay... It's back up ^_^

      Janine, Thank you so much ^_^ I would love to be included in your colic article. Neither of my babies had colic... but I've heard horror stories about my colic as a baby ^_^ My poor mom. Having a baby/child that sleeps well makes all the difference! I'm happy to hear your second gave you that. Thank you again, your comments are always wonderful and you are so kind to share and votes as well. Have a wonderful day my hub-friend!

    • denisemai profile image

      Denise Mai 5 years ago from Idaho

      One of my children liked to be swaddled. She would be crying and we would swaddle her up tight like a mummy and she would instantly calm. It was a life saver for us as she was a fussy baby. My son, however, wanted no part of swaddling. Lucky for us he was calm and easy going.

      Your step by step photos are easy to follow allowing anyone to learn the technique. (Beautiful baby!) Well done. :)

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 5 years ago from Chennai, India

      A helpful hub with direct step-by-step instructions and video! Just like Rajan Sir said, even swaddling is used widely for babies in my country. This is a very good guide for parents of babies and also future parents. Your daughter looked very adorable. Well-done!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Beautiful. Voted up

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 5 years ago from New York, New York

      This article and video too is absolutely awesome and such a necessary thing for mothers to know how to do to their newborn babies. My older would not let me do this to her and was just a very colicky, difficult infant, but younger allowed me form day one and was an awesome sleeper and saved me a bit of sanity if you know what I mean. I am going to include this in my colic article where I speak a bit about swaddling and its benefit, if that is Ok with you. Have also voted, shared and tweeted :)

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
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      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Two comments ^_^ I'm honored, thank you!

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Cygnet Brown 5 years ago from Springfield, Missouri

      The pictures and video were very instructive.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
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      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Cygnetbrown, Absolutely! People always asked me how my children were such good sleepers (both were sleeping through the night by 8 weeks) and I credit swaddling. I'm so glad it worked well for you too ^_^ thank you very much for visiting.

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Cygnet Brown 5 years ago from Springfield, Missouri

      This one "trick" helped me so much when my children were born. My children loved the security of being swaddled. Swaddled children feel like they are back in the womb where they knew they were safe.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
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      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      rlbertoo, I'm so happy you found this helpful. Swaddling can be difficult at first but keep trying. Once you get it you'll love it. Just don't be afraid to wrap tightly. A loose swaddle will come undone far too easily. That was my biggest problem when I was first learning with my oldest. Thank you for taking the time to comment ^_^ Good luck!

    • rlbert00 profile image

      rlbert00 5 years ago from USA

      Kim...You no doubt have no idea how useful I have found this hub. I have a daughter who is two and one that is about a month old now and the art of the swaddle has eluded me. I found the video and the photos very useful, I think I may be able to figure this out...someday. Nicely done.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image
      Author

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Thank you rajan jolly, I think swaddling is wonderful and I swaddled both my babies from birth. I'm happy to hear the same is done in India.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Kim, the pics are instructive on their own. Your daughter is so cute. In India swaddling is done as soon as a child is born.

      Voted up, useful and beautiful. Shared this hub.