The Perfect Womb Swaddle Technique
When a baby first leaves the womb, he/she is forcibly thrown into a world of discomfort. To a newborn baby, that is the worst thing it has ever experienced. No parent wants to hear their baby cry, but let's face it: it will happen. A lot! The baby is used to being in a warm, tight, confined space. But all of a sudden, the baby is pushed out into a cold and unforgiving world. Swaddling is the closest thing you can get to in order to mimic that feeling of closeness and warmth that the baby has lived with for the past 9 months. Think about this: you are comfortable, warm, literally in your own litle world, and then BAM! You are forced to enter the unknown whether you want to or not. You are scared, cold, hungry and have absolutely no idea what is going on or what is going to happen, much less any idea of where you are. Everything you have ever known has been taken away, and you will never experience that level of comfort and contentment again. That is precisely what a baby is going through after the birth, and you really cant blame them for crying all the time. But wait! There is a way to cut out most of it. It is by swaddling! In this article, I will give detailed pictures and instructions on how to swaddle your precious new angel in a way that will absolutely mimic the feeling of the womb, and my own newborn daughter is the model. So let us just jump right in and get this started, shall we?
Firstly, you are going to need to take a good look at your new baby. That shouldn't be too hard for a new parent, because everything is intriguing, from the tiny hands to the teeny fingernails. What you are dong is getting a general idea of how long your baby is from head to toe. This doesn't have to be exact. A rough estimate will work just fine, so put that tape measure away. You are also going to want to have your baby dressed in a onesie to further the feeling of warmth. For us, we chose to fore-go this step because it was a hot day and my wife and I didn't want her to overheat and sweat.
Folding Is Easy
What you are going to do here is find a good throw blanket. Don't use a baby blanket because they are too big and bulky. The hospital should have provided you with a few of these throw blankets. Lay it out flat and spread it out from corner to corner. Next, you're going to fold down the top corner of the throw blanket. The crease should be about as long as your baby. The reason for this is so that you can tuck the baby's arms down at her side.
From here, you will then place the baby down upon the throw blanket with just her head above the crease, leaving her shoulders and everything else below the line. The reason for this is because you want only the head to stick out so that you may place a cap on her head to keep her head and ears warm. Our baby has a lot of hair, so we chose to skip the hat. That, and she always ends up taking it off anyway.
Now you are going to take the bottom corner of your throw blanket and fold it upwards towards her, with the corner just below her butt. This will make the swaddle that much tighter and leave less room for the baby to squirm and wiggle around in, because remember: you want her to feel like she is in the womb.
Take the bottom of the throw blanket and fold it up over her feet nice and tight. Don't worry about whether or not you're going to hurt her. I promise, you wont. The baby's natural instinct for the first month or 2 is to curl into the fetal position. As time progresses, she will stretch out more and more as she explores this new world.
Now you're going take your baby's arm and place it at her side. Either arm will do, because it desn't matter which side you start with. After that, hold the arm down, because she will bring it right back up to her face. You want her to be in a nice tight bundle. Once you have done this, take one side of the crease at the top and fold it down over her shoulder. This is where it can get a bit tricky, because babies are squirmy and wiggly. Don't get frustrated if you don't make it as tight as you prefer on the first try. This takes time and patience and lots of pratice.
This step is a simple one; you're just going to mirror the same thing you just did but on the opposite side. Fold the arm down securely, fold the crease down over her sholder. This is where it can get messy, because as I said before, babies are squirmy and generally do not cooperate with what you are doing.
Little Flappy Bird
At this point, you should see what looks like flaps on either side of your baby. This is one of the most important steps of the swaddle, because you are going to want to pull these over and across your baby rather tightly. Not so tight that it hurts her, but just tight enough that it wraps her up into a nice little package. Start with one flap and pull it diagonally upwards towards her shoulder and around her back. If an arm comes loose, that's ok. Just tuck it back down at her side before wrapping the first flap.
Flap And Away!
Do the same thing fo the other side, remembering to pull the flap tightly and diagonally around the shoulder and around the back. You can see now how this would make your baby feel safe and secure. She is wrapped up in a little package. Let's call it a baby-rito. Everything is in it's place and she has stopped crying.
You're finished! You successfully did the womb swaddle. Now go get yourself that bowl of ice cream you've been craving all day long! Wait...what are we forgetting...OH YES! The binky. Chances are, she is going to want her binky. Trust me on this one. Give it to her. It will quiet her down if she is still crying, not to mention helping to keep her breathing passageways open. So give yourself a pat on the back and congratulate yourself. You did a wonderful job and now you can relax. Until feeding time.....