The first time your baby visits the hospital nursery, she'll probably come back wrapped in a neat little package, with only her fuzzy little head poking out. That’s because nurses know one of the secrets to a happy, calm infant — swaddling.
Most importantly, this ancient method serves the all-important purpose of helping your little one (and you) stay calm and sleep more soundly. Here's why:
• Swaddling prevents the newborn startle reflex by keeping Baby’s arms tightly at the sides. Baby won't waken to a startle
• Newborns feel comforted and calm in the womb-like wrap
• Baby love the warmth and security without loose blankets — which are a hazard
Keep in mind, Vanderbilt Health cautions agains swaddling an infant capable of rolling over on her own (between 2 and 3 months of age). Swaddling is a technique for the youngest of babies only.
Always make sure to place your infant on her back for sleep, and be mindful of her temperature (you may have to turn your thermostat down a tad; between 68 and 72 is ideal).
Getting that perfect balance of comfortability and secureness is tricky — especially when you haven’t slept in two days. It takes practice, but you’ll be swaddling like a maternity nurse before too long.
Here's a step-by-step guide for how to swaddle a newborn like a pro: