Newborn Swaddle Safety Tips

Swaddling is the process of calming and comforting newborns by wrapping the baby in fabric. As a baby adjusts to life outside of the womb, swaddling creates a sense of warmth and peace that mimics the security of a mum's womb.  Swaddling promotes rest, soothes the baby when in distress and protects the baby from accidents such as scratching and rolling into uncomfortable positions.

According to the Official Journey of the American Academy of Paediatrics, the benefits of swaddling include:

  • more quiet sleep
  • A reduction in excessive crying for newborns under 7 weeks old
  • Fewer spontaneous arousals during sleep
  • Improvements in neuromuscular development
  • Reduced behavioural distress
  • Improved sleep for babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome  (NAS)

Swaddling has been practised across cultures all over the world for centuries, and caretakers have proven different swaddling methods that best suit the baby. Swaddling is known to be a safe technique to soothe babies, and parents who are new to swaddling must understand the few risks involved to best protect the baby.

Loosely Swaddled Baby

Risks of Swaddling

The Swaddle Society has prepared useful instructions on How To Swaddle A Baby to ensure that the baby is comfortable and swaddled appropriately for healthy development.

Risks of improper swaddling for new Swaddlers to be aware of include:

  • Swaddling too loosely that the swaddle comes undone
  • Swaddling too tightly (especially around the chest area that prevents complete breathing)
  • Swaddling with a blanket or cloth that is too heavy for the baby
  • Swaddling beyond the necessary time (caretakers are strongly advised to stop swaddling a baby once he or she can roll over)
Tightly Swaddled Baby

Newborn Swaddle Safety Tips

  • Swaddle baby using a proper and secure technique up until the baby can roll over
  • Once baby is safely swaddled, always lay baby on their back and never on their side or front
  • Leave enough comfortable space for baby to bend their legs out and up at the hips
  • Do not cover baby’s face and allow baby to have controlled and comfortable neck movement to turn and see
  • Swaddle with a light blanket such as those available on The Swaddle Society store to ensure the baby doesn’t overheat and is cool in the swaddle
  • Snug babies in a swaddle around the baby’s arms rather than legs

The Swaddle Society’s helpful instructional video demonstrates how to best swaddle a baby so that the baby is comfortable and safe. 

What do the experts say about Swaddling?

Doctor Harvey Karp, author of “The Happiest Baby on the Block” is a paediatrician who writes that swaddling is a proven method of caring for a baby because “the world is too big for them! That’s why they love to be cuddled in our arms and to be swaddled!”.

Doctor Rachel Moon of the AAP Safe Sleep Guidelines and Chair of the SIDS Taskforce advises that babies should not be swaddled after 2 months of birth.

Maternity Nurse Melissa Gersin explains “Being swaddled is like having a big hug”.

The Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta explains the many benefits of swaddling and how to prevent developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) through proper and safe swaddling.

The Swaddle Society’s blankets are made of a blend of cotton and bamboo. ph. D. Debra Rose Wilson of Medical News Today shares that bamboo is hypoallergenic and cooling, perfect for resting babies.

How to Swaddle a Baby

The Swaddle Society’s Swaddling

Step 1: Depending on the length of the forearms of the baby, fold down the top edge of the swaddle a few inches. 

Step 2: Lay your baby on the swaddle so that the shoulders of the baby are in line with the folded top edge of the swaddle.

Step 3: Take one arm of the baby and pop it under the fold you created. 

Step 4: From the side where you have tucked away the baby's arm, bring the swaddle across the baby’s body, and secure the extra fabric flat behind the baby’s back. 

Step 5: Repeat step 3 and 4 but for the opposite arm of the baby. 

Step 6: Take the loose swaddle fabric by the legs of the baby and fold it up, securing it behind the baby’s back around the waist. 

Other uses for Swaddle Blankets

As parents are advised to stop swaddling babies after 2 months, or as soon as the baby can roll over, swaddle blankets and swaddle cloths can be reused for a variety of other purposes.

All swaddles from The Swaddle Society are generous in size and beautifully designed, available in 120cm x 120cm cloths. Swaddle blankets with these giving measurements have been reused as:

  • Security blankie
  • Playmat
  • Picnic Rug
  • Breastfeeding Modesty Blanket
  • Bassinet Sheet
  • Baby beach towel
Bug and Beetle Swaddle

Shop The Swaddle Society

View The Swaddle Society’s extensive range of swaddles in the online store. Shop incredible prints such as the sophisticated Monochrome Bug and Beetle Swaddle and fun French Rooster Swaddle. The Swaddle Society team is excited about creating safe and sturdy swaddles to comfort newborns and further support the baby’s growth. For any enquiries regarding The Swaddle Society range and newborn swaddle safety tips and advice, contact the Swaddle Society team online.