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Six steps to safe swaddling

Swaddling has been practiced for centuries, and for good reason. It’s a simple, effective way to help soothe a fussy baby. It also keeps a baby from being awakened by his or her own startle reflex, and that helps everyone get a little more sleep.  

If you are new to parenthood, learning how to safely swaddle your baby is an essential skill to master. Before you start, here are a few things to keep in mind.  

  • Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep, whether or not the baby is swaddled.  
  • Remove soft or loose bedding from the crib to prevent suffocation.  
  • When swaddling a baby, make sure the hips and legs can move freely. Swaddling a baby with the legs drawn together can cause hip dysplasia, a condition in which the thigh bones do not fit securely in the hip socket.

Do not swaddle a baby past two months of age, or whenever he or she can roll over.

safe swaddling infographic, how to swaddle an infant safely

As the infographic says: the six steps to safe swaddling are step one spread the blanket out flat with one corner folded down. Step two lay the baby face up on the blanket with her head above the folded corner. Step three straighten her left arm and wrap the left corner of the blanket over her body and tuck it between her right arm and the right side of her body. Step four then tuck the right arm down and fold the right corner of the blanket over her head. Step five fold or twist the bottom of the blanket loosely and tuck it under one side of the baby. Step six make sure her hips and legs can move freely and that the blanket is not too tight. You should be able to fit two or three fingers between the baby's chest and the swaddling blanket.


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