Swaddling is a great way to soothe a newborn. Being bundled up reminds them of the warm, snug environment they recently emerged from (aka the womb) and keeps their reflexes from startling them. And it is a great way to wrap up your baby before letting someone hold them and here is why:
A little insight into me, one of my pet peeves is to see people holding infants haphazardly. The newborn’s head is not supported and in turn is flapping around everywhere. Ahhh!!! I know baby’s are resilient and survive through a lot… but still. A newborn’s neck is so weak! My midwife showed me this simple, efficient way to swaddle a baby to 1) soothe & relax them and 2) support their neck. The pictures below will take you through how to swaddle a baby in 5 steps. Swaddling your little bundle of joy in this manner before letting others, especially young children, hold him/her will better protect your baby’s neck even with the most inexperienced baby holder.
How to Swaddle your Baby… and protect their neck
Step 1: Lay a blanket flat and place your babe in the middle. His/her neck should be on the top border.
Step 2: Making sure the baby’s arm is straight at his side, take an upper corner of the blanket and bring it across the baby’s body. Then tuck it snugly underneath the baby.
Step 3: Hold baby’s free arm against body and pull the other corner across the baby’s body. Then tuck snugly underneath baby’s body.
Step 4: Take the bottom two corners of the blanket that are free in each hand and cross them and bring them up to the baby’s head. The baby’s legs are not going to be straight but rather bunched up a little, kind of like how they were inside the womb.
Step 5: Tie a basic knot in the back of the baby’s neck, pulling securely while being mindful of baby. And there you have it!
The knot behind the baby’s head keeps the baby’s head from falling backwards as they often do. This is a great swaddle to put your baby in when letting others hold your baby, especially if they are not used to holding babies. This is my little toddler holding our new baby just a day old. Excuse his nakedness… he is wearing a diaper at least. My husband had picked him up from the friend’s house he had stayed at during the birth and he just had a bath. He was so anxious to meet his little brother, that there wasn’t time to put on his clothes!
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