Newborns love the secure feeling of being tucked tight in a baby burrito.
Here are the steps:
Newborns arrive easily startled and without a lot of control of their arms and legs, and in the first weeks after birth it comforts and calms them to be wrapped up tight in a baby bundle. But don’t be fooled by how easy postpartum nurses make it look– mastering the swaddle can take practice!
First, you need fabric—a 28” by 28” receiving blanket is a good size. Material that’s a little elastic, like cotton jersey, will help you get a tighter tuck. Put your blanket down in a diamond, and fold the top corner down to make a “collar.” Put your baby in the middle, with the edge of the fold you just made at about chin height.
Pull the left side of the blanket over the right side of your baby’s chest and tuck it under the left side, making sure his right arm is firmly tucked in.
Next, pull the bottom corner up and over his feet, and tuck that under his right side.
Finally (and quickly, before he kicks off his foot cover) take the right corner and pull that around the baby’s front, securing his left arm, and tuck that fabric into the “collar” behind his right shoulder.
If your baby seems to hate swaddling and frees his arms within minutes every time, try a “spa towel” style wrap with his hands free. And if he doesn’t seem to like that, either, or you can’t get the hang of it, don’t despair— babies grow out of swaddling by one month of age, and in the meantime, you can get the same cozy result with a front carrier.