Swaddling and wrapping a newborn baby
Some babies adore being wrapped firmly. It reminds them of being contained in the womb and stops her from startling herself when her newborn startle reflex kicks in. Other babies, however, adore their newfound freedom and will resist being restrained in a wrap. It's all a matter of trial and error to see how your baby likes to settle.
Should I wrap my baby?
In the warmer months a muslin wrap is ideal to keep your baby snug, but won't allow her to overheat. In winter you can go with a warmer wrap which will keep baby snug and cosy at night. You have two alternatives with wrapping: firmly bundling her arms in the wrap, or allowing her hands to stay free for thumb-sucking and arms-akimbo sleeping.
How to wrap your baby
- Lay the blanket flat on a bed or other safe, flat surface in a diamond shape. Fold the top corner down about 15 centimetres.
- Place the baby on her back, so her head is above the fold.
- Holding your baby's right arm to her side, pull the left corner across her body and then tuck it under the right side of her back.
- Pull the bottom corner up over her feet and tuck into the fabric stretched across her chest.
- Holding your baby's left arm to her side, bring the last corner across your baby's body and tuck under the left side.
When to stop wrapping your baby
As soon as your baby's strong enough to start rolling over you need to stop wrapping. Start by loosening the wrap before removing it all together. If your baby is attached to the wrap, you might consider using the wrap instead of a top sheet until she's ready to give it up.
This article was written by Linda Drummond for Kidspot, New Zealand's leading pregnancy and parenting resource.