Swaddling isn't difficult, but you’ll want to avoid some common mistakes. Just follow the guidelines below to ensure that your baby won't break out of the swaddle and that she stays snug, calm and happy! 

Tight Swaddling

A Harvard study found that babies actually cry more if they are wrapped loosely!

The secret of swaddling is keeping the arms snug, while leaving the blanket loose around the knees and hips so they can bend and open easily. 

Related: Step-by-Step Instructions for Fool-Proof Swaddling

Swaddle With Straight Arms

Some experts insist that if infants have their hands high up so they can suck their fingers. But wrapping with bent arms is usually a disaster! It allows the hands to wiggle out, which makes babies cry more… and allows the whole wrap to unravel.

It’s true that during the last month or two of pregnancy, a baby’s arms are always bent. However, within two weeks of birth, the arms naturally relax, becoming straighter during calm times and sleep. (Although they do snap back into the bent position during crying.)

Note: Preemies can be wrapped with bent arms, until they near their due date. 

Don't Let Swaddle Touch the Cheeks

When a blanket touches the cheek of your hungry baby, it fools her into thinking it’s the breast. That can set off the rooting reflex and cause her to cry with frustration when she can’t find the nipple. So keep the blanket off the face, by making the swaddle look like a V-neck sweater

Related:  Learn the DUDU Swaddle: The Easiest Swaddling Technique

Use the Right Size Blanket

Small blankets tend to pop open and unravel. Use a blanket that’s big enough to wrap all around your baby’s body – at least 44 inches square.


Let Dr. Karp teach you the easiest and safest way to swaddle and his 5 S's method for calming babies, in The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD. Or, take all the guesswork out of swaddling with our SNOO Sack, a.k.a. the 5-second swaddle.

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