Baby Swaddling – Why swaddle?

Burrito Swaddle

When your baby is born it is swaddled right away not only to keep it warm, but also so your little one doesn’t get scared of all the space available around. Infant are used to being in moms belly, where it is all tight and cozy.

Especially the premature babies, they will calm down easier when you place your hand steady on them. Rather than when you will try doing slow circles on their hands or heads. For infants, it is all about the firm contact. It makes them feel safe.

Why Swaddle

Once your little baby is born, nurses swaddle the baby really tight. There is couple of reasons for baby swaddling.

  • So your baby would feel safe and protected, while getting used to all the space around.
  • Swaddling also prevents babies from waking themselves up, from their own hand movements.
  • Swaddling calms down babies, and helpless them sleep a lot calmer and longer.
  • The most important part of swaddling is keeping the baby warm, until her/his body can keep the body temperature normalized.

Different Technique

We all know the most common swaddling technique the burrito swaddling, but their is a lot more. Some babies don’t even like swaddling, if your baby has trouble sleeping being swaddle like a burrito try one of these methods.

  • Feeding Cues Swaddle – swaddle is great for the first two weeks of your babies life.
  • Hands Up Swaddle – swaddle is great for the first month of your babies life, especially if they prefer sleeping with hands free.
  • Bat Wings Swaddle – swaddle is great from 2 weeks to 6 weeks of babies life, is perfect if your babies needs swaddling just to fall asleep.
  • Houdini Swaddle – swaddle is great from 6 weeks to 12 weeks, if your baby is fussy and has gas releasing problems this swaddle is the best choice.
  • Arms Only Swaddle – swaddle is great from 3 to 4 months, best for babies that run warm. This type of swaddle will help them not over heat, but still feel safe and cozy.
  • Burrito Swaddle – swaddle is great from 3 to 4 months, if your babies needs lots of leg space movement this swaddle is the right one for you.
  • Preemie Swaddle – swaddle is great for babies born before the 40 weeks.

When To Stop Swaddling

There is couple signs that the baby gives, which will let you know that it’s time to stop. This time comes around babies that reached 5 months.

  • Decreased or no startle reflex at all
  • Easily unwraps from swaddling during the night (being to strong or mobile)
  • Wakes up during the night, when usually slept soundly.
  • Increase in activity or being able to pull the arms out in the sleep
  • Doesn’t want to be swaddled or wanting on of the arms to be out
  • Rolling over on the stomach because of stronger arm and neck movements are available

Baby Sleeping

How To Stop Swaddling

There is a lot of different techniques, that can help you teach your baby how to sleep without swaddling. It could take you couple nights and maybe even 2 or 3 weeks, but I know that you can do it mommy. You can go fully without swaddling right away, or going step by step (which pediatrics recommend).

If you decided to go all out and start sleeping all free from swaddling, I wish you the best luck and maybe your baby will be one that gets into it right away. But if your not that lucky step by step is your way.

If you used to swaddling you baby legs free which is the burrito swaddle or arms only swaddle, try not swaddling the legs first for a day or two and see how your baby sleeps.

After wards without swaddling one arm and give your little one couple nights to get used to it. Also try switching up the hands every night. Once you believe that your little one is ready go for it.

How My Swaddling Went

Since Angel was a premature baby and went to NICU right after birth, the nurses didn’t swaddle him because of all the wires connected to him, His swaddling started one week after being born, and oh boy I had a fight with that one. Not only I didn’t know how to swaddle, but he didn’t want to get swaddled himself.

You would ask than why swaddle at all? Well I wouldn’t swaddle him, but he didn’t want to sleep hand free from swaddling. After some days of fighting he gave up, I finally won. My personal favorite swaddling way was arms only swaddle, he had a lot of gas released during the night.

At around 5 months he learned how to roll over on his belly, that’s when I knew swaddling had to stop. At first I wanted to go all out and stop swaddling fully right away, but after couple nights of no sleeping I gave up and went to step by step method. And after a week he was ready to go all out.

Trust your Self

You know your baby better than anyone pick the swaddling method right for you, or don’t even swaddle. It’s all up to you, I believe in you mom. Let me know in the comments: What is your favorite swaddling method or you don’t swaddle at all?

12 Replies to “Baby Swaddling – Why swaddle?”

  1. Never knew there are these many types of swaddled 🙂 Wish I had known them 8 years ago. Thank you for this wonderful information

  2. I never knew there were that many swaddles! My boys gonna be 6 months in a few day’s and at the hospital they gave us a halo swaddle thing but he hated having his arms tucked, so we tried doing it without arms pinned cause that one you could…..and he still hated it and he would wiggle his way out of the burrito, so we just didn’t swaddle him. My friends all swaddled their kids and it worked great but mine hated it. He started rolling over at 3-4months so he could sleep on his belly and he’s been sleeping so much better! Great article wish I had read it when I was having swaddling troubles….
    Thank you!

    1. Thank you for sharing your story Amber, I know how you feel my sisters kids were the same, the nurses would try swaddling them, but one minute and they are already un-swaddled. All kids are different and we have to go with what works best, why force a baby with swaddling when they can sleep better with out.

  3. Hey,

    I have never heard of baby swaddling, but I have two friends with a newly born baby who I think would be very interested in baby swaddling.

    I have forwarded your article onto them, as I have with other articles you have written. I have encouraged them to comment and if they have any questions (which I am sure they will), they will get in touch.

    Thank you for sharing such important articles on babies and keep up the great work.

    All the best,


  4. To be honest, my mother has told me story’s about my Swaddling, when I was a cutie baby and I ignored her. After that, I played along with my neighbors and cousins instead. When I read this article, I never knew there are so many types of swaddling ways and this article is similar to my mother’s stories that I never paid attention to. I miss her so much.
    Therefore, I am going to call her right now.

    Thanks for your article, you make me realize my mother’s work.

    All the best,

  5. Lovely article. We have a 3 month old baby at home. She swaddled ok to begin with, but it didn’t take long for her to prefer her space. However, she does still like being held close. I may try some of your other swaddling techniques.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *