How to swaddle a newborn?


Young parents have many questions in connection with swaddling. First of all, they are interested in whether to swaddle a newborn. In practice, there are many difficulties with the technology of swaddling. In addition, there are many ways to carry out our plans. In this article we will explain how to properly swaddle a baby and consider several important nuances of swaddling.

Swaddle or not?

The question of whether to swaddle a newborn, parents should accept individually without counselors. This is important, at least for the reason that all children are different, and their prat may both need swaddling and strongly oppose it. Therefore, it is most reasonable to ask this question after the birth, when the character and temperament of the child will become completely obvious both for the mother and for the rest of the household.

In the maternity hospital, they don’t ask too much - all infants, without exception, are swaddled simply because it is so accepted, so instituted for decades. In modern maternity hospitals, where there are chambers of joint residence of mother and child, the question is not so categorical: the newly made mother herself can determine for herself what to wear to her child - in a diaper or in a romper suit and vest.

After discharge from the maternity hospital, this issue is fully within the competence of the mother and father. Of course, they may ask for the opinions of grandmothers, who will say with one voice that it is necessary to swaddle, and also ask the pediatrician. The doctor may recommend swaddling, but only in certain situations, for example, with hip dysplasia in the baby. The swaddling itself in this case will also be special - curative.

But no one can better than mom understand whether the baby needs swaddling. If the crumb worries, often wakes up, waving handles, he is afraid of his own bursts of limbs, crying, try to swaddle. It is possible that the crumbs will be more relaxed and he will begin to sleep better, because in the mother's womb in the last months of pregnancy it was close, the crumbs used to the cramped and constant touch of the uterus.

In this case, the diaper creates habitual conditions for him, since the big world is still scaring the little one. A pleasant to the touch diaper will give additional peace of mind, since the newborn perceives the world mainly through tactile sensations.

If the child suffers from colic, often crying because of the distention of the tummy, you can also try to use swaddling, but not tight, but free, so that the baby can take on a more natural fetal position for the baby (with tight legs and handles attached to the chest).

There are children who from the first days are desperately fighting for personal freedom, getting out of the diaper in all available ways. If you see that the diaper gives the child inconvenience, try to put it without her - in a shirt and pants. It is possible that this way your newborn will be calmer.

Arguments about the dangers and benefits of diapers should not be taken seriously. Usually they are near science.Interested mothers, before whom the question of swaddling arose, of course, can familiarize themselves with them, but the decision must still be made on the basis of the personal convenience and comfort of the baby. Opponents of swaddling indicate the following circumstances:

  • a child in a diaper grows depressed, independent, infantile, because his will and need for freedom are ruthlessly destroyed and suppressed by parents;
  • in a diaper, children grow slowly, lagging behind in physical and mental development;
  • babies wrapped in diapers sweat more, suffer from diaper rash and prickly heat more often;
  • swaddling is difficult and troublesome, and washing diapers and drying them is doubly difficult - you need a lot of space, besides diapers need to be ironed;
  • washing diapers requires more washing powder;
  • the sense of beauty is not brought up, because diapers do not differ a great variety of colors, designs and accessories;
  • swaddling disrupts full circulation in the limbs of a child.
  • swaddling is almost impossible to entrust the father of the child, if the mother needs to go somewhere, most men cannot master the wisdom of swaddling techniques;

Most of these arguments, from the point of view of medicine and science, have no basis and belong to the category of myths, for example, the assertion that swaddling slows down development and disrupts blood circulation. And in relation to infantilism one should not take arguments on faith, in the end, many revolutionaries, political leaders and commanders grew up in diapers, because before the other version of the content of the newborn was not even considered.

Proponents of swaddling give their arguments:

  • the transition from cramping inside the uterus to the big world is best carried out with the least stress for the baby, in which the diaper, imitating the conditions common to the crumbs, helps;
  • during the first months there is no need to spend a lot of money on the purchase of vests and sliders - the child grows out of them very quickly, and the diaper has such dimensions that it will be enough for several months;
  • diapers are easier to wash - a washing machine can do this easily, and sometimes the sliders need to be washed by hand;
  • babies are stronger and sleep longer in a diaper;
  • swaddling is necessary that the legs were smooth;
  • diapers made from natural fabrics rarely cause allergies, in contrast to bright items with textile dyes or disposable diapers.

I must say that supporters of swaddling with an evidence base are not so smooth. For example, crooked diaper legs never straighten, except for the prescribed therapeutic swaddling with dysplasia, and the duration of sleep depends entirely on other factors.

Therefore, only the moms and dads themselves must choose whether to swaddle the child or not. The well-known doctor Yevgeny Komarovsky claims that swaddling does not bear any particular benefit or special harm. But it may just be convenient or uncomfortable for a particular family in general and a baby born in it, in particular.

If you decide to swaddle your baby, it's really not that easy to do, but difficulties arise only at the very beginning. Having learned how to wrap up a baby once, a woman usually never loses her acquired skill: with the second or third child, the diapering scheme itself pops up in memory, and her hands well remember what to do and how.

How to choose a diaper?

If you decide to swaddle, you need to ensure that everything you need is available and in the right quantity. The mothers of the Soviet period had a small choice: thick diapers for winter and light thin calico diapers for summer. Modern parents have an incredibly large selection of this type of children's goods, and therefore there are questions about which of them are needed, and how and why their different types can be used.

When choosing a diaper, you need to take into account their functionality. Answer yourself the question, what are you going to use them for?If only in order to fix the hands of the baby during sleep, then you can only get by with thin diapers, especially if you still plan to wear a baby's undershirt and sliders under them. If diapering in your case should replace clothes, then thick and thin diapers are needed.

For games naked, massage, air baths useful reusable waterproof film, and for a normal long sleep at night without diapers - reusable absorbent.

Let's talk about different types and calculate how many diapers you may need for your newborn.

  • Calico diapers - This is a natural cotton thin diaper. They are pleasant for the skin of the baby, useful for swaddling in winter under the flannel diaper, and in summer - for a separate swaddling. Can be used as a bed sheet in a cot. Regardless of the time of year you will need about 7-10 pieces.
  • Tight flannel diapers - They are also made from natural cotton fiber. Suitable for swaddling in the winter because they are warm. Additionally, they can be used as towels after bathing. Unlike towels, they are softer and more pleasant for delicate skin of the baby, and also absorb moisture well. Such diapers need to have at least 5 pieces.
  • Knitted diapers - A great option "for growth". Due to the elasticity of the knitted fabric, the products stretch, and therefore will be useful for swaddling from the first days to six months and even longer if the need arises. You may need up to 5 of such products, although you can easily do without them if there is a need to reduce the cost of diapers.

  • Reusable Diaper are expensive, but they should be no more than 1-2 pieces. On waterproof diapers, massage can be done, as traces of vital activity can be easily removed from them. They are a two-layer "structure" of soft fabric and a layer of oilcloth. On absorbing diapers, you can sleep all night or play and crawl for a long time. They are three-layered, inside there is a membrane that absorbs urine and does not release to the surface.

  • Disposable diapers sold in packages. The name fully reflects the essence - each is used only once. If urine or feces fell on the diaper, throw it away, the products are not subject to washing. For the first time, one package is enough, and then you yourself will see if you need them in principle.
  • Fur diapers - these products are also called winter. If necessary, they can easily be transformed into an envelope, which is useful for a walk in the cold season. The inner layer is made of natural wool. For a child born in late autumn or winter, one such diaper envelope is enough. Also in the unfolded form then the thing can be used as a warm blanket.

  • Diapers with Velcro and clasps - A great option for those who can not master the diapering scheme for babies, but intends to swaddle firmly. There is no need to invent anything with them, just put the child in it and fasten the velcro or fastener in the right places. The diaper does not tighten the baby’s body; in principle, it is almost impossible to fasten it incorrectly. Such models are disposable and reusable, thin and dense.

If funds allow, get 2-3 pieces - in the first days, while the diapering technology is still under study, they can be of great help.

When choosing diapers, make sure that they are made from natural fabrics without an abundance of textile dyes that can cause allergies. Pay attention to the size, how easily the fabric absorbs water. The diaper should not be rough, attach it to your cheek - the fabric should be very soft and pleasant. The seams along the edges of the product must be of high quality, the threads should not fall out. This is a mandatory safety requirement, because the dropped thread can get into the respiratory tract of the baby and cause serious consequences.

The diaper should not contain seams in the center, and the edges should be soft, otherwise they will rub and injure the delicate skin of the toddler. Pay attention to the strength of the fabric: frequent washing and ironing are expected, the diaper should be reliable and durable.

Now a few words about the size. Sometimes, quickly learning how to properly swaddle a baby from a mother is impossible only because her diapers are too large or too small. Often, women who have decided to sew diapers themselves are faced with this.

Recall that for a comfortable and correct swaddling products must have certain sizes:

  • Thin diaper - 0.9 x1.2 m (optimal); products with dimensions of 0.9 x1.0 m are more common for sale.
  • Tight diaper - 1.1 x 1.2 m (optimally), 0.9 x 1.2 m or 0.75 x1.1 m are usually available on the market

If you do not plan to use disposable diapers systematically or in general, stock up on packing gauze diapers, you can buy them at any children's store or pharmacy.

Swaddling methods and algorithm of actions

Swaddling the baby requires strict compliance with the requirements and rules of hygiene from the mother. Therefore, the procedure should begin with bringing the baby's skin in the appropriate state. At the maternity hospital, the baby will be enamored with a “column” - neat, even and beautiful, placed in an elegant discharge envelope, handed over to a happy father. When a newborn is deployed at home, it is most likely that this “column” cannot be repeated, and there is no need for that.

Before you swaddle your baby in a diaper, you need to decide on the type of diaper - either it will be disposable diapers, or gauze. Any of them are worn easily and quickly on a pre-washed and dry baby. Rectangular gauze diaper enclose the boy and girl between the legs in length. The triangular diaper is carried out between the legs with a wide angle, and the hips are wrapped in side angles and fixed in front.

Now is the time to start swaddling the baby. Choose a convenient way and get down to business.

Closed swaddling (classic)

This method is considered to be the most common; it is him who is taught to future mothers at courses in the antenatal clinic, and it is usually shown to women in labor in the maternity hospital. The method is not complicated, and therefore, after 1-2 days of mother's torment, there usually comes a clear understanding of how this should happen.

Spread the diaper so that its wider part is high, and the smaller sides are wide. Place a baby on a rectangle of fabric so that its head is above the edge of the diaper.

This swaddling does not cover the head.

Follow the step by step instructions:

  • take the child's left handle and place it on his chest, holding it with one hand;
  • With your second hand, turn the left edge of the diaper on the handle and on, behind the right side. The hand thus becomes fixed;
  • take the right hand of the child and, like the left, put it on the chest directly on the diaper layer, which is already fixed, fix the second hand with the right edge of the diaper and hold the other hand by the left side of the baby;
  • after both hands are wrapped up, take the lower edge of the diaper with both hands, which is still free - the task is to close the legs. Straighten it, pull it slightly toward you, throw it over the legs and lift it to your chest;
  • put the right side of the bottom edge, we get it behind the back of the baby, and the left run through the left shoulder;
  • the remaining "tail" tuck into the fold, which was formed on the chest.

In the classical way described above, they make tight swaddling, they just try to fix the handles more tightly. You can also position the handles along the body with tight swaddling. It is important not to overtighten the diaper, otherwise the blood circulation of the limbs may actually be broken. Modern pediatricians do not recommend tight swaddling.On the one hand, it allows you to securely fix the baby so that at night he does not pull out his hands, but, on the other hand, with a tight swaddle, the child is often hot and uncomfortable, and therefore sleep may be disturbed already due to these factors.

With handles

The so-called “swaddling with handles” is also a variation of classic swaddling. This method allows babies not to swing their arms, not to pull them out of the diaper, but at the same time the limbs are not strained, as in the case of tight swaddling.

This method enjoys the special love of many moms:

  • bed the diaper vertically and lay the baby;
  • tuck the upper edge of the diaper inside so that you get a “pocket”;
  • put the hand of the child in this resulting “pocket” and then bring it to the tummy of the baby along with the cloth of the diaper;
  • wrap the child’s second hand in exactly the same way;
  • with one hand, hold the handles, and with the other, straighten the bottom of the fabric and wrap your legs, fixing the diaper under the baby's knees.

If the diaper is put not a rectangle, but a rhombus, you can make swaddling with handles in another way, which will only be distinguished by the fact that the fabric will pass under the arms of the baby.

Wide way

Very often, wide swaddling is confused with free. Free implies that the child is swaddled "half-heartedly", the diaper only slightly fixes the hands so that the baby cannot wave them, inside the diaper the baby can wiggle the limbs and bend the legs to the stomach.

Wide swaddling is a way that allows a baby to be in a pose with hips apart. This is important in certain conditions - with hip dysplasia, subluxation and dislocation, as well as for the prevention of relevant disorders in congenital weakness and underdevelopment of the hip joints.

Properly carried out wide swaddling allows you to reduce the load on weak joints, give time to the cartilage and bone tissue to become more solid and reliable. For a healthy baby, mother can also choose this method, if the child and mother like it. Harm will not be accurate. Let's try to swaddle your baby like this:

  • bed the diaper and fold it twice to make a four-layer square;
  • take the corner of the upper edge, take it down - you will get a “pocket”;
  • unfold the rectangle lapel down;
  • fold the diaper in half again, in the middle should be a thick strip;
  • place the baby in the center, the strip should pass between the legs;
  • wrap the legs with corners of the fabric “structure”, then slightly spread them apart and fix the middle dense strip so that the hips cannot be flattened.

Such swaddling can be useful in the summer if it is hot and there is no need to swaddle the baby’s hands, and also if he sleeps without swaddled hands and doesn’t worry too much about it.

You can hold a wide swaddle for babies who can not sleep if their hands are not wrapped. But for this you need two diapers. First, you do the above-mentioned swaddling of the pelvic area and legs, and the second you wrap the body of the baby and then according to the classical pattern that we have already mastered. If you apply a third diaper, you can swaddle with the head. Then the third one will swaddle the baby’s head and hands.

Theoretically wide swaddling allows significant savings on the purchase of disposable diapers. The disadvantage is that it is difficult for the mother to understand that the baby described the first diaper, especially if it was wrapped in three.

Partial method

This method is known for a long time, it is known to all members of the older generation. Previously, he was considered a transition between tight swaddling and transition to clothing. In part, you can only swaddle the handles or only the feet of the child.

Free swaddling also belongs to the category of partial. To carry out such swaddling is easier than making a classic or wide. For him, take a diaper, spread a rectangle in height, place the child in the center.Use a “convertible” to cast the right and left corners on the baby’s chest, tuck the bottom of the diaper and fix it easily around the waist. In such a "cocoon" the baby will be quite comfortable.

Usually such swaddling is used to facilitate the sleeping of infants. Of course, the baby will take out the pens from a loose diaper, but this will happen in a dream, but in the process of falling asleep, hands and feet will not interfere with the baby.

A child wrapped in this way looks, of course, not the best way: the bundle turns out to be sloppy, folded, besides, the kid actively moves his arms and legs under a layer of fabric, which makes him resemble a crawling caterpillar. But his movements are not too limited, and mom can be calm - the child will definitely not beat her hands on the face.

Partial and free swaddling is good for colic, which tortures many babies in the first 3-4 months of life. The baby has the opportunity at any time to tighten his legs to the stomach, which in itself significantly facilitates the state, contributes to the release of intestinal gases.

Free swaddling is available even to those mothers who, despite all the efforts and efforts, have not been able to learn how to do the classic swaddling. Another question is that there are so active children who manage to get rid of the diaper, applied in a similar way, in a matter of minutes. But that's another story.

Common Parent Mistakes

Without mistakes in such a serious matter, like swaddling babies, usually does not do. But learning is best, as you know, from the mistakes of others. So, let's consider what mothers are most often “wrong”.

  • Disproportionate effort. At first, the mother finds it difficult to choose the degree of diaper pressure and fixation at which the child will be comfortable. Therefore, it turns out to be either too tight, so that the child can neither inhale, nor exhale, or too weakly, and the diaper unravels pretty quickly, you have to start all over again.

  • Too much hope. Many parents have too high hopes for swaddling. They trust in them as salvation, believing that their legs will become straight, and their backs will not be twisted, and the character of the baby will become docile, and he will sleep well on schedule and on command. In fact, swaddling can not justify any hope. And it makes no sense for a child to force him to go to bed in a diaper if he does not like her at all. We have already spoken about straightening the legs.
  • Violation of the microclimate. Swaddling, even a light and thin diaper, increases the likelihood of prickly heat, if the parents cannot match the indoor temperature and the needs of the child. Children feel comfortable at a temperature of 21 degrees Celsius. If in the room according to the general practice +27 degrees, and they put on two underclothes, a hat, and try to swaddle a thick diaper, then such swaddling will clearly not bring benefit - the baby will sweat and ache.
  • Violation of hygiene. Some mothers, due to lack of time or other considerations, believe that diapers can be washed every few days. If the child has peed, it is enough to dry the diaper and use it again. Some are limited to one rinsing and drying. This is a mistake, because rinsing can not provide complete cleaning of the fabric from waste products, in particular from urea and ammonia. Diapering with such diapers increases the likelihood of skin problems.

When should we stop swaddling?

Swaddling should be stopped when it stops arranging adults and children. And this will happen only when no one knows. Already at four months of age, some children demand freedom and demonstrate complete readiness to sleep with open hands. Others need a diaper for up to 8 months of their lives.

Congenital reflexes that make a child throw up his hands, randomly waving his limbs, usually decline to 3 months.From this age, if you wish, you can try to stack the baby without a diaper. But if nothing happens, do not worry, return the baby to the much-desired diaper and leave it alone. The baby will show when the time comes for a change.

Most parents adhere to the “middle ground”, and the issue of swaddling in their families is not acute. During the period of wakefulness, their children are in normal clothes, and at night or midday sleep, the child is swaddled to make it easier to fall asleep. Thus, the parents also decide on the duration of swaddling themselves on the basis of the prevailing circumstances.


Since the issue of swaddling is quite controversial, in specialized forums on the Internet, you can find a variety of opinions on whether to swaddle and how to do it. Experienced mothers willingly share their swaddling secrets. So, they are not advised to use special pins for stabbing diapers. Despite the fact that the manufacturers claim that the pin is safe, quite often they open and scratch the baby. This is especially true of active children, who “fiddle” a lot and move under the diaper.

Tight swaddling most moms do not welcome. It is believed that it contributes to the development of hip dislocation in children born with weak hip joints. Pediatricians prohibit such babies to swaddle tight, "column".

But if you really want to wrap the child in a diaper, according to reviews, you can always use the free, partial swaddling. Wide swaddling most mothers consider the most difficult to perform.

Quite often, mothers complain that in maternity hospitals they practically stopped showing how to swaddle babies. As a result, newly-made mothers go home with a child and even approximately do not know how to combine these two concepts - a diaper and a child.

Experienced mothers who are faced with increased love of freedom in a child, instead of diapers, make the baby a comfortable and convenient “nest” of a blanket or rug to facilitate the process of falling asleep. It can come in handy and thick diapers, which should be rolled up rollers. Do the same with the blanket. Rollers are wrapped around a baby, laid on its side so that it is difficult for him to roll over onto his back or stomach. Sleeping on the side of the most secure, and the feeling of a certain familiar "cramped" will still be present.

On the Internet a lot of reviews from mothers who, before giving birth, were firmly determined to abandon swaddling, but after giving birth they reconsidered their opinions. And also there are a lot of those who were going to swaddle the baby, but then faced the categorical rejection of the crumbs of both the diaper and the process of wrapping them.

Therefore, pregnant women are advised to stock diapers at least in the minimum quantity for the first time before delivery.

There is no such thing that the diaper has not found any other use in the family where the child is growing up. It can be laid as a bed sheet for a baby, it can be taken with you in a bath instead of a towel. When the child becomes large, he can lay the diaper on the bottom of the bath while bathing, which reduces the risk of slipping and falling during water procedures. In the end, the diaper can be altered on the bib, turned into handkerchiefs. Yes, and when cleaning it will always find application.

On how to properly swaddle a newborn, see the following video.

Information provided for reference purposes. Do not self-medicate. At the first symptoms of the disease, consult a doctor.