Swaddling a newborn: all “for” and “against”, until what age to swaddle a child and which way to choose


One of the most important issues for new parents is to swaddle or not swaddle the baby. Representatives of the older generation in the family in one voice are advised to always swaddle so that the crumb grows calm and slim, like a cypress. Modern doctors, who received their diplomas after the nineties, authoritatively assure the young mother that it is impossible to swaddle in any case - this, according to them, is contrary to the laws of nature.

It is difficult for confused young parents to understand what kind of information is true, and what to solve with diapers. In this article we will talk about all the pros and cons of swaddling babies, how to do it, and answer the main question - how to make the right choice.

History reference

When the first diapers appeared, history is silent. Historians tend to think that this happened at the dawn of mankind, when people realized that the baby is fragile and defenseless, he is cold and sick, that saving his life is in the interests of the tribe, as he grows up and becomes a hunter or continues the race. The first diapers were animal skins, wide leaves of plants. It was difficult to say whether the swaddling was continuous, but it was very likely that the baby’s body was completely covered. It was a protective necessity.

Indian tribes in North America even made some kind of dry grass diapers and rabbit skins. The used grass was thrown away, and the skin was dried and again used as a reusable diaper. For a long time, the peoples of the North made diapers from deer skins and even made an absorbent hygienic layer made of moss.

In Asia, children were not swaddled in the usual sense of the word, they were simply kept around the clock in a carrycot, which restricted their movement. Straw, grass, and cloth, if any, were laid on the bottom. It was a diaper and a diaper. The kid could not get out; his parents were able to grow their rice all day in the fields.

In Europe, the cloth for swaddling began to use in the second century BC. The Virgin Mary, who gave birth to Jesus, according to the Bible, "wrapped him in rags and put him in a manger." And this, too, was swaddling.

For a long time, diapers were similar only in terms of hygiene and traditions. But in the 20s of the last century, the doctors decided to give them a reliable and convincing medical justification - they convinced all pregnant women and women in labor that the child would be more slender, his legs would be more direct, and his temper would be more gentle if she swaddled the baby with this form at least up to six months.

The seed of doubt arose at the end of the 20th century, when pediatricians themselves began to talk about the fact that the use of swaddling was obviously exaggerated - the legs of many generations of bow-legged people didn’t straighten from birth, although their mothers were swaddled regularly, and their character was unexplored. From that moment on, the unshakable authority of the diapers in the life of infants was shaken.

New trends gave rise to heated debates - swaddling opponents appeared, who quickly found scholarly works stating that swaddling is harmful and dangerous, that free and independent babies do not grow up.The credibility of such studies, of course, inspires serious doubts in the competence of the authors, but the revolution has already taken place - the diapers have become the “apple of discord”.

In the maternity hospital today, children are still swaddled, especially if we are talking about a maternity hospital with a separate stay of the mother and baby after birth. But on the third day, when discharge occurs, the issue of swaddling becomes open.

Modern parents have a large selection of various diapers, as well as no less “assortment” of pros and cons of the diapering process itself. To the question: swaddle or not, they must answer themselves. Neither a pediatrician, nor psychologists, nor scientists - the authors of numerous "works" on swaddling, nor grandparents - no one can make such a decision for mom and dad.

In choosing they should start from considerations of their own convenience - if it is more convenient to swaddle, why not swaddle. If it is more convenient to wear a baby in romper and undershirts, you need to follow the voice of the heart and the ideas about your own well-being.

But first you need to evaluate all the advantages and disadvantages of swaddling, so that the family decision is balanced and reasonable.


If swaddling would cause significant harm, most likely it would not have been so popular for so many centuries. Supporters swaddle offer to look at the situation from the point of view of the baby. In the womb he is in cramped conditions - he presses the arms and legs, and in later periods even movements are given to him with great difficulty due to tightness. The transition to new living conditions for him is a big stress. That is why swaddling is considered a factor that alleviates this stress. In the diaper, the baby is in a pose that is familiar to him due to the intrauterine conditions of existence.

Specialists who advocate swaddling babies, argue that this is the main reason why you can and should swaddle your baby. The benefits to parents are much wider. You do not have to worry much about the purchase of a large number of shirts and panties - they are expensive, and will last no more than a few months, since the child is growing rapidly. Buying clothes for growth is not the best idea for babies. A diaper are of such size that quickly grow out of them did not work. It is easier to wash diapers, a washing machine can cope with this, whereas it is advisable to wash the miniature sliders and shirts of the baby by hand and rinse thoroughly. Diaper easier to iron.

Infants have very little control over the movements of their arms and legs. Therefore, swaddling a newborn for the night is a great chance to sleep with the whole family, including the baby himself, who will not wake himself up with spontaneous punching hands on his face.

Supporters of swaddling indicate that the diaper is also useful for colic - if the baby is properly swaddled, the painful sensations from increased gas formation inherent in children under 3 months will be much less. Also, a certain type of swaddling - wide - is simply indispensable for dysplasia of the hip joints, with immature joints, and this condition is quite natural for many babies who have recently been born. Children with hip problems have a physiological need for wider dilution of the legs.

Newborns have a very developed sense of touch. This kind of sensitivity is almost essential for comprehending the world in the first month of life. In the uterus, the baby constantly felt what was nearby. Supporters of swaddling babies claim that swaddling allows the crumbs even after birth not to be intimidated by the vast world, as its delicate and sensitive skin continues to touch the cloth of the diaper. For the baby, a feeling of limited surrounding space is created, he is not afraid of him.

Babies in the diaper are calmer, less prone to fears and stress, which allows them to quickly fall asleep on their own.Mothers who swaddled their children from the first days of their life noted that they have more free time when the child sleeps than those who put their children without a diaper. Constantly reassure a child who wakes herself up with shudders and throwing up hands, not every woman can afford, because mom should have time to wash, eat, do some household chores, cook, wash and just relax and take a nap.

Swaddling, in the opinion of such adherents, contributes to the development of a more obedient child, with whom it will be easier to reach an agreement in the future. Rebel and resist the words of the parents such a baby is unlikely to become. There is also less risk of growing a hyperactive little one, who himself will suffer from his own heightened activity. Swaddling fans say that babies who grow up in diapers are more assiduous, less conflict.

And finally, it can be noted that cotton diapers rarely cause allergies in any baby, even if crumbs on everything else, including baby soap, show an inadequate immune response. In this diaper benefit somewhat compared to diapers, which are no, no, and an allergic reaction occurs.


The first and most obvious disadvantage of swaddling is that you need to learn how to swaddle a baby. For an inexperienced young mother, this task seems incredibly difficult. So, after a couple of unsuccessful attempts, thoughts about whether or not smart articles about the dangers of swaddling begin to creep in? If you find a rational explanation for this harm, then swaddling can be abandoned on quite legitimate grounds, competently arguing your actions for grandmothers, grandfathers, husband and girlfriends.

Indeed, baby swaddling is not as easy as putting on a vest and romper suit, but training usually does not take much time. And the question is completely removed from the agenda with the second or third child - the mother’s hands “remember” themselves what to do with the diaper and the baby. These skills, like riding a bicycle, are not forgotten.

As for the position of opponents of swaddling, in the first place they note the psychological and physical discomfort of the child. Child psychologists who oppose diapers, refer to the fact that the baby - the personality and personality. And from the first days this person should have the right to freedom. For now - to freedom to wave arms and legs, to take poses, which ones you like, which ones are more comfortable and safe. In the opinion of such psychologists, the child who is being tried to be wrapped up in a diaper with head is left with nothing but to accept fate. This suppresses his creative abilities, courage, breadth of thinking and revolutionary habits. Namely, such bold and non-standard-minded individuals are needed for humanity to move forward and not to tread on one place.

Psychologists opposing swaddling say that the sense of beauty is not alien to babies. And they have the full right to beautiful clothes, multi-colored, appropriate sexual identification. It is unlikely that adults would want, regardless of gender, to go wrapped up in a bag with the same pattern in both men and women. The desire for the manifestation of personality, say neonatal psychologists, is characteristic of infants, and no less than their parents.

Pediatricians who claim that swaddling is harmful refer to a higher likelihood of overheating of the baby. Closed swaddling, wrapping arms and legs, especially if the room does not comply with the recommended temperature and in the children's hot, leads to the formation of diaper rash, dermatitis. Wet diaper is unpleasant, and delicate infant skin suffers very much from contact with urine and feces if the diaper is stained.

Pampers have the ability to absorb liquid, and therefore the effect on the baby’s skin of urine and ammonia in a disposable diaper is minimal than can be said about babies who are not only swaddled, but also use gauze diapers or special fabric pants for wide swaddling.

According to reviews of mummies, who are categorically opposed to swaddling a newborn, the rejection of the diaper has certain household advantages. So, in situations where mom needs to leave, and the child stays with dad, diapers are often out of the question, because to teach dad to swaddle a toddler is almost unreal - well, most of them do not have men! It is much easier for a man to change a baby into a dry and clean disposable diaper and replace, if necessary, sliders and a padded shirt.

Diapers, as we know, need to be ironed without fail. But ironing pants can be abandoned to save time and effort - if small clothes are properly dried (in an upright position, straightening the thing well), then dry sliders are quite suitable for use directly from the rope.

For drying pants and vests do not need a lot of space - just enough of a small rope or fishing line in the kitchen or hallway. But in order to hang large diapers, space is required significantly more. And this factor is sometimes decisive for families whose housing conditions are limited to a hostel or a small “odnushku” without a balcony and loggia.

Opponents of the diaper indicate that tight swaddling disrupts the normal circulation of blood in the limbs of the child, retards his physical and mental development. Some even argue that a child who cannot change body positions at will due to the presence of a diaper, is sleeping more restlessly. Arguments about a pose close to the child in the cramped manner are met with indignation by the opponents, indicating that in such a case you can buy an envelope for the child in which he can sleep without any special damage to his health and psyche.

Ways and step by step execution

Over the millennia of the existence of swaddling as a phenomenon, mankind has invented many ways to wrap the baby in a diaper. The most famous species such as tight, wide and partial swaddling, but there are other options. Let's learn how to swaddle your baby in various ways.


The technique of performing this method is shown to mothers still in the hospital, since classical swaddling is the most common. Spread the diaper on a special table or on another hard and flat surface if there is no changing table. Place the baby in the center so that its head is above the upper edge of the diaper (the diaper is at the level of the baby's neck). Algorithm for further action is quite simple:

  • fix the left handle of the baby on his breast;
  • tuck the left edge of the diaper under the right side of the back, thereby fixing the hand;
  • Put the right hand of the baby on the breast over the diaper layer and tuck the right edge of the diaper under the left side of the back - the handles will turn out to be wrapped;
  • the lower part of the diaper should be well straightened and raised to the chest, closing the legs;
  • The right side of the diaper should be brought behind the back, and the left side should be tipped over the right shoulder and the small edge of the diaper into the fold on the chest.

Tight swaddling is done the same way, but only the baby’s handles are placed either on the chest as described above, or along the body.

The classic swaddling also includes the so-called swaddling with handles. To wrap the crumbs like this, you need:

  • Spread the diaper and tuck its upper edge inward;
  • in the resulting "bag" put the handle of the baby, and then put it with the cloth on the baby's belly;
  • similarly, you need to wrap and second hand;
  • The lower part of the diaper is straightened and gently bend under the knees.

Swaddling with handles has several options.So, if the mother is more comfortable, she can lay a diaper with a rhombus, and not a rectangle and hold the diaper under the armpit of the baby, the rest is done as described above.

Tight swaddling is not indicated for children with hip dysplasia, as well as for very premature babies. You should not use it even if the child has a fever, if he is sick - the likelihood of overheating and disturbance of thermoregulation will be significant.


Wide swaddling received such a name not for the free presence of the baby in the diaper, as some people think, but for the fact that it allows the baby to adopt the “frog” pose with thighs divorced. Such swaddling is used for premature babies, for children with birth injuries, with hip dysplasia, and also for the prevention of dislocations. In the “frog” position, the baby’s joints are practically not under load, which is important in certain circumstances. But healthy babies can also be swaddled in this way.

For such swaddling you may need certain orthopedic appliances, for example, special panties or a Freyka pillow. The number of diapers that the mother uses when implementing this method can also vary from one to three.

To swaddle a baby with one diaper, you need:

  • fold the diaper in 4 layers;
  • the top layer is turned away so that "pocket" turned out;
  • turn the diaper "design" with the resulting pocket down;
  • the lower part, which is now on top, is folded in half so that the fetal band is in the middle;
  • put the baby in the very center;
  • corners of the diaper wrapped legs;
  • legs slightly spread and fix the central part of the diaper.

For wide swaddling with two diapers, one of them must be large to fold the above design, and the second - less, in order to then wrap the body of the child.

If you use a wide diapering with gauze diapers, you can theoretically reduce the cost of buying diapers, putting on disposable diapers on the baby only when you need to go outside, go to the clinic.


Partial swaddling is a kind of compromise between classical and free swaddling. Mom can swaddle only the baby's handles, fixing the diaper with a special clasp, for example, for sleeping at night. You can use special diapers with Velcro. You can only fix the legs, leaving the handles free. Such swaddling is also quite a popular and easy way to save on disposable diapers.

Partial can be considered most of the methods of free swaddling. With him, the child is allowed to take a comfortable position for himself. In her baby and wrapped in a large diaper, avoiding tight fixation. In fact, the crumb under the diaper can move hands and legs, but can no longer hit his face in a dream.

At home, partial swaddling can be a good help if the mother could not learn how to swaddle in the classical or other way. The baby looks like it is swaddled freely or partially, not very presentable, it looks more like a crawling lump under the cloth, but the voice of the parents' conscience can be calm - the kid is fairly free.

How to choose?

Mom can choose a diapering method arbitrarily if the pediatrician who observes the child has no other opinion on this matter. Therefore, to begin with, one should inquire about the opinion of the doctor who will visit the newborn already a day after discharge from the maternity hospital. If the doctor does not see the indications for a particular method of swaddling, for example, wide, then parents can make the choice on their own.

It is possible that they will have to try all the options, because finding the one that will be most convenient for both the baby and his parents can be very difficult.If a child sleeps uneasily without a diaper, but gives rest to himself and those around him, being swaddled, you can practice diapering only while sleeping. Gradually, when the baby learns to own its hands and feet and control their movements, the need to swaddle a baby before bedtime will disappear by itself.

If the baby furiously resists and gets out of the diaper, try to lay it with open handles. It is possible that partial swaddling is suitable for such a freedom-loving baby.

Choose what is convenient first of all for the mother, because how well she is going to rest depends on how the baby will care after all. If the baby often wakes up and worries, trying to swaddle stands in any case, despite the convincing at first glance, the arguments of opponents of diapers.

When making a choice, one should not only weigh the pros and cons, but also take into account that myths are associated with swaddling. Namely:

  • swaddling straightens the curvature of the legs - it is not;
  • diapers slow physical development - this is also not true;
  • swaddle is difficult - try and understand that this is also a prejudice.

Until what age to swaddle the baby?

To this question, as well as about whether it is necessary to swaddle, no specialist will give a definite answer. You can swaddle a child until such time as he and his parents are completely satisfied with this. The fact is that as they grow, the children themselves can show what is comfortable and what is not. Some children refuse to swaddle violent protest actions as early as 3-4 months, and some are quite happy with the twisted state up to 7-8 months. Many parents refuse to swaddle immediately after the babies begin to coordinate their movements and spontaneous bursts of handles stop. It usually stops by 2-3 months.

Check whether the baby is ready to sleep without the usual diaper, quite simple. Lay it on a day rest, applying first free swaddling, and then - with open handles. If the baby can sleep 2-2.5 hours without waking up and worrying, it can be concluded that it is ready to sleep without a diaper.

Many moms and dads find a compromise. Happy child laid with open handles, and swaddled at night, and so almost a year. A one-year-old baby who is swaddled before bedtime is not at all uncommon, and therefore parents do not need to blame themselves.

Until how many months the swaddling continues, it is important to provide enough intensive physical activity for the child during the daytime. He should not lie all day "column". The older your toddler becomes, the more he needs to be charged, gymnastics, free posture and limbs during games in the crib or playpen.

Otherwise, parents are free to decide for themselves what diapers and how long to use it. If a child grows up healthy, developed, contented, if he is surrounded by love and attention, swaddling itself does not matter.

Opinion of Dr. Komarovsky

The famous pediatrician who is trusted by millions of mothers all over the world, Yevgeny Komarovsky, warns parents against excessive gullibility. The information of the perpetual science plan about the dangers of swaddling, he says, should not be believed, at least for the reason that it is written and placed, posing as the ultimate truth for people who in their time, like everyone else, were swaddled.

Swaddling did not prevent the development and growth of ourselves, our moms and dads, grandmothers and grandfathers, and if someone has personality problems or physical ailments, so associating them with diapers is at least unfair, because there are more weighty reasons for congenital Character traits and diseases - this is genetics and habitat.

To swaddle or not, it's only parents who decide, Komarovsky says. But when choosing swaddling, parents should strictly follow the rules of child care:

  • Wash diapers should only hypoallergenic powder, rinse in water, devoid of chlorine (pre-boiling), be sure to iron them;
  • it is necessary to immediately replace the diaper, if the child gets it dirty, it will help avoid diaper rash and diaper dermatitis;
  • you should buy or sew diapers yourself rather large in size so that your child does not have them closely;
  • cloth for diapers should be only natural, no synthetics and semi-synthetics can not be used;
  • avoid diapers with bright patterns, because textile dyes can adversely affect the condition of the baby’s skin;
  • do not distort the child so that he does not sweat, for this use diapers from different tissues in density, depending on the situation.

In general, according to Komarovsky, it is much more important for a child in what conditions he grows than the presence or absence of diapers. Heredity, nutrition, parental relationships in the family, care, and not diapers will affect his character and state of health. If it is of great concern to the issue of harm, then it is not there, says Yevgeny Olegovich, but one should not expect much benefit from swaddling either.


According to the mother reviews, which exist on the Internet a huge amount, children usually make a difficult choice themselves - some from birth do not tolerate swaddling, wriggle out and cry until they manage to release the pens. Others, on the contrary, cannot calmly fall asleep if mother decides to lay without a diaper. Therefore, the choice as such is often made not even by mom and dad, but by their newborn child. Some consider swaddling a relic of the past and are skeptical about it. Some are confident that society will gradually come to the conclusion that it will be recommended to swaddle the baby.

Parents who categorically refuse to swaddle the baby, even if he doesn’t sleep well without a diaper, are recommended to make a “nest” out of the blanket, putting rolls and a blanket around the baby. So kids find it easier to fall asleep. Some mothers claim that even in the parental home pediatricians urged them not to swaddle their children. Many later changed their mind when they were alone at home with the baby.

However, it is worthwhile to prepare in advance some warm and several light (thin) diapers. If they are useful, they will always be at hand after discharge. If the baby will sleep peacefully without swaddling, the prepared diapers can be used as sheets, for wrapping after bathing the baby - the good housewife will not lose the good.

In the next video you will find step by step instructions on swaddling a child.

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