Newborns are used to the coziness of the womb. Recreating that environment is a great way to calm a baby during her first few months in the big wide world.
Step 1: Secure baby Make sure the baby is in a safe spot, like your arms, her crib, or a stroller, while you arrange the blanket.
Step 2: Spread blanket Spread out a lightweight blanket in a diamond shape.
TIP: Lightweight flannel blankets, like the receiving blankets used in hospitals, work especially well for swaddling—the nubby fibers stick together to help hold the blanket in place.
Step 3: Fold corner Fold down the top corner of the blanket several inches.
Step 4: Place baby Gently place the baby on her back on the blanket so that her head is above the fold at the top.
Step 5: Wrap side Holding her right arm down straight at her side, wrap that side of the blanket (the side on your left) across her body. Lift up her left arm so that the blanket can go underneath it and tuck the blanket snugly behind her.
Step 6: Fold bottom corner Bring the bottom corner of the blanket straight up; fold it under so that it comes up only as high as the baby's neck. Make sure it does not cover the baby's face in any way.
TIP: You can also buy special blankets designed to make swaddling a cinch, with features like hook-and-loop or velcro fasteners.
Step 7: Fold right side Holding the baby's left arm at her side, fold the right side of the blanket across her body and tuck it in tightly behind her. Wrapped up like a little burrito, she should sleep like...well, a baby.
FACT: Some researchers believe that swaddling helps prevent SIDS because it makes it more comfortable for a baby to sleep on her back.