Founder of the Yummy Mummy Group, Hannah Love talks us through the art of swaddling, an ancient practice that helps lull babies into a peaceful slumber.
To help you perfect the timeless art of swaddling, we’ve teamed up with Hannah Love. Hannah has been helping babies and parents sleep for over 15 years using a combination of her Nursing, Nutritional and Nannying qualifications along with experience of having 3 children herself to help babies and parents in a kind and gentle way.
While swaddling a baby can be tricky to figure out at first, once you get the hang of it, you and your baby will love this technique and perhaps you’ll get a little more sleep too!
Over to you Hannah!
Having worked with hundreds of babies over the last 15 years, I know that by recreating the womb environment, swaddling for the first eight to 12 weeks helps most new-borns settle, sleep and feel safe and secure. I’ve always advised swaddling in new-born and small babies and all of my babies were swaddled until they were rolling.
There are many ways to swaddle but I’m an advocate of using hip-healthy swaddling techniques to reduce baby’s risk of hip dysplasia (a developmental problem with a baby’s hip joint). Some evidence suggests that if legs are firmly swaddled together in a straightened-out position there is potential for damage to normal hip development. By leaving the bottom loose and untucked you can reduce this risk and allow those little legs to move freely.
I also find that a lot of babies fight swaddling when their arms are down. Babies are very dexterous and love feeling their own hands and faces. My swaddle technique below allows them to do this even when swaddled. Happy baby, happy parent!
Ready, steady, get swaddling!
Start with a large Muslin swaddle, fold one corner over. Place your baby with their head on the folded corner with their hands up near their face.
Take the left side and tuck the muslin under the right-hand side of your baby tightly. You can make this easier by rolling them to the left slightly. Ideally with their arms still up by their neck.
Bring the right-hand side of the muslin over your baby to the left and hold tightly with your left hand. Rolling your baby over to the right tuck this all the way under your baby as tightly as possible so your baby is wrapped in the muslin.
Fold any remaining muslin over your baby to create a tight, neat swaddle. It is best not to fold up the bottom or tuck in the lags as it is better for babies’ hips to be fully mobile and legs able to bend.
And there you have it, happy swaddling!