How do you swaddle a baby using a normal blanket?

asked 11 Dec '09, 15:33

meomaxy's gravatar image

accept rate: 66%

edited 14 Dec '09, 02:05

Tammy's gravatar image

Tammy ♦♦

From this very helpful site: E-I-E-I-O Babygear

alt text

  1. Lay the blanket wrong-side-up on a bed or other flat surface. The tag should be in the top corner. Fold this top corner down so it touches the center of the blanket. Place your baby on the blanket so the baby’s neck lies on the folded edge.

  2. Holding your baby’s right arm straight at the baby’s side, grab the blanket 3-4 inches from the baby’s right shoulder and pull it very tightly down and across the baby’s body. Keeping the blanket very tight, tuck it under the baby’s left buttock and lower back. With your left hand, hold the blanket in place against the baby’s left hip and pull the extended corner (on the baby’s left side) so that all slack is removed from the blanket -- your baby should not be able to move the right arm at all. (Your baby might not like this procedure at first, but it is important that the blanket be extremely tight so your baby can’t escape the swaddle. Although your baby might scream during the swaddling process, once you’re finished your baby will be glad you ignored earlier pleas to give up.)

  3. Straighten your baby’s left arm against the baby’s side and bring the bottom corner up and over the baby’s left shoulder. It’s ok if your baby’s legs are bent. However, the baby’s arms MUST be straight. Hold the baby’s covered left arm against his or her body and tuck the blanket under it. Hold the left arm in place while you grab the blanket 3 inches from the baby’s left shoulder and tug again to make sure everything is tight.

  4. Fold the top of the blanket (the part you just tugged) down just a little to bring a tiny bit of fabric across the baby’s chest. Pretend you’re making the neckline in a v-neck sweater.

  5. Holding this bit of fabric in place, grab the remaining blanket corner and pull it tightly to your right to remove all slack. Now wrap it straight across the baby’s body like a wide belt. Tuck the end of the blanket into the front of the belt once you’ve wrapped it all the way around.

If you’ve wrapped tightly enough, your baby can’t get out and can barely move a single limb, and your little one will feel nice and secure.


  1. Make sure the swaddle is as tight as possible so your baby can’t get out. Loose blankets are a suffocation hazard, and a loose swaddle won’t calm your baby down.

  2. Don’t let the blanket rub your baby’s cheek and lead your baby to think it’s meal time.

  3. Make sure your baby’s arms are straight. Otherwise, the swaddle won’t keep the baby confined for long.


answered 11 Dec '09, 15:35

meomaxy's gravatar image

accept rate: 66%


Great answer!!!

(11 Dec '09, 16:35) DazedandConfused

That is it. I felt so much better when my daughter was just born when she was swaddled and sleeping. I could sleep and know she would be there when I woke up.

(11 Dec '09, 17:27) MrChrister

+1 for the great drawing! I had the nurse at the hospital teach me (she did the right fold first but its all the same) and she said put the fold "slightly above the neck line and a little below the ears". This tends to put the baby's face a bit more in the blanket but doesn't obstruct their mouth because of the "V" fold. It does leave less skin exposed to the cold air (and we have very cold temps right now). Another thing she said was "Make sure its snug/firm but not TIGHT... we're wrapping a baby here, not shipping her across country. Babies like it snug." Our daughter LOVES it!

(11 Dec '09, 17:48) KPW

It's not my drawing. Give the credit to the folks at E-I-E-I-O. I have "The Happiest Baby On The Block", which if memory serves, has an almost identical diagram in it. I found the the main advice in the book, swaddling, putting baby on side, shushing, swinging and sucking to work pretty effectively with my kids.

(11 Dec '09, 19:02) meomaxy

@meomaxy: +1 great illustration - pictures make things easy! @KPWINC: +1 for the "v fold" tip! we were also taught to do this by the hospital and really does help to keep bubs warm when it's cooler

(12 Dec '09, 00:19) Lin

Really good answer. I had the nurses show me in the hospital, and also watched them do it a few times. There's a bit of an art to it.

(12 Dec '09, 11:33) Scott ♦♦
showing 5 of 6 show 1 more comments

I found this video very instructive.


answered 25 Jan '10, 02:57

Scott's gravatar image

Scott ♦♦
accept rate: 10%

It's 2am and I just found your site. My daughter keeps escaping. I just tried the swaddle you described above to a T so let's hope it works because I'm tired!!!!

This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 15 Nov '10, 07:53

Heather%203's gravatar image

Heather 3
accept rate: 0%

@Heather I hope it worked out for you.

(15 Nov '10, 14:05) Tammy ♦♦

Well, did it work? :)

(15 Nov '10, 23:25) Scott ♦♦
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Asked: 11 Dec '09, 15:33

Seen: 17,463 times

Last updated: 15 Nov '10, 07:53