Why, When & How to Swaddle Your Newborn Baby


Ensuring your baby is comfortable and content is at the top of any new parent’s list. As well as comfort, you’ll want to make sure the swaddling technique is safe and effective. Read on to discover all the information you’ll need about why, when and how to swaddle your baby.


Why should you swaddle your baby?

The comfort, warmth and security that swaddling provide are all similar snug feelings felt in utero. Being held within a snugly fit sleeping garment can support your baby to fall into a deep sleep and rest for longer. Swaddling encourages babies to sleep on their back, which is an important factor in the prevention of SIDS. If hands and arms are accessible through the swaddle, babies are able to self-soothe by touching their faces and sucking on them. When consistently swaddled, babies can begin to recognise the rhythm and movement of going to bed and understand being swaddled as a sleep cue. 

When should you start swaddling your baby?

We recommend that you start From Day One. Establishing a routine by using the swaddle helps develop sleep cues that are essential to creating familiarity and security. It will really help you, your baby and your family establish a good sleep routine.

How to swaddle a baby: A step-by-step guide on how to swaddle a baby

Step 1: Temperature check

Consider the temperature of the room and of your baby, Love To Dream has a TOG rating guide you can use to pick the appropriate sleep garments. Make sure the room is not too hot or too cold. The optimal temperature will support your baby to sleep soundly.

Step 2: Safety check

Avoid using any loose items or blankets in the cot/crib to ensure no fabric can come up above the baby’s face to cover their nose or mouth. Make sure no hanging cords are within reach, including electrical and blind cords. Ensure your baby has a firm surface to sleep on; either a cot, bassinet or portable crib with a tight fitted sheet. Download safer sleep guide

Step 3: Choose your swaddle

You want to ensure your baby is not swaddled too tight and full hip flexion is possible as this is recommended for healthy hip development. There are many out there including light-weight cotton or muslin wraps, zip up swaddles and more. 

Step 4: Time to swaddle

Lay your swaddle down on a flat, safe surface then gently place your baby on top. Wrap and/or zip up the swaddle ensuring there are no loose ends or open parts, with their arms inside the wings (if your swaddle has them). Now place your baby down to rest in their sleeping space. It’s important to have your baby sleep on their back. Do not place them on their sides or tummies.

Tips: Choose a swaddle that can be opened from the lower end, any nappy or diaper changes won’t disturb the baby so they can stay asleep throughout.

Don't worry. With practice, you’ll find the swaddling routine that works for you both.

Should you always swaddle a baby?

Each baby is unique and will have different timing for swaddling so you’ll need to learn how to respond to your baby’s tired signs and sleep cues. As soon as they show signs of rolling, you can transition them to a sleeping garment that allows their arms to be free. As they grow and develop, the type of swaddle or sleep garment they use will change. If they begin to resist being swaddled or become unsettled when being swaddled, it may be time to move to the next step of their sleep phase

Try our Love To Dream™ Swaddles for newborns and babies

Love To Dream™ range of swaddles, sleep bags and sleep suits have been designed with sleep-deprived mums, dads and babies in mind. Love To Dream™ has the SWADDLE UP™ Swaddle made with secure, patented wings. Developed with the concept of baby’s enjoying the snug swaddled feeling in mind, plus allowing them flexibility to move their arms up, and legs and hips up and outwards. Newborns and babies can enjoy this fit, and when they are ready, they can progress from our Swaddle to Transition Bag or Transition Suit

Love To Dream™ Swaddle UP™ swaddles can be worn throughout the seasons of winter and summer, with garment ranging from 0.2 TOG up to 3.5 TOG. Soft, warm and durable, Love To Dream™ Swaddle UP™ swaddles are certified as ‘Hip-Healthy’ by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. They are the go-to favourite for all new parents.


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