What is swaddling?
Swaddling means tightly wrapping your baby in a blanket.
Why should I swaddle my baby?
Swaddling can soothe your baby, provide some pain relief, and improve sleep. It can also help you carry your baby more easily.
Is it safe?
Swaddling is safe if done properly.
How do I safely swaddle my baby?
You can use a regular thin blanket, or a blanket sold specifically for swaddling.
- Make sure your baby is flat on its back.
- Avoid soft bedding/blankets.
- Don’t overdress your baby. Use light blankets so your baby doesn’t overheat.
- Stop swaddling when your baby shows signs of rolling over.
- Make sure your baby’s nose and mouth are not covered.
- Make sure your baby can still move her legs to avoid hip dysplasia (abnormality of the hip joint where the socket doesn’t fully cover the ball portion, which can increase the risk for dislocation).
See the picture below for step-by-step instructions:
Figure 1 - A method of swaddling: It is important to keep the airway unobstructed and allow room for the legs to flex and extend at will. Photo credit: Angus Rowe MacPherson
Thank you to Sarah Gander, MD MEd FRCPC and Julia Orkin MD MSc FRCPC, for the medical expertise provided in the drafting of this document.
More information from the CPS:
Reviewed by the following CPS committees:
- Community Paediatrics Committee
Last Updated: May 2018