Why Swaddle?

Posted on December 08, 2015 by Emma Colombera | 0 comments

So why swaddle I hear you ask??

pink cloud swaddle

We asked Emma Pollard from The Goodnight Nurse her top tips for wrapping and this is what she had to say:

If any of you have been to one of my workshops you will have had a demonstration on just how effective a swaddle can be to both settle a small child to sleep and to reduce further stimulation in an older child to break an overtired cycle. Using a swaddle correctly, you can have your baby asleep in minutes!!! It’s pretty cool!

Swaddling means wrapping a baby snugly in a specially designed sheet to help them feel safe, secure and warm. It’s a great way of keeping your baby from being disturbed by their startle reflex.


There’s lots of techniques out there but there’s a right and a wrong way to do everything!!!

Be sure you know how to do it correctly! Swaddling by tightly wrapping your baby's legs straight down may cause the joints to loosen and damage the soft cartilage of the hip sockets. This may cause hip dysplasia.
When swaddling, always make sure that the babies hips and legs are able to move freely within the swaddle.. completely freely! No restriction!

How do I swaddle a baby?
I recommend using a jersey cotton wrap (you need a bit of stretchiness) measuring at least 1m x 1.5m. I only recommend MLO Swaddles!

  • Start by laying out the swaddle with the longest side running vertically and the shorter side Horizontally
  • Place your child down on the swaddle so that the horizontal edge of the wrap is just above the tip of her ear
  • Place one of her arms across her chest and bring the corner of the swaddle down over the shoulder and tuck it in behind the opposite hip.
  • Place her second arm across her chest and tuck in behind it’s opposite hip. Make sure that the wrap has come down snugly over each shoulder and is firmly holding the arms in place.
  • Now reaching for the bottom of the wrap, bring it up to just above her chest
  • Pass one side of the wrap around her back and pull through slightly on the other side
  • Holding her in place, stretch the final piece of wrap across her chest, making the wrap quite firm and pass it around the back, pulling it through the other side.

    Well done! Your child is ready for a sleep!!!

When to stop swaddling.
I recommend that all parents who have a child under 12 months have a swaddle on stand-by for those difficult times when you are out and your child is grossly overtired. Swaddling to get them off to sleep when you are out and about is a huge lifesaver but please DO NOT LEAVE THEM SWADDLED ONCE ASLEEP!!! Once asleep, unswaddle them!

I usually recommend that you swaddle your baby for their sleeps until they are approx. 4mths old or until you notice them starting to roll. From here, it’s unsafe to leave a baby to sleep swaddled. They may roll onto their tummies and get into difficulty.

For more information on swaddling or other sleep assistance, please feel free to contact us at
info@thegoodnightnurse.com.au  or call us on 0478 148 876
Sleep well,

Emma Pollard
The Goodnight Nurse



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