How to Swaddle Your Baby to Sleep

This content was created by the National Sleep Foundation


These tips will help you wrap your baby safely and securely—and lead your tot toward sounder sleep.

Chances are, you already know what a swaddle is—the blanket that you wrap your infant up in like a burrito to foster calmness and sleep. But how do you actually go about using it? Your technique is important. Loose blankets aren’t recommended for sleeping infants (because they can cause suffocation), so if a swaddle gets loose, it can create an unsafe environment. Then again, if you wrap it too tightly, that may cause your infant to overheat. Once you get the hang of it, though, the technique isn’t hard or complicated. These are the steps to follow to do it correctly:

Sleep Training Tips for Children

  1. Take a large, relatively thin blanket (receiving blankets work best), place it on a flat surface so it looks like a diamond, and turn the top corner down a little. Place your baby on the blanket on his back with his head lying on the edge that you folded down. A quick note about what your baby should be wearing: Swaddling can make a baby toasty, so dress him in only light clothing or leave him naked with just a diaper on.
  2. Take the right corner of the blanket and wrap it around your baby, tucking it under her left side (the right arm should be in the blanket, down by her side while the left arm should be free). You will probably need to keep one hand on your baby to make sure she doesn’t move too much during this process.
  3. Then take the bottom corner and bring it up, tucking it under one of your baby’s shoulders. This part is important because you don’t want the blanket to be too tight around your baby’s feet. Make sure that his feet can move easily and that his hips and knees can move around.
  4. Take the final corner on the left and bring it across your baby’s body, tucking it underneath (have the left arm secure inside the swaddle down at her side). At this point, only the baby’s head and neck should be visible.
  5. That’s it! Leave your baby on his back and enjoy the peace and quiet that comes with a calm or sleeping baby.