How to Safely Swaddle a Baby | UC Davis Children's Hospital

How to safely swaddle a baby

HALO safesleep sleep sack

A sleep sack or swaddler as shown in the image above is recommended to decrease the chances of your baby suffering from accidental suffocation, overheating, or becoming too hot. The design of the sleep sacks helps prevent blankets from covering your baby’s face, which could cause accidental suffocation.

If you do not have a sleep sack, swaddling is also safe to do, but you have to be sure to safely swaddle your baby. This means that you have to be sure the swaddle blankets do not become loose and cover your baby’s face because this could accidentally suffocate your baby. Swaddling is not suggested once your baby starts rolling over. That is an excellent time to use the sleep sack alone.

Be sure the swaddle blankets go below your baby’s mouth across the chest. Do not use more than 2 swaddling blankets so your baby does not get too hot – heavier blankets and the use of too many blankets is not recommended because your baby can become too hot. Overheating increases your babies risk for SIDS. Your baby can wear up to one more layer of clothing/blankets than you would be comfortable in.

Steps to safely use swaddle blankets
  • baby being swaddled with a blanket step 1

    Step 1

    Lay the swaddle in a diamond shape and fold the top corner down to form a triangle. Place your baby in the center of the folded area with their head just above the fold of the swaddle. Ensure that your baby’s shoulders are still below the fold.

  • baby being swaddled with a blanket step 2

    Step 2

    Place your baby’s right arm slightly bent at the elbow flat against their body. Take the left side of the swaddle and bring across your baby’s chest. Ensure their arm is securely under the fabric. Tuck the edges of the swaddle under their body to ensure a secure swaddle.

  • baby being swaddled with a blanket step 3

    Step 3

    Fold the bottom of the swaddle up and over your baby’s feet.

  • baby being swaddled with a blanket step 4

    Step 4

    Finally, place your baby’s left arm slightly bent at the elbow against their body, take the right side of the swaddle and bring it across your baby’s chest. Tuck the excess fabric underneath your baby to secure the swaddle.