Bundle Up: How to Swaddle Your Baby in 7 Easy Steps (Plus a Giveaway!)

The first few months of new parenthood can be overwhelming for both mom and her baby — especially since there’s no Parenting 101 manual to consult.

That’s why Erin Bried set out to find expert advice from real mothers who’ve raised extraordinary kids. In her new book, How to Rock Your Baby: A Heartwarming, Back-to-Basics, Happy Baby Guide, Bried shares no-frills, time-tested lessons she learned from seasoned mothers.

Among those she sought out was Sunchita Tyson, mother of astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. “I had my kids really swaddled,” says Tyson. “I figured, if it was good enough for the baby Jesus, it was good enough for them.” If you’re looking to swaddle your own newborn, Bried shares a 7-step tutorial, along with other swaddling tips every new mom should know. Check out her tips, and find out how you can win your own copy of her new book, after the jump!

How to swaddle your baby:

Step 1: Spread a small blanket diagonally on a safe flat surface, like a changing table or bed.

Step 2: Fold the top corner down about six inches.

Step 3: Lay the baby on the blanket, so the fold is just above the baby’s shoulders and the bottom point is in line with his toes. Say coochie-coo.

Step 4: Gently holding the baby’s right arm to his side, pull the right side of the blanket across the baby, tucking the corner beneath his bottom.

Step 5: Leaving enough room for the baby’s hips to move up and out and also for his legs to extend if he wishes, fold up the bottom point of the blanket toward the baby’s chin. If the blanket is too long, fold the bottom point down, so it’s not covering the baby’s face.

Step 6: Gently holding the baby’s left arm to his side, pull the left corner of the blanket across him and tuck beneath his bottom.

Step 7: Pick him up and give him a sweet kiss.

More tips on swaddling:

• If you’ve got a particularly wild baby, good luck! Leave his arms free by folding down the top corner farther and aligning the fold under his armpits. When you fold up the bottom corner, secure it by tucking it into the other folds at the top.

• Newborns like to be swaddled tightly around their arms and chest because it most resembles the womb and therefore makes them feel more secure. However, as your baby gets older, he may actually wake himself up trying to free himself from the swaddle. It’s better, then, to leave his arms free so he can explore his world, suck his fingers, and (hopefully) soothe himself back to sleep.

• Always remember to leave enough room for his hips to move up and out, since a tight swaddle around his legs could cause hip dysplasia, or loose hip joints.


Excerpted with permission from How to Rock Your Baby: A Heartwarming, Back-to-Basics, Happy Baby Guide by Erin Bried. Copyright © 2012 Erin Bried. Published by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

Erin Bried is a senior staff writer at Self magazine. She’s appeared on Today, Better TV and National Public Radio and in magazines and newspapers nationwide. Erin lives with her baby daughter and her better half in Brooklyn, New York, where she plays peek-a-boo, sings off-key lullabies, and reads bedtime stories every night. Visit her website at or her YouTube Channel (Nifty Button) to watch how-to videos.


The giveaway has closed. Congratulations, Amy S. for winning a copy of How to Rock Your Baby!

Article Posted 4 years Ago
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