How to swaddle a newborn | Philadelphia newborn photographer
For many first-time parents, having a newborn comes with a ridiculous amount of unknowns and first-times. It’s overwhelming, exhausting, yet exciting all the same. Since I am a newborn photographer, I’ve worked with many new parents who are doing absolutely amazing (much better than I was doing with my first!). But one thing that most of my new-parent clients (though not all!) have in common, is not being confident in their swaddling abilities (but never fear for your session because I will happily swaddle your baby for you!). I mean it makes sense, you’ve literally never had to swaddle anything before now. So I’m here with some swaddling tips that will hopefully make the swaddling game less daunting!
1. Use STRETCHY material
Seriously, ditch the muslin swaddles. While they are so beautiful and there are so many fun patterns, in my experience, babies almost instantly break out of them. Instead, I highly recommend a really long piece of stretchy material. Here is one of my favorite long, stretchy swaddles that I bring with me to my in-home newborn sessions. This one is another one that is a great option.
Now it’s time to learn how to swaddle with this material! Here is a quick, straightforward video on how to do a basic swaddle with the long, stretchy material (be warned, the audio is a little annoying). The swaddle they used in the video is cheesecloth, which isn’t good for daily use because it’s not super strong, so I’d recommend one like the above links.
I encourage you to keep practicing–almost no one nails the swaddle on their first try, so just expect that your baby will get their arms out (they still get out for me sometimes too!) and then just keep trying until you get it!
2. Use Velcro sacks
If the above is too much work for you (and I don’t blame you!), then I highly recommend using a velcro swaddle. They do all of the hard work for you! Here are a couple different brands that work well: SwaddleMe and Aden and Anais.
While you don’t have to swaddle your baby, newborns who are swaddled are generally more content. I never really swaddled my newborns because I thought they didn’t like it, and I wasn’t very good at it. But when babies are properly swaddled, it does help them feel snug and safe.
I hope these swaddling tips make swaddling less intense and overwhelming. Just be sure to follow your pediatrician's advice regarding swaddling, and never place a swaddled baby on their belly.
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