How to Safely Wrap a Baby

With a newborn comes many new skills to learn – one of them being how to safely wrap a baby. Wrapping (also known as swaddling) is a great strategy for parents to help their baby settle. Yet, new parents may understandably feel worried about their baby’s safety and getting it right. Read on for step-by-step guidelines on how to safely wrap a baby, plus some additional tips for safe wrapping.

Step-by-step guide: how to safely wrap a baby

Step 1:

Fold down about 20cm of the top edge of a lightweight cotton or muslin wrap.

Step 2:

Lay the baby on the wrap, shoulders in line with the fold.

Step 3:

Fold the baby’s arm across the chest and bring one side of the wrap across the arm. The arms are placed across the midline, so the baby can find their hands and self-soothe. Tuck firmly underneath the body.

Step 4:

Fold the baby’s other arm across the chest and bring the other side of the wrap across, tucking it underneath the body again.

Step 5:

Bring the bottom of the wrap over the baby’s midline and fold underneath the body. Make sure the wrap is firm but not too tight.

  • Overly tight wrapping with the baby’s legs straightened together increases the risk of abnormal hip development.
  • Loose wraps are hazardous as they can cover the baby’s head and face.

Step 6:

Sleep the baby on their back, with the face and the head uncovered. When placing the baby to sleep, ensure the feet are positioned at the bottom of the cot. Tuck the bedding securely and position well below the baby’s shoulders.

Additional tips to wrap a baby safely

  1. Don’t wrap the baby higher than the shoulders, to ensure their face and head don’t become covered.
  2. Allow for hip and chest wall expansion.
  3. Don’t wrap if the baby is bed-sharing.
  4. Don’t overdress the baby under the wrap: a nappy and a singlet is enough in warm weather and a light growsuit in cooler weather.

Wrapping as your baby grows and develops

Around 3 months: leave your baby’s arms free once the startle reflex disappears.

Around 4-6 months: discontinue wrapping when the baby starts to show signs of rolling during supervised playtime.

Safe wrapping and sleeping!

We hope this guide on how to safely wrap a baby has been helpful.  Want to learn more about safe sleeping? Have a look at our guide from birth through the baby’s first 12 months. With lifetime access and easy-to-follow educational videos by early childhood experts, it offers all the information needed to give your baby the best possible start in life.

  • How to Raise Chemical Free Kids: Play Edition

    How can you reduce the chemicals in your home that could potentially be causing harm? It can be daunting trying to figure out you can minimise your child’s exposure to chemicals in their environment. Check out our tips on how to achieve this here!

  • What are the Effects of Pets on Child Development?

    There is no denying that owning a pet makes our lives better. Studies have shown that owning a pet improves both your mental and physical health. It should come as no surprise then that owning a pet also has a massive impact on the development of your child.

  • Caffeine During Pregnancy: How Much is Safe?

    Pregnant women have long been told to reduce their caffeine intake throughout the duration of their pregnancies. So, how much caffeine can I have per day? The current Australian guidelines for consumption of caffeine during pregnancy is 200mg per day. We recommend sticking to this amount or less when possible.

  • Who’s my Little Instababy? Parenting in a Digital World

    It is a fact of life that every parent is proud of their baby and believes their little person is the most beautiful in the world.  Social media has become the perfect platform to share the pride, but at what point does sharing and caring cross safety boundaries? And when does a little become too much?

  • Dental Care for Babies and Young Children

    We’ve always known that baby teeth are important. But now we understand even more about what we need to do to protect our children’s teeth. And why it’s essential that we do. Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease.  In Australia - around 50% of children will have at least one hole in their teeth by the age of 5 years. But this can be largely prevented by following just a few simple steps.

Where are you in your journey?

All journeys are unique and exciting, so we have matched our courses to your current stage of pregnancy or parenting. Simply select where you're up to below.

>