To swaddle or not to swaddle, that is the…what’s a swaddle??

Many sitters have inquired as to what the technique “Swaddling” is and how to implement it while caring for infants.  We turned to Janeen Howard- parent consultant and principle at Swellbeing Parent Resource - to inform our sitter base how and when to swaddle. You can watch the video below and follow Janeen as she instructs you step by step. Additionally, Janeen has written out the corresponding instructions below. She does remind the sitter to,”discuss soothing with parents first and find out what they do (that works) if infants become fussy. If they think they might like to try to swaddle, they should probably ask parents about this first, especially if they intend to swaddle to sleep. Some parents have worked really hard to break a swaddle habit, so this would be especially important to know. It is recommended for babies 0-3 months, though many babies are strong enough to break out of a swaddle before they are 3 months-old. If a baby can break out of a swaddle, it is best to move on from the swaddle.”

Swaddling Instructions

You will need: baby, blanket, flat safe surface (floor or bed)
Step 1: Make sure baby is in a safe spot while you arrange the blanket (like a stroller or crib)
Step 2: Spread out a lightweight blanket in a diamond shape
Step 3: Fold down the top corner of the blanket several inches
Step 4: Gently lay the baby down on the blanket so her head is above the fold at the top
Step 5: Holding her right arm straight down at her side, wrap that side of the blanket, the side on your left, across her body. Lift up her left arm so the blanket can go underneath it and tuck the blanket snugly behind her.
Step 6: Bring the bottom corner of the blanket straight up and fold it under so it only comes up as high as the baby’s neck. Make sure it does not cover the baby’s face in any way.
Step 7: Holding the baby’s left arm at her side, fold the right side of the blanket across her body and tuck it tightly behind her. Wrapped up like little burrito, she should sleep like, well, a baby!
We hope that this helps you feel more comfortable swaddling little ones while babysitting. This advice was given by expert Janeen Howard, a licensed clinical mental health counselor in the states of New York and Illinois and certified Gottman Educator. Janeen and her team at Swellbeing Parent Resource consult families on a full range of child-rearing and relationship issues. From sleep to feeding to sibling rivalry & adjustment issues, they can advise your family as you see fit. They can be found at

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