Struggling with swaddling?

Some tips to help your baby sleep

When I had my children, I always heard tell that swaddling was THE thing to do to calm babies and help them sleep. Being bundled up tight mimics how it was in the womb and they are lulled into a deep and lasting sleep.

YEAH RIGHT! Could I swaddle? No, I could not. No matter how many different types of blanket or wraps I tried, the arms would always creep out and the legs flail uncontrollably.

However, since I started photographing newborns I have been on a steep learning curve and have now, finally mastered the Art of Wrapping. And guess what? IT DOES WORK! I just wish I had mastered it when my babies were teeny!

Start by lying your wrap/swaddling blanket flat on a bed or the floor. 

Place your baby on its' back on to the wrap so that one third of the width is on one side and two thirds on the other side of your baby.  The top of the wrap should be in line with the shoulders.

Fold your baby's legs up (as though cross legged) on to their abdomen, and fold their arms across their chest; hold the four limbs in place with one hand and with the other, take the shorter third of your wrap and fold it over the legs and arms to tuck it down the other side of your baby and in behind their back.

Next take the longer two thirds of wrap and bring it around your baby's bottom and up round the other side of their body, gently lifting your little one to bring the wrap back around the their shoulders and down to the side you started on.  With any excess, repeat the process, tucking and folding as you go.

The trick is to be firm; have a nice stretchy blanket and pull it in 'rails'; pull the top, middle and bottom sections separately so you have a secure hold round your baby.

Some babies do prefer to have their arms out or access to fingers to suck, so you can always release a limb as necessary!

A recent baby girl client is the perfect example. We started off the shoot with her bundled up tight in a cosy swaddle and once she was dreamily off in the land of nod, we were able to move onto less curly poses and capture a gallery with gorgeous images. Then after a quick top up feed, we re-swaddled for the mummy and baby images. Such a gorgeous baby girl.

Colour studio photograph of newborn baby girl, wrapped in pink against a pink backdrop

If you'd like to read more of my blogs about photography, places to go with your kids and much, much more, do have a look at my other blogs.

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