How to Swaddle a Baby

Helpful Holds

If your baby is cranky and your normal methods of soothing don't seem to be working, give one of these holds a try:

Kangaroo Care

This hold was developed for preemies because skin-to-skin contact seems to stabilize their heart rate, regulate their breathing, and calm them down. But Mom or Dad can "kangaroo" with any baby -- even a 1-year-old.

Open your own shirt so baby can press her chest against yours (but don't cover baby with your shirt). Then wrap a light blanket around her and tuck the sides behind your back. Many parents prefer to do this hold lying down, but it also works sitting or standing.

The Airplane Hold

If you suspect baby's cries may be due to gas, try this gentle abdomen press. This hold also forces baby to let her arms and legs dangle, which helps her release tension.

Lay baby chest-down on your forearm. Her head can be facing down or resting on your palm and turned to the side. Use your other hand to give her a gentle back rub. Swing her lightly back and forth, if that calms her.

Colic Curl

William Sears, MD, pediatrician and author, gave this hold its name. According to Dr. Sears, in this position a fussy baby who tenses her tummy and arches her back may settle down and relax. Lean your baby's back on your chest and let her bottom rest in your arms or hands. Slide her down just a bit so her knees are higher than her waist.

Reviewed 11/00 by Jane Forester, MD

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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