If your baby turns out to be a breakout-swaddle-artist you will need these tips on how to wrap a tight swaddle. With these 6 tips your baby will be able to rest more peaceful and you will be sharing these tips with parents alike.
Tip #1: Fold the Top Down to Cover Almost 2/3 the Remainder
The reason for this is it creates a fluid and longer extension of the wings.
Tip #2: Position the Tag of the Blanket at Either the Left or Right Wing
This will allow the tag to lay at baby's feet rather than under his or her back (top folded down) or under his or her top shoulder (bottom folded up). This tip is more about comfort then a secure hold, this tip will allow the fold to be as smooth as possible without any bunching of the fabric.
Tip 3: Pull Tension Above the Elbows
This is the most important tip of them all! In the above manufacturer directions for how to swaddle, it looks as if you fold the blanket over the baby, which you do, however it does not specify to create tension. If you just fold left or right with no tension point a baby will be able to get their arms out in a matter of seconds. To create tension, after you have the baby's arm straight down, pull the fabric in the direction of the fold (left or right) and, hold while pulling, pull the fabric tight just above the elbows, then wrap the blanket around the baby. If wrapping the blanket under the baby moved the blanket or loosened the hold just pull tight again, there is no need to redo the step. The tightness should be just above the baby's elbow and any looseness below is okay - it is all about stopping the elbows from bending upwards.
Tip 4: When Folding Left or Right Create an Angle
When you do your first fold left or right, wrap or angle the blanket downward and around the shoulder, rather than a 90 degree angled fold. This will create a lip or curve around the shoulder that will hold the baby into the swaddle, in the event the baby wants to inch-worm his or her way out. This angle combined with the tension ensures the baby stays in. When you are making the second fold left or right do the same with the tension and angle.
Tip 5: Folding the Bottom Point Up is Optional
Folding the bottom tip up creates a wrap around the feet which can be good to keep baby's feet warm. I have found that with my baby it is less about the movement of the feet and more about the movement of the arms - imagine you are falling - this is the sensation baby's feel from the Moro reflex - since the first thing that reflexively happens is your arms go up. If you decide to leave this unfolded or loose, performing tip 6 can create a wrap around the legs.
Tip 6: Spiral Excess Around Baby Starting At the Elbow
To ensure a tight hold around the arms and feet, on the final wrap left or right wrap the excess blanket in a downward spiral, starting from elbow going to the feet.