When I had my first baby (who is now 23 years old :-) ) I was shown by the sisters at the maternity home how to swaddle her.
This process at first looked to me like some kind of restraining method, and I wanted my baby to be free to kick and enjoy her new found open space... but I soon realised the purpose of swaddling and it became a favoured bed time ritual for all my babies right up until they were 3 months old.

Swaddling your baby has a number of benefits, the most important one being that it helps Baby regulate his/her body temperature.
A new born baby is not able to regulate her temperature, and especially for babies born in the cooler months, this will lead to Baby becoming cranky due to feeling cold.
During night s that are very cold, cover your swaddled baby with a folded cellular blanket - the kind they use in hospitals. This is made from 100% cotton and is therefore warm in winter and cool in summer.

Swaddling also acts as a cocoon for Baby who has just emerged form the closeness and safety of the womb, and is now faced with a lot of open space which can be very strartling. Swaddling will help Baby feel secure and will help her to sleep better and be comforted more quickly should she wake.
Swaddling also prevents Baby from scratching her face (something that new born babies tend to do quite a lot!) as her hands will be tucked into the swaddle cocoon.

Once your baby is starting to roll (2-3 months), or if she is getting frustrated with her cocoon, it is best to either loosen the swaddling or to forgo it all together.
The danger with rolling over is that Baby can roll onto her tummy and may suffocate of she is not able to lift her face off the mattress.

How to swaddle:

Swaddling a Baby - Step 1

Place your swaddle blanket on a flat surface in front of you so that it looks like a diamond. The fabric is woven so that it will stretch correctly when you use this diamond position. Fold the top corner down about 6 inches. Place your baby onto the center of the blanket with her head just above the fold.

Swaddling a Baby - Step 2

Pull the blanket corner on your left across your baby's arms on her chest. Tuck the corner snugly underneath your baby.

Swaddling a Baby - Step 3

Lift the bottom corner of the swaddle blanket up over your baby's body and left shoulder, tucking it under her left shoulder.

Swaddling a Baby - Step 4

Take the swaddle blanket corner on your right across your baby's front, around her back and up over the left shoulder. Tuck the corner into the folded blanket by her left shoulder, securing the swaddle.

Your swaddle should be snug but not overly tight. Always avoid loose blankets in bed with your baby and be sure the blanket does not touch her cheek, which can stimulate his rooting response and wake her

Swaddling blankets are available in all our Nursery linen themes.