As a newborn photographer, one of the most important aspects of my job is to help the new mom and dad soothe their precious new (SCREAMING) bundle so we can get fantastically artistic photos! I usually observe for a bit and then gently offer to take a turn to try to help the baby fall asleep. Pretty much 100% of the time, the parent hands me their child without even blinking an eye. I pull out one of my swaddles (I highly recommend Aiden and Anais), and start my tutorial in baby whispering:)
Here are a few photos of me “on the job” :
Think about it, your baby was in your belly for 9+ months, completely supported and surrounded. It’s no wonder they find comfort in your arms and in a swaddle. Follow these steps to get the perfect swaddle.
1. Spread out a large square blanket on a flat surface.
2. Fold one corner down.
3. Place your baby on the blanket, with her head off of the blanket. Her shoulders should be at the top of the fold.
4. Gently hold your baby’s right arm against their side. Fold the blanket firmly over their arm, across their chest, against the ribs on her left side. I really recommend getting those arms in. So many parents tell me, “Oh she HATES having her arms in!”. I totally get that, but stay with me here, and put her arms in. Work calmly but quickly, and “shh” her at the same time.
5. Next, hold her left arm gently yet firmly against her left ribs, on top of the blanket you just folded down. Bring the left side of the blanket firmly over her left arm, and pull across her chest. When swaddling, you always want to be firm yet gentle if that makes sense. You should never squeeze a baby while swaddling, rather, tuck them in while wrapping.
6. Carefully fold the blanket behind your baby.
7. Pull the blanket across your baby’s back, and pull it out to the opposite side. It should be flat against her back.
8. Pull the blanket back around, across baby’s chest.
9. Depending on the size of your baby, you should have enough blanket to wrap around back one more time.
10. Tuck the last little piece into one of the folds.
11. Gather the “tail” and lay it up across your baby’s back.
12. Drape the “tail” over the baby’s shoulder, and bring it down around her chest.
13. Fold the “tail” over your baby’s other shoulder and lay flat against her back.
14. Tuck the remaining piece of blanket. * Don’t lay your baby face down please:)
Voila! A happily swaddled baby!