Fixing the Most Common Swaddling Mistakes - Woodmam

You now have your baby in the starting position for the DUDU wrap. An easy way to remember what to do next is to sing this little song as you do it:

DOWN … tuck … snug

UP … tuck … snug

DOWN … a smidge … hold

UP … across … snug

1) DOWN Just as swaddling is the cornerstone of calming, this first DOWN is the cornerstone of swaddling. This must be done well or the wrap will unravel.

As you hold your baby’s right arm straight against her side, grab the blanket three to four inches from her right shoulder and pull it very tightly down and across her body. (It should look like half of a V-neck sweater.)

Tuck—Keeping the blanket taut, finish pulling it all the way down and tuck it under her left buttock and lower back. This anchors the wrap.

Snug—Hold the blanket against her left hip (with your left hand), grab the blanket right next to her left shoulder and tug it very, very snug. This will remove any slack around your baby’s right arm and stretch the fabric tight.

After this first “DOWN … tuck … snug,” her right arm should be held so securely against her side that she can’t bend it up, even if you let go of the blanket. (More on the critical importance of straight arms on this page.)

Please don’t be surprised or lose confidence if your baby suddenly cries louder when you pull the blanket tight. You’re not hurting her! Her cry means she’s still out of control and unaware that she’s just seconds away from happiness.

2) UP Now straighten her left arm against her side and bring the bottom corner straight up to cover her arm. The bottom blanket corner should reach just over her left shoulder. It’s okay if her legs are bent (that’s how they were in the womb), but be sure her arms are straight. If her arms are bent, she’ll wiggle out of the wrap as fast as you can say, “Oops, she did it again!” And she’ll cry even more.

Tuck—Hold her covered left arm against her body, and tuck the blanket edge under it.

Snug—While your left hand holds her left arm down, use your right hand to grab the blanket three inches from her left shoulder and snug it (stretch it as much as possible). This again removes any slack from around her arms.

3) DOWN Still holding the blanket very taut, three inches from her left shoulder, pull the blanket down a smidge.

A smidge—This DOWN should bring only a tiny bit of fabric over her shoulder to her upper chest, like the second half of the V-neck sweater. (Don’t bring this fold all the way down to your baby’s feet. Remember, it’s just a smidge.)

Hold—Hold that tiny smidge of blanket against her breastbone with your left hand, like you are holding down a ribbon while making a bow.

4) UP Keeping that smidge in place, grab the last free blanket corner with your right hand and pull it straight out to your right. This will remove every last bit of stretch and slack from the wrap. Then, without releasing the tension, lift that corner in one smooth motion, up and across her body.

Across—Bring it tightly across her waist and then all around her body like a belt. The “belt” should go right over her forearms, holding them down against her sides.

Snug—Finish the DUDU wrap by snugging the “belt” tightly to remove any slack. If the wrap is tight (and your blanket is big enough), the end of the “belt” will reach around her body and back to the front, where you can tuck it into the beginning of the “belt.” This last snug must be tight to keep the whole swaddle from popping open. Loose blankets are a breathing hazard.

The ancient tradition of bundling babies isn’t a fad. It’s the end of a fad—an anti-swaddling fad! Televisions and computers may become forgotten novelties a thousand years from today, but swaddling is as old as the trees and it’s time for it to become part of our babies’ lives once again.
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