safe motherhood

Your new baby

Swaddling your baby

Swaddling is an age-old way of soothing an unsettled or distressed baby.

Not all babies like it, but if yours does, it can be a very good way of calming them.

1: Spread a cot sheet or cotton blanket on a flat surface. Lay your baby on the top of it with the back of their neck in line with the long edge.

2: Bring one side of the sheet diagonally across your baby's shoulder and tuck it under their body, leaving his or her arm on that side free. The sheet should be snug around them, but not too tight.

3: Then bring the remaining side across their uncovered shoulder and tuck that under the other side of their body. They will now feel 'held' and secure.

4: You can tuck the bottom end of the sheet up under your baby's feet, or leave it loose.

• Warning: if your baby is put down to sleep tightly swaddled, check that they don't become overheated (see Your baby's health/temperature changes).