Many parents use the wrapping method to help their baby stay settled and on their back throughout the night. Studies have shown that the wrapping method reduces sudden waking and is more calming for your baby.
Make sure you
- use a cotton sheet or muslin to wrap your baby. Your baby might overheat with a blanket
- make sure your baby is wearing little under the wrap; a singlet and a nappy in summer and a light grow suit/onesie in winter
- adjust the wrapping for the developmental stage of your baby. For a younger baby, include their arms in the wrap. For an older baby allow their arms to be free
- stop wrapping your baby when they start to roll. This often happens between four and six months, but sometimes babies start to roll even younger.
- wrap higher than your baby’s shoulders
- wrap them too tight. Leave enough room for the chest to expand. On the other hand, you don’t want to wrap your baby too loosely! If it’s too loose it can cover your baby’s face in the night
- wrap your baby’s legs when they are straight and together
- wrap your baby when they show signs they can begin to roll, usually between four and six months.
Once they are wrapped
Once your baby is wrapped, you can try guiding your baby to sleep on their own.
- lay your baby in their cot when they are sleepy and calm
- you can pat them gently, talk or sing to them in a soothing voice
- comfort your baby if they are upset. Repeat the settling techniques that work for your baby and gradually pull away as they drift off
- if your baby wakes up in the night, wait to hear if they fall back asleep. Sometimes babies can settle themselves, other times you’ll need to settle them before they become distressed.