By Raising Children Network
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The benefits of wrapping

Wrapping helps prevent SIDS; infant sleeping bags are an alternative to wrapping; don't wrap a baby if you bed share
  • Wrapping is soothing for some babies. It can also reduce the risk of SIDS by keeping babies on their backs during sleep. Babies can be wrapped from birth up until they can roll onto their tummies (4-6 months).

     

  • Not all babies like to be wrapped. Follow your baby’s cues, and don’t wrap if baby resists. An infant sleeping bag is a good alternative. Like wrapping, it helps keep babies on their backs, which reduces the risk of SIDS.

  • It isn’t recommended to wrap babies who share a bed with their parents. This can cause overheating, a known cause of SIDS. Dress baby as you would dress yourself in this situation. Sharing a bed with baby can be dangerous in some circumstances.

 

How to wrap a baby

A demonstration of six steps to wrapping a baby
  • Here’s a popular method of wrapping a baby. 1) Fold the top edge of a lightweight cotton or muslin wrap down by about 20 cm. Lay baby on the wrap with shoulders in line with the fold. 2) Place one of baby’s hands under the fold. 3) Bring the edge of the wrap across the body. Tuck it under baby’s legs. 4) Place the other hand under the fold. 5) Bring the other edge of the wrap across baby’s body. Tuck in under baby’s back. 6) Fold any extra length up and under baby’s legs. Babies like to be wrapped firmly. But make sure that the wrap isn’t too tight. Wrapping the legs and chest too tightly can lead to hip and breathing problems.


 

What to wear underneath the wrap

Dress baby according to the seasons. Don't let the wrap cover baby's mouth or head
  • In warm weather, baby just needs a singlet and nappy underneath the wrap. Overheating has been linked with SIDS, so try to keep baby’s sleep environment at a cool, comfortable temperature. 

  • In cool weather, dress baby in a lightweight jumpsuit underneath the wrap. Don’t use a bunny rug or blanket – it can cause overheating. Also be careful not to overheat the house, especially if baby has an infection.  

  • Make sure the wrap doesn’t cover the head, ears or chin. Wraps that are too high can obstruct baby’s breathing and cause baby to overheat.

 
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  • Last Updated 18-02-2013
  • Last Reviewed 26-10-2011