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Rachel Lipman

Sleep Consultant

Helping you with the gift of sleep.

Safe Swaddling Tips

The art of swaddling babies is not new; in fact, it’s an age-old practice. It offers security to transition life outside the womb and helps prevent moving arms or legs that can set off the startle reflex. Most importantly, it keeps babies snug and warm until their internal temperature develops.

Start swaddling from birth, as at 2 or 3 months, the period where the risk of SIDS is greatest. Swaddle your baby in a thin, lightweight cotton or muslin sheet or shawl, not a heavy blanket or a thick sheet. Swaddles with Velcro or zippers help ensure security too.

To keep sleep consistent and familiar, swaddle every naptime and bedtime. See to it that the baby’s head is not covered and don’t swaddle about the shoulders. Head lifting and turning is important to avoid suffocation.

Swaddle your baby firmly but not too tightly—although it should be snug, there should still be room for a hand to slide in. Use swaddling techniques that ensure your baby has room to move their hips and kick with their legs. The baby’s legs should be able to fall into a frog’s natural leg position. Show others caring for your baby how to swaddle safely.

Check your baby’s temperature every now and then to make sure that they are not too hot. Be mindful of the weather when dressing your baby to prevent them from overheating.

Babies sleep better when swaddled. Just make sure to position them on their back to sleep, not on their side or front. As soon as the baby starts to roll over on their side or tummy, stop swaddling. They will need to use their hands and arms freely to adjust their position.

If you co-sleep with your baby, it is also safer not to swaddle as bedclothes are enough to keep them warm. They might also be unable to move their arms and legs to alert you when you are too close to them.

“If your baby is beautiful and perfect, never cries or fusses, sleeps on schedule and burps on demand, an angel all the time, you’re the grandma.”

- Theresa Bloomingdale

Guidance to Support Good Sleep in Children

Do’s and Don’ts of a Good Night’s Sleep!


Think we need somewhere better to sleep!

  • Sleep in the same room as your baby
  • Use a dummy until 6 months old for naps as well as bedtime
  • Change nappies after a feed for extra comfort
  • Keep the room cool at a temperature of 18 ℃
  • Put the baby down to sleep still awake on a firm surface

  • Do not respond immediately when they wake up
  • Breast feed if possible for a good healthy start
  • Keep them from being overtired, have adequate daytime naps
  • Put your baby to sleep on their back, feet at the end of the cot for up to a year
  • Dress with the same amount of layers to others in the home not one more additional layer


Wrong position!

  • Use a safety rail when transitioning to a bed on a firm surface
  • To stay rested watch the clock and drowsiness cue signs 
  • The more your baby naps in the day, the better they sleep at night
  • Don’t wait for lots of yawning, before sleep the first one is a good sign
  • If your baby is comfort sucking and not swallowing ,it’s time to sleep
  • Keep the room dark for all sleep with black out blinds/curtains 
  • Use white/pink noise for stable sleep
  • Keep a smoke free environment around your baby
  • Nurture independent sleep in an uncluttered cot/bed, in their own space
  • Do not use a sleep positioner /bumper, cushion or pillow
  • Keep the mattress flat, even for babies with reflux, an elevated position is not safe


Snug as a bug in a basket!

  • Avoid over stimulating activities before sleep time
  • Have the last meal two hours before sleep to aid digestion
  • Have a consistent bath time and bedtime routine
  • Avoid blue light from screens as it suppresses melatonin
  • Read a story together or listen to relaxing music
  • Keep regular daily sleep and wake times
  • Check noise and light in the bedroom is not too much
  • Avoid late napping to encourage better night time sleep
  • Have natural light during the day especially in the morning
  • Have a favourite bedtime toy just to be kept in the bedroom

School Children

School is just too tiring!

  • Breathing for relaxation is a good sleeping aid
  • Make sure they feel safe, avoid scary tv and computer games before bed
  • Turn off phones, tablets, computer games etc an hour before bedtime
  • Avoid caffeine in energy drinks, chocolate etc in the late afternoon
  • Discuss any worries or anxieties way before bedtime
  • Ensure a healthy varied diet and avoid going to bed hungry
  • Have an hour a day of exercise to be tired enough to sleep at night
  • Lay out clothes for the next day and pack school bags ready
  • Have a positive bedtime routine, keep a notebook by their bed
  • have a quiet story together before turning off the lights

Without Adequate Sleep, Children Can Become:

Sleepy at the wrong time and the wrong place!

  • Restless
  • Anxious
  • Angry
  • Aggressive
  • Depressed
  • Tearful
  • Tired
  • Impulsive
  • Clumsy
  • Lethargic

If you want more information, please contact me, Rachel Lipman - Sleep Consultant, today!

Refer to My Sleep Duration Recommendations