Todd Harris, M.D.

Sometimes Happiness is a Good Swaddle

Written by Todd Harris, M.D.

March 9, 2018 – [NOTE FROM EDITOR: In this post, I am desperate to avoid use of the 3-letter word that is associated a seasonal illness beginning with “F” and ending with “LU” – there’s been enough of that!]

In the first week of life, a good swaddle can be a really good thing.

As someone who works with newborn infants, I can appreciate a good swaddle. This swaddle has some things going for it:

A post shared by Puppy (@puppystagrams) on

What they did right:

  1. Blanket prep – If you don’t get this right, you have lost before you begin. An excellent example of the classic diamond layout with a folded corner at the head.
  2. Organization – this is a well-organized wrap; every move has purpose: from the prep noted above to the lower corner taking care of the legs, right corner taking the right upper leg (arm) and left corner taking the left upper leg (arm)
  3. Outside the box thinking – applying the swaddle to your puppy is a genius move – and that puppy is way more cooperative than the average newborn

What I would do different (with a human baby):

  1. Order of corner fold over – this may seem picky but I feel like I get a better ‘tight burrito’ swaddle with an infant if I do one of the arms first, the legs second (PRO TIP: make sure the legs are bent at the knees – if baby is crying and has them straight out, wait for them to bend their knees and bring them up toward their belly before you complete the bottom fold), and then the other arm last
  2. You can’t roll an infant – well – you probably could – but then you would likely be cleaning their stomach contents off your white (?!) bedspread
  3. Foundational concern – last and most obvious critique – baby on white bedspread? Can you say, “Set up to fail”?

Happy Friday!