These instructions and the drawings were inspired by those from Dr. Harvey Karp's excellent book The Happiest Baby on the Block.

1. Lay the blanket wrong-side-up on a bed or other flat surface. The tag should be in the top corner. Fold this top corner down so it touches the center of the blanket. Place your baby on the blanket so the baby’s neck lies on the folded edge.

2. Holding your baby’s right arm straight at the baby’s side, grab the blanket 3-4 inches from the baby’s right shoulder and pull it very tightly down and across the baby’s body. Keeping the blanket very tight, tuck it under the baby’s left buttock and lower back. With your left hand, hold the blanket in place against the baby’s left hip and pull the extended corner (on the baby’s left side) so that all slack is removed from the blanket -- your baby should not be able to move the right arm at all. (Your baby might not like this procedure at first, but it is important that the blanket be extremely tight so your baby can’t escape the swaddle. Although your baby might scream during the swaddling process, once you’re finished your baby will be glad you ignored earlier pleas to give up.)

3. Straighten your baby’s left arm against the baby’s side and bring the bottom corner up and over the baby’s left shoulder. It’s ok if your baby’s legs are bent. However, the baby’s arms MUST be straight. Hold the baby’s covered left arm against his or her body and tuck the blanket under it. Hold the left arm in place while you grab the blanket 3 inches from the baby’s left shoulder and tug again to make sure everything is tight.

4. Fold the top of the blanket (the part you just tugged) down just a little to bring a tiny bit of fabric across the baby’s chest. Pretend you’re making the neckline in a v-neck sweater.

5. Holding this bit of fabric in place, grab the remaining blanket corner and pull it tightly to your right to remove all slack. Now wrap it straight across the baby’s body like a wide belt. Tuck the end of the blanket into the front of the belt once you’ve wrapped it all the way around.

If you’ve wrapped tightly enough, your baby can’t get out and can barely move a single limb, and your little one will feel nice and secure.

Tips

1. Make sure the swaddle is as tight as possible so your baby can’t get out. Loose blankets are a suffocation hazard, and a loose swaddle won’t calm your baby down.

2. Don’t let the blanket rub your baby’s cheek and lead your baby to think it’s meal time.

3. Make sure your baby’s arms are straight. Otherwise, the swaddle won’t keep the baby confined for long.