Childrens Portraits

How to Swaddle Your Baby for Newborn Photography?

by Stuart Hasson

Wrapping your newborn can be daunting.  But with a little practice and a comfy blanket, you can master this task.  Here are the basic steps for you to wrap you tiny person.

First, why is it so important to wrap your baby?  Swaddling or wrapping your baby not only protects her or keeps her warm, but there’s a level of protection and familiarity that plays a pretty big part.  After all, think about where they’ve come from and how that must have felt.

Many dad’s think that wrapping their baby so tightly is restrictive.  This might have a little credence but the benefits far outweigh the confinement.

Safety First!  When you tightly wrap your baby, you’re providing a great level of safety for them.  No accidental scratches.  No wiggling off the couch.

So, how do you Wrap your Newborn?

  1. On a flat surface, lay out your comfy blanket so the corners are top/bottom, right & left.
  2. Fold the top corner down 6 inches toward you (over on itself).
  3. Lay your baby on the blanket, with his head above the fold, face up.
  4. Straighten the left arm and fold the right corner, as you’re looking at it, over your baby and tuck under his right side waist (on your left). Make sure the blanket goes under his chin and the right arm is still free.
  5. Straighten the right arm and fold the other blanket corner over to the opposite side.  Tuck it tightly underneath.
  6. Loosely twist the bottom portion of the blanket and then tuck it underneath your baby.

There you have it.  Safe and sound.  When your baby can’t be settled, try the Tight Swaddle!  It really works miracles.

Wrapping you baby for pictures is a little different.  I use similar steps as outlined above BUT there a few subtle differences.

  1. Choose the right blanket/wrapper.  Here are a few pointers:
  2. Not too thick and not too furry.  Those cute little dangling tassels on the edges can be a nightmare and always seem to make their way into baby’s mouth at the perfectly WRONG time!
  3. Choose a color that compliments your baby’s skin color.  Pastels are great.  Bright colors, not so great.  Cream colored fabric over stark white is positively the way to go.
  4. Stretchy thin fabric is great for 2 reasons; It wraps baby very tightly, helping her fall asleep and it can help show off her little features under the wrap, arms & legs.
  1. Give a little extra room around your baby’s head and neck area.  Fold a little bit more of the blanket so that baby’s head is clearly visible.  Make sure the 2nd fold still tucks the arm tightly underneath her, but you don’t want to cover her face at all.  And scrunching the fabric under her chin usually looks like you scrunched the fabric under her chin!
  1. Choose the right background.  (okay, this isn’t really ‘wrapping’ but it’s still important).  Get a big ‘ol soft blanket and put it on the floor (or over a couch) and put your baby on it.  You’ll minimize distracting things in the background.
This picture is about 30 years old but it brings me back every time I look at it. THAT’s why I’m a photographer: To help people REMEMBER all of the good things in their Life!

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