How to Tell if a Baby Is Swaddled Too Tightly & More Swaddling Basics

The most basic way to tell if a baby is swaddled too tightly is to place two fingers between the baby’s chest and the swaddle. If there is just enough room to fit two fingers of space between their chest and the swaddle then the baby is swaddled correctly — not too tight, not too loose.

Learning how to tell if a baby is swaddled too tightly is one of the many things you’ll pick up right out of the gate when it comes to taking care of your newborn.

Catch up on a few more swaddling basics and get answers to questions before you become a parent to your new little one.

Mom holding her swaddled newborn.

Nighttime Swaddling: Should I swaddle my newborn at night?

Swaddling your baby at night can help them sleep comfortably in the first few weeks because it provides your baby with the womb-like feeling they’re used to. This will also help you and your baby establish a sleep schedule that you can stick to.

New parents can use both daytime and nighttime swaddling as they take on their first few weeks of parenting. As your baby develops and grows, however, it will be important to look out for signs of when to stop swaddling.

Signs to Stop Swaddling: Is it safe to swaddle a baby that can roll over?

Rolling over is a sign that it’s time to stop swaddling your baby. Once your newborn develops enough upper body strength to roll over or break free from their swaddle it is no longer safe (or necessary) for them to be swaddled unless the swaddle has an arms out feature. The arms out feature will allow them to have the use of their arms but to still stay warm in the swaddle so a loose blanket is never used.

Signs it’s time to stop swaddling:

  • Baby is starting to regularly escape the swaddle
  • Baby is starting to roll over
  • Baby is starting to wake up more than usual during the night or naptime
  • Baby is starting to develop arm and back strength

Once your baby begins to roll over or you notice other signs of your baby outgrowing the need for a swaddle it’s time to transition out of swaddling your baby altogether. Every baby is different — some babies will transition without a fuss, while others may need to learn a few self-soothing skills.

Teaching your baby to sleep through the night can be stressful. Take the unnecessary weight off your shoulders by working with a qualified sleep coach. Get a step ahead of your little one so everyone in your home can enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.

Baby girl wearing a pink striped BreathableBaby swaddle trio with her arms out.

Safe Swaddles & Outfits: What should a baby wear to sleep under a swaddle?

In an average climate babies can simply wear their swaddle alone, while in colder climates babies can wear a short or long sleeved onesie under their swaddle for extra warmth.

BreathableBaby’s new swaddles and sets are all made from moisture-wicking, antimicrobial fabric to keep your baby dry and cozy all day or night. Each of our swaddles provides babies and parents with a little something extra to make their daily routine that much easier.

Active Swaddles:

Our Active Swaddles come with two soft, cotton swaddle blankets that meet babies’ needs all day long, from swaddling to stroller and nursing covers or even tummy time.

Swaddle Trios:

Our Swaddle Trios are adjustable to let your baby sleep with arms up, down or out. They were designed to help you get the most out of your baby’s swaddle and help your baby always sleep comfortably even as their needs change.

Have more questions about safe sleep for babies or our swaddles and other products? BreathableBaby strives to help parents prepare for whatever parenthood has in store. Take a look at some of the frequently asked questions we get from other parents who’ve been there.