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Swaddling Instructions

Swaddling Instructions

Down Up, Down Up Technique

This is Dr Harvey Karp's DUDU - Down Up, Down Up - technique which is very effective for calming babies & helping them sleep longer.

If you have any family history of hip problems, please see below for other recommended techniques or make sure you have lots of wriggle room around the hips.

The Down Up, Down Up (DUDU) Swaddle Technique with a newborn baby

Watch The Sleep Store demonstrate the Down Up, Down Up swaddle technique on a newborn baby. In this demo we're using a Woolbabe merino/organic cotton stretch swaddle, but this technique can also be used with a muslin or merino swaddle wrap. This is also known as the DUDU technique. Swaddling can help a newborn settle better and sleep for longer. Watch the demo. For more swaddling safety advice visit NZ



The Wrap and Placement:

Choose a big wrap, 1 x 1m for newborns and 1.2 x 1.2m or 1.1 x 1.3m for 3+ months.
Choose fabric that is appropriate to the season and remember the wrap counts as a layer of clothing!
Lie wrap diagonally and fold top corner down until almost half way.
Lie baby across the top edge, just below the fold line.

The First Wrap:

Fold the first side across baby, rolling him over to tuck firmly in behind his back.
Ensure his arm is straight, inside the wrap! If not, he will escape!
Pull wrap snug around the neck, by pulling wrap on the opposite side. If wrap is not firm across the shoulder here, a bigger baby can bust out the top of the wrap!

The Feet Wrap:

Fold the bottom corner of the wrap up and tuck well under the unfolded shoulder. If this step isn’t done, the baby can push out the top of the wrap, kick off bedcovers and loosen the wrap.


Leg Position:

The legs are not completely straight, do not force the legs to be straight or make the wrap very tight around the legs. You can have babies legs folded up in the foetal position & in the spread legs, froggy position for the most natural position and to reduce any small risk of hip problems.

The V-Neck Wrap:

This is the trickiest step, but with practice you will master the v-neck!
Ensure 2nd arm is straight.
Fold the 2nd corner down over the shoulder, making a nice tight v-neck on the chest with the first shoulder.
Hold the V-neck firm with your left hand, while wrapping the rest of the wrap across the front of baby with your right hand, and round behind.

The Finished Wrap!

Trouble-Shooting for Houdini Babies!

  • One or both arms were not straight?
  • The wrap was not snug round the neck?
  • The wrap was too loose?
  • The wrap didn’t go right round the baby?
  • The wrap you are using is too small?

Safe and Healthy Swaddling Tips:

  • Swaddled babies should sleep on their back.
  • Stop swaddling if your baby is close to rolling.
  • Do not have the swaddle tight around your babies legs - they should be able to have their legs in a comfortable, bent position, as they were in the womb.
  • If you have any family history of hip problems or are in the higher risk for baby having hip issues, please use the Hip Institute swaddling techniques below or a Halo Sleeping Bag/Swaddle.


Hip Institute Swaddling Techniques

If your baby is in the risk group for hip dysplasia, we recommend you follow this video for the healthy hips swaddling techniques.


Risk & Cause of Hip Dysplasia

The cause is unknown. Low levels of amniotic fluid in the womb during pregnancy can increase a baby's risk of DDH. Other risk factors include:

  • Being the first child
  • Being female
  • Breech position during pregnancy, in which the baby's bottom is down
  • Family history of the disorder

DDH occurs in about 1 out of 1,000 births.



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