When a baby is born in a hospital, they are wrapped in a blanket in a particular way called a ‘swaddle’. A hospital swaddle looks like the baby has been wrapped up like a burrito (usually in a standard pink and blue hospital blanket).
Experts believe that wrapping newborns tightly in a blanket makes them feel safe while it first adjusts to life outside of the womb. It can prevent the baby from being upset by its startle reflex and keeps them warm until their bodies can regulate their temperature on their own.
While this swaddling technique is the traditional way to keep newborns safe and warm, some hospitals have been offering variations on the technique while some have abandoned it altogether. Some now offer ‘sleep sacks’ which are wearable blankets with holes for arms and Velcro fasteners to fasten them snugly.