Swaddling is the practice of wrapping your baby in a blanket in order to create a layer of comfort while they sleep and ease the transition from the womb to the outside world. The idea behind a swaddle is that it will help your baby sleep by wrapping them so tightly they cannot move their arms or legs. Sounds intense right? Well, babies startle, and this extra tight wrap can help keep them asleep for a little longer, so mom and dad can get just a little more sleep as well!
Most experienced parents will tell you swaddling is a must, and there are swaddles for every stage of your baby may bein. Using a swaddle will help soothe and comfort your little one and keep them cozy when in bed while they (and hopefully you!) sleep.
Here’s what you need to know to choose the right swaddle for your baby one.
What Is A Swaddle?
A swaddle is a large blanket or tailored “suit” that can be used to tightly wrap a baby in a way that keeps them calm and feeling secure. From the day they are born swaddling your baby is recommended, as swaddling helps replicate the feeling of comfort babies feel while inside the womb.
While in the hospital, I found that nurses and doctors were there to help and were the first to teach me how to swaddle.
Just like adults, babies like and dislike different things. While some babies may not enjoy the act of swaddling many do. I experienced one baby who was a master at the art of swaddle escaping and another that is nearly a year old and still finds comfort and warmth in her sleep sack (a graduated version of the swaddle). For those can’t get the perfect swaddle or your baby, as mine was, is an escape artist, there are many swaddles that include velcro, elastic, and even zippers in order to easily achieve the benefits of a swaddle.
Swaddling has many benefits and if one swaddle doesn’t necessarily work for you and or your baby, it’s a great idea to try out the other options out there. I took a trip to Buy Buy Baby, purchased one of each of the swaddles I wanted to try and gave them all a quick trial. (be sure to check the store’s return policy!) The key to choosing a swaddle that works is finding one that is tight enough that your baby can’t wriggle out. Swaddling with the proper swaddle will provide the following benefits for your baby.
TheMoro reflexis aninfantile reflexnormally present in all infants/newborns up to 3 or 4 months of age as a response to a sudden loss of support, when the infant feels as if it is falling. When this happens during sleep, it often times wakes babies up. A young baby, unable to easily put him or herself back to sleep, is the number one reason to swaddle your baby from day one. Not only does a good night sleep benefit baby, but mom and dad can definitely use all the sleep they can get during these times. A tight swaddle will keep baby’s arms securely pinned to their sides, preventing the startle reflex and subsequent waking.
Swaddled babies experience lessanxiety. Swaddling prevents unnecessary wake-ups due to the startle reflex.
Eliminates the need for “covers”:
Swaddling eliminates the need for comfort items in baby’s crib – no pillows, bumpers, blankets, stuffed animals, etc. (using these items in crib have been linked to SIDS) Swaddling prevent face-scratching.In utero, babies were in a very tight, confined environment. While the very thought of being so confined may give adults claustrophobia, the fact is that babies find it very comfortable, safe, and soothing. A swaddle helps to mimic that restrictive environment and keep babies feeling safe and secure.
When do you need swaddles?
Generally, swaddling is safe for all babies. The average age when babies stop being swaddled is around 3 or 4 months or when they are able to roll over. Also, if your baby has hip dysplasia or other hip issues, then swaddling can aggravate that, so check with your pediatrician.
Choosing what’s right for you
Which swaddle will be best for you and your newborn? Every baby is different, so you might need to experiment a little to find the blanket that’s the best fit. Think about how your baby moves and how your baby sleeps. And don’t afraid to choose a swaddle that also looks adorable on your cute little one!
Obsessed doesn’t even begin to cover how I feel about this swaddle! This miracle wrap comes in multiple sizes for any baby and multiple variations for the many stages. Within one wear, upon zipping the Love to dream swaddle my fussy baby was soothed and sleeping.
For the Escape Artist
If your little one is keen to get of his or her swaddle then this is the wrap for your baby. Velcro closures make this a snug fit and hard to wriggle out of. Keep in mind, with this one, you’ll need to fully unswaddle your baby to change diapers and that velcro can get noisy!
The wearable blanket with open sleeves is perfect for your little babe not ready to sleep with an actual blanket and has the ability to roll around in bed. The adjustable velcro on this allows for snug fit and to loosen as baby grows. Again, like the above swaddle, the velcro is noisy. So if you have to change baby, keep in mind you’ll have to undo the swaddle and it won’t be quiet.