When I was pregnant with my oldest son I remember learning at the hospital, during a weekend newborn baby course, how to swaddle a baby (along with other things like diaper changes and what labor might look like) but no one told me why I should swaddle my newborn for sleep. So I really had no idea, just that I should know how to do it ready for when I have my baby. Luckily though, I can tell you why you should swaddle a newborn for sleep, things to consider when swaddling and the best swaddles out there. No longer do you need to know how to do origami to swaddle effectively because there are so many wonderful, easy to use swaddles on the market (which there really wasn’t 9 years ago….).
Why you should swaddle for sleep.
Swaddling has many wonderful benefits for a newborn baby:
- It can help soothe an upset baby.
- It can help them sleep better. It prevents them startling themselves awake when they still have the strong Moro Reflex, which causes random arm and leg movements.
- Studies suggest swaddles help newborns stay asleep for longer periods.
- Swaddling helps recreate the tight environment of the womb.
- Prevents face scratching.
- Soothes babies who have Colic.
Things to consider when swaddling a newborn.
Even though swaddling has become easier with all the products on the market, it is definitely important to be aware of some dos and don’ts when it comes to swaddling:
Do make sure that whatever you use to swaddle can’t come loose. Loose fabric is dangerous around babies and we always have to be mindful of safe sleep.
Don’t swaddle tightly around a baby’s hips and legs. To help with their hip development legs need to be able to bend up and down at the hips freely.
Do put your baby on their back to sleep when swaddled. If a baby was put on their side or tummy when swaddled then it becomes unsafe as they can’t use their hands and arms to help push their face to a safe position.
Don’t forget that as soon as your baby starts to role it is important to transition out of the swaddle and into a sleep sack.
My swaddle recommendations
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There are so many brands of swaddles out there, so it is important for you to pick one that is right for you, but I’ll outline my favorite swaddles to help you make the decision.
The Ollie Swaddle is a lovely design, but full disclosure is more expensive than others on the market. It is a simple piece of fabric with a hook and loop closure. It is very easy to use and will make a baby feel nice and snuggly. It is also made from moisture-wicking material, which is an added bonus.
Love to Dream Swaddle Up
For babies that like to have their hands in the air, the Swaddle Up can really help. You can also by one with removable arms that you can use as a gentle transition.
Halo Sleep Sack Swaddle
The Halo Sleep Sack Swaddle is great because it marries up the swaddle with the sleep sack. This means that babies can use it while still needing to be swaddled and then after their transition as well. It also has an inverted zipper for easy diaper changes. This is a time-saver, for sure!
The Woombie is helpful for babies who love to have their arms up close to their face, whilst still protecting them from flailing arms or face scratching. It also has a two-way zipper for diaper changes.
Summer Infant Swaddle Me
Last, but not least, the Summer Infant Swaddle Me. This was what I used with my younger son. Largely because there weren’t many swaddle products on the market back then. But it is still a goodie! It is inexpensive compared to some of the other products out there. It has a roomy leg pouch and velcro wings. It definitely did the job for my son.
I hope you enjoy picking out the right swaddle for your baby. There are so many out there to choose from. And so many cute designs as well! Good luck!