How To Swaddle Your Newborn
When your baby is a newborn, you may notice from very early on what their preferences are in terms of wanting a more snug, secure cuddle or to lie freely.
Before Casey was born, I knew all too well that he may not be a big fan of some of the more expensive contraptions that you can get for babies - this is exactly why we nabbed a Jumperoo from Facebook Marketplace for a tenner and then promptly got rid of it again, because he just wasn’t a fan, but man, was he keen on his swing! On the day we brought him home from the hospital, we popped him in the swing and he absolutely loved it. £120 well spent I’d say, because he was in that thing every single day for naps for 4 or 5 months.
Your baby may love a little blanket (always laid on their legs, at the bottom of whatever they are sleeping in), or they may prefer a swaddle - a tight, but breathable little hold to ensure your baby feels super secure and cosy.
What are the benefits of swaddling?
Swaddling isn’t for everyone, but many mums and dads have said that it has worked wonders for them for many reasons, including:
- Ease of settling baby gently,
- A longer sleep for baby,
- Prevention of the startle reflex disturbing baby,
- Allowing for a snug and safe hold, that mimics the environment of mum’s uterus.
Is swaddling safe?
Swaddling is safe, provided you do it correctly - you must ensure you are using light, breathable fabric, which is why Bundle+bo muslin swaddle blankets are perfect.
Make sure you are either using a muslin cloth, a lightweight cotton blanket or a ready made swaddle with fastenings, and you must ensure it is hip friendly too.
This is especially important because if your swaddle is too tight, you may be at risk of your baby developing hip dysplasia. With this in mind, make sure your baby is able to kick around freely and able to lie in their natural little froggie position, when swaddled.
Also be sure to check your baby for overheating - remove layers where necessary, monitor their temperature (as well as the temperature of the room), and check for damp skin, flushed cheeks or sweaty hair. Your baby may become restless if they’re too hot (because they can’t regulate their temperature like older children and adults), so they may also cry. This is why it is particularly important to use a light and breathable fabric to swaddle your baby in.
The swaddling method:
A lot of parents struggle to master swaddling their baby, but it’s pretty simple, so we’ve broken it down below for you:
-LAY YOUR SWADDLE OUT IN A DIAMOND SHAPE AND FOLD THE TOP CORNER DOWN TO THE CENTRE.
-LAY BABY ON THE BLANKET WITH THEIR HEAD ABOVE THE FOLDED CORNER.
-FOLD THE RIGHT SIDE OVER BABY AND TUCK THAT CORNER UNDER THE LEFT SIDE.
-FOLD THE BOTTOM CORNER UP OVER THEIR FEET.
-FOLD THE LEFT SIDE OVER AND ROUND, AND TUCK IT IN.
-CHECK TIGHTNESS AND MAKE SURE BABY CAN MOVE THEIR LEGS FREELY.
TIP: Make sure your baby’s arms are not crossed over their front, but down to the sides of their body.
At what age do you stop swaddling?
Once your baby is showing signs that they want to roll over, look to start using a sleep bag or to sleep freely with a blanket. This may be as early as 4 months old, and your baby will need their arms free to lift their head up from whatever surface they are laying on.
Bear in mind that all babies develop at different rates, but it’s important to make sure you’re keeping an eye out for all the signs that your baby wants to roll over.
It’s up to you!
Swaddling promotes some fantastic benefits, but it isn’t a requirement. It does pose some risks too so please bear those in mind when you consider this method to help your baby with their sleep.
Discuss your options with your health visitor or your midwife, and make your decisions purely based on what you feel is best for your baby!