READ ALL THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM TO LEARN HOW TO ENTER THE SWADDLE GIVE-AWAY!
Swaddling – should you? Is it worth the effort? And which swaddle blanket do you use? With so many to choose from, it can be difficult to decide.
In my work as a postpartum doula and infant sleep consultant, I have seen the value of swaddling too many times to count. Newborns have an immature nervous system with involuntary movements and jerking that can startle a sleeping baby awake or make it difficult for them to settle themselves to sleep. Swaddling is a useful tool for parents to comfort the colicky baby who has trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. Swaddling mimics the tightness and comfort of your baby’s first home – the uterus. Dr. Harvey Karp in his book, The Happiest Baby on the Block, says, ”swaddling is the cornerstone of calming, the essential first step in soothing your fussy baby and keeping him soothed.” (p. 94-95). For most babies, swaddling by itself won’t stop the fussing. It is the foundation or the starting point of calming a baby. That means that if you swaddle your baby and they continue to cry and fuss, it doesn’t mean the baby doesn’t like the swaddle, they just need more help and support.
What about safety? Swaddling is safe when you follow a few simple rules.
1. Babies must sleep on their back.
2. Keep the hips loosely swaddled. This is to prevent hip dysplasia.
3. Swaddle the upper body firmly, but not so tight that it restricts breathing.
4. Use swaddling only for sleep. Your baby needs their hands-free to play and explore during playtime, and mom and baby need to be skin to skin for breastfeeding.
5. Stop swaddling once the baby is rolling over.
6. Check for overheating. If the baby is sweating around the neck, remove one layer of clothing. Room temperature should be between 68-72 degrees.
But which one? Let me help you decide. I have used different swaddlers in different situations and I have my favorites. If you want to use a blanket, Swaddle Designs has generously sized blankets that are big enough to get a nice proper swaddle. Aden And Anais have a wonderful lightweight muslin blanket that is nice for warmer summer days.
If the thought of trying to figure out how to swaddle with a blanket has you wrapped up in knots, a swaddle sack may be just what you are looking for. For newborns, parents love the Woombie and many feel it's the best baby swaddle. The Woombie is a stretchy sack with a variety of options for you and your baby. The material provides just enough pressure for comfort but allows for the baby to have their hands up instead of straight down and isn't sug around the hips. As your baby grows, they have a sack with flaps that open so her arms can be out. It’s also easy to use. You put the baby in and zip it up. Another popular option for an older baby, is the Halo Sleep Sack. It combines the ease of zipper and Velcro and allows for the arms to be out as your baby grows.
What about the baby that is getting ready to roll over but still needs the sensory comfort of the swaddle? Try the Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit. This is a thick suit that prevents your baby from startling themselves awake. Once your baby is rolling over, move on to the Zipadeezip. They have sleep sacks that fit up to a 2 year old.
Is swaddling worth the effort? I think so. Your baby thinks so. Your well rested family will think so. I believe in swaddling so much that I will be giving away not one, not two, but 4 different swaddles to 4 different winners that represent the various options for various stages. The first one will be the Woombie for those newborns. The second is a swaddle blanket by Swaddle Designs. The third is the Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit for the older infant who is about to transition to rolling over. And the fourth is a Zipadeezip for the older baby. You have two ways to enter. Become an email subscriber. Complete the form on my blog page or my home page, and leave a comment on your favorite swaddle.. You can also “like” my Facebook page and leave a comment about your favorite swaddle blanket. You only need to enter once at each site. Winners will be selected at random from those who subscribe or comment and announced June 1. Good luck!
Let’s hear it for tranquil sleep!