Swaddling 101

With so many different soothing options for newborns out there, it can be tough to decide which mechanisms you would like to implement for your new bundle of joy. While many soothing options such as the snoo and baby swings work on a handful of babies to soothe, swaddling is a soothing method that effectively calms most infants. Today we are here to give you a 101 on swaddling!

Swaddling 101

What is swaddling?

Swaddling is an ancient practice that consists of wrapping a baby in a blanket snuggly so that only their heads are out. Today, many different swaddles on the market, each sharing the same concept with a goal to keep babies warm, snug, and on their backs while sleeping.

How do I swaddle?

Is swaddling safe?

When done correctly, swaddling is safe and can help to prevent the risk of SIDS. Swaddling helps to ensure that newborns stay on their back. It also helps to keep them warm. Many things come into play when considering the safety of our babies when swaddling. One thing is their temperature. While swaddling is a great tool to help keep babies warm before they can regulate their temperature, it is important to be mindful that they are not overheating. Keep the room they sleep in between 68-72 degrees and refrain from layering baby in clothes. A onesie under a swaddle is typically sufficient. If your baby’s hair is wet, their cheeks are hot, or their back is sweaty, they are too hot.

Another is the tightness of your swaddle; while we want to make sure they are snug and the swaddle blanket isn’t lose, it is also essential to make sure they are not overly snug. It is also important to stop swaddling once your baby is showing signs of rolling. This is typically at the 3-4 month mark but can happen as early as 2 months.

What makes swaddling so effective?

Swaddling is often considered a miracle soothing mechanism for infants, but why? Swaddling is so effective because it helps to mimic the snug feeling that a baby feels in the womb, allowing them to feel safe and secure. Swaddling also stops the Moro reflex, in which your babies’ natural reflex moves their arms, which can quickly wake a sleeping baby.

How long can I swaddle for?

It is safe to swaddle until your baby begins to show signs of rolling. The AAP recommends that newborns are placed on their backs for all sleep. Once your baby shows signs of rolling from back to front, it is recommended to stop swaddling and switch to a swaddle sleep sack.

What if my baby doesn’t like being swaddled?

If your baby doesn’t like the first swaddle you try, that is okay! There are many different swaddles on the market these days, and there may be a swaddle that your baby loves. Some babies do not like the swaddle! That is okay as well. If your baby doesn’t like being swaddled, we recommend warmer pajamas at night; as stated by the AAP { American academy of pediatrics}, it is not recommended for loose blankets to be in a crib or bassinet until they are at least 12 months old.

How to transition out of a swaddle?

Once your baby is showing signs of rolling, it is time to transition out of the swaddle. Luckily there are many products on the market to help! Sleepsacks can be a massive help as your babies’ feet will still be snug, but their arms are loose, making sleep sacks a safe alternative. For babies whose Moro reflexes are still waking them, the merlin’s magic sleepsuit can be helpful as well! Whichever transitional method you choose to use, please remember there may be an adjustment period.

In conclusion…

Swaddling can be an extremely beneficial soothing mechanism for newborn sleep. When done correctly, it can be safe and effective. There are many different soothing methods, and as parents, the decision of how to soothe your baby and the sleeping practices you’d like to implement is entirely up to you! We hope that the information provided today gave you more insight on all things swaddling, swaddling 101!

We hope you enjoyed this week’s blog, Swaddling 101! For more information on all things pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenthood please check out our other weekly blog posts!

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