Have you ever wondered why nurses neatly and snugly wrap up newborn babies in a soft blanket right after they are born? Why is swaddling one of the first things new parents learn? Why do babies seem to have a more restful sleep when swaddled? And, how exactly do you swaddle a baby?
If your mind is also swimming with all these questions, fear not. Here is your guide to everything you need to know about swaddling.
What is Swaddling?
Swaddling is an age-old technique to wrap the baby in a soft infant swaddle blanket to recreate the comfort of the womb after the baby enters the world.
Newborns are tiny, delicate, and sensitive little beings, and they need a large dose of TLC in their early months. Every pediatrician in town will tell you how important swaddling is for your baby’s health and wellness as well as how easy and practical it is to swaddle your baby.
Today, Comfy Cubs is going to discuss the ins and outs of swaddling along with some useful tips on how to choose the ideal swaddle blankets for your newborn.
Let’s begin with understanding the benefits of swaddling.
Benefits of Swaddling
Besides the fact that swaddling makes your baby look cute and snug, this traditional wrapping practice benefits the baby and the mother in several ways.
1. For Good Sleep
Newborns tend to find it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. They cry constantly and get irritated easily. If you’ve fed your baby well and changed the diapers regularly but your baby still doesn’t fall asleep, swaddle your baby. Swaddling helps your baby feel comforted and safe, thus helping them sleep soundly and instantly. Research also suggests that swaddling helps the baby sleep longer and more deeply. And if your baby sleeps well, you are bound to get some much-needed sleep too.2. For Soothing
When your baby comes into this world, the change of environment from the womb to a bedroom can be unsettling. Your baby is going to take some time adjusting to new surroundings. During this period of adjustment and coping, swaddling your baby can help destress and soothe your baby.
Most new mothers also find that the act of swaddling makes them feel less anxious. The process of swaddling a baby allows mothers to feel gentle and extra affectionate towards their little ones. This can soothe mothers and help them stay calm.
3. For Protection
Babies are prone to startle reflexes during sleep. This happens often because the baby is still getting used to the change in environment. At times like these, if your baby is securely swaddled, it helps keep him or her from flinging his or her arms and limbs into the air.
Such actions can startle babies and unnecessarily wake them up. Swaddle your baby to prevent damage from startle reflexes.
4. For Warmth
Swaddling helps keep your baby warm and cozy. While your little one is adjusting to climatic conditions in his or her new habitat, it’s best to tuck your baby in nicely in a blanket that can regulate your baby’s internal body temperature as well.
5. For Temperature Control
Swaddling also keeps your baby from getting overheated. Most swaddle blankets are made of breathable cotton fabrics that keep your baby comfortable without causing overheating.
How Do You Swaddle Your Baby?
Swaddling is easy. Once you get started, you can quickly master the technique. While swaddling, you have to prioritize your baby’s comfort and always be gentle with your movements.
Here are three popular methods that we’d like to recommend for swaddling:
The Diamond Shaped Technique
In this method, you basically spread the blanket out in the shape of a diamond, tuck the baby in the center, and fold the ends over the baby’s body, one by one. Just make sure that the baby’s face and head are out of the swaddle.
The Triangle Shaped Technique
First, fold the swaddle blanket in a triangle shape. Then tuck your baby into it. This type of swaddle is also great for breastfeeding.
The Square Shaped Technique
In this method, you place the baby on a square-shaped swaddle blanket, tuck the two sides under the baby, and the bottom corner behind the baby’s back. Simple and effective, this is a commonly used swaddle technique.
How to Choose the Best Swaddle Blanket?
1. The size and shape of the swaddle blanket make all the difference. You want your baby to be tucked in properly but you also want to make sure your baby has enough room to move around if required. To make sure your baby is not cramped or constricted in the swaddle, pick a swaddle blanket that’s square shaped and at least 45 inches wide on each side.
2. The fabric should be lightweight and composed of breathable material. If the blanket is too thick and heavy, it may weigh your baby down and make him or her feel uncomfortable. And if you want your swaddle blanket to prevent your baby from overheating, the material you choose should have an open weave texture that allows your baby’s skin to breathe.
3. The best swaddle blanket is always made of at least 50% cotton muslin. This material is eco-friendly, soft, breathable, long-lasting, and cost-effective. The cotton material ensures that your baby’s skin is healthy and prevents skin irritation and inflammation. Cotton Muslin blankets are lightweight, easy to use, convenient, and hypoallergenic.
4. Always pick a good quality Muslin that won’t drain the color and will only get softer and smoother after every wash.
5. Pick a cotton swaddle that is stretchable enough to allow good tucking but isn’t too elastic. Usually, elastic swaddle blankets are made of Polyester, and this material can suffocate your baby or cause overheating as it’s thick and unbreathable.
6. Pick cute designs and pleasant colors for your adorable newborn.
Some Final Thoughts
Besides swaddling, swaddle Blankets have numerous other uses and functions and also make for the sweetest baby shower presents.
At Comfy Cubs, we have a wide and colorful range of eco-friendly nursery essentials that every new mother and newborn needs.