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Swaddle Blankets: The Cozy Embrace for Your Newborn Baby

Discussing all things swaddle blankets. How to swaddle your baby, what are swaddle blankets, why you may love them and why babies love them too!


The Art of Swaddling

Swaddling is an age-old technique that involves wrapping your baby in a light, breathable blanket. Mimicking the comfort of the womb, swaddle blankets offer a sense of security that soothes and calms babies and helps them sleep better. It's like a warm and gentle embrace that makes the transition from the womb to the world smoother. Swaddling is safe for your little one as long as it's done correctly. An incorrect swaddling technique could be harmful. Swaddle blankets should be made from soft, lightweight and breathable fabrics.

Swaddle blanket / swaddle wraps are like a warm embrace for your baby, offering comfort and potentially better sleep for both babies and mums. With a proper technique and the right type of blankets, swaddling could become a valuable tool in your parenting journey.


Why Swaddle?

Swaddling offers numerous benefits for both babies and parents. It may help babies to sleep longer and more soundly by keeping them feeling snug and secure and reducing your little one's 'startle reflex'. Once your baby is learning to roll over, it's important to stop swaddling your baby. As soon as your little one shows signs of learning to roll over, it's important to stop swaddling as their arms are restrained in a swaddle, it means that it could be harder for them to turn or lift their head if they have rolled onto their stomach and are swaddled.


Choosing the Right Swaddle Blanket

Selecting the right swaddle blanket is crucial for a successful swaddling experience. Opt for breathable, soft fabrics that are gentle on your baby's delicate skin. We recommend swaddle blankets made from organic materials to promote a healthier sleep environment.


A swaddling blanket should always be made out of light, breathable material. For example you could use a muslin cloth, a lightweight, cotton baby blanket or a swaddling sleep suit such as the Love to Dream Swaddle UP.



Step-by-Step Guide to Swaddling

1. Lay the swaddle blanket on a flat surface in a diamond shape.

2. Fold the top corner down to create a straight edge.

3. Place your baby on their back with their neck above the folded edge.

4. Secure your baby's arm against the side of their body and wrap one side of the blanket snugly across their chest.

5. Tuck the bottom of the blanket under your baby's chin.

6. Secure the remaining arm, ensuring your baby's hips have room to move.

7. Fold and secure the bottom of the blanket to keep your baby cozy.

Safety

While swaddling may be beneficial, safety should always come first. Never swaddle your baby too tightly, and leave enough room for healthy hip development. Once your baby starts showing signs of rolling, it's time to transition out of swaddling and swaddles to prevent any accidents.


Some risks of swaddling include overheating as babies are unable to control their own body temperature, if your baby is swaddled in blankets that are too thick, it could lead to overheating. Ensure that you check that your baby is at a comfortable temperature and remove any layers is necessary. Flushed cheeks, skin that feels hot or damp sweaty skin/hair are all signs that your infant may be too hot.


Swaddling your baby too tight may also cause hip dysplasia as it can restrict your baby's leg movement. Hip dysplasia is when the hip joint doesn't form correctly. Making sure your baby's legs can kick freely and move into the natural position that is 'frog-like' even when swaddled is important.

The 7 Safety Points about safe swaddling from the NCT.Org website :

'What safety points do I need to consider?

Follow these seven safe and hip friendly swaddling tips:

  1. Consider your baby's temperature and their environment to prevent overheating. Check their temperature regularly and make sure they are wearing suitable clothes for the weather. Do not swaddle them if they are unwell or have a fever.

  2. Swaddle your baby using thin materials such as a small, cotton sheet or muslin square. Do not place any additional material on top of a swaddled baby, for example a blanket which could cause them to overheat. Follow safe sleep guidance, laying your baby on a firm, flat surface clear of any other items.

  3. Don't swaddle your baby above their shoulders – their neck and head should never be swaddled. Ensure any material is secure and won't come loose as your baby moves, to avoid suffocation.

  4. Use hip-healthy swaddling techniques to reduce the chance of hip dysplasia. Make sure your baby is able to move their hips and knees freely to kick. Your baby’s legs should be able to fall into a natural position (like frog legs) rather than straight down.

  5. Always put your baby to sleep on their back. Never put a swaddled baby to sleep on their front or side.

  6. If you use a swaddle product or blanket check that it conforms to safety standards and is well fitted, without fault or damage. Follow the manufacturers guidance on age or weight ratings and consider using a lower tog rating to minimise overheating risks.

  7. If someone else looks after your baby, make sure they also know about safe sleeping advice and how to swaddle safely. Take your time to show them and explain safe swaddling and make sure they know to always put your baby to sleep on their back.'

Please note that it is not recommended to breastfeed your baby whilst they are swaddled to avoid overheating - babies tend to get warmer when breastfeeding.


Transitioning Out of Swaddles

Babies grow quickly, and so do their needs. When your baby starts learning to roll over, it's a sign that they're ready to graduate from swaddles. You can transition to a sleep sack or a transitional swaddle that allows more movement while still providing a touch of security.


Swaddle Blankets for Different Seasons

As the seasons change, so do your baby's swaddling needs. Opt for lightweight, breathable swaddle blankets for summer to prevent overheating. In colder months, choose slightly thicker, lightweight breathable blankets or consider layering instead to keep your baby snug and warm.


Swaddling isn't a requirement and it's not a necessity or specifically recommended for parents. Please reach out to your midwife or health visitor if you have questions about swaddling and whether it's for you and your little one.


Overall, there may be some benefits to swaddling your newborn but there are some risks too, especially if the proper swaddling technique hasn't been followed. Ask your health visitor or midwife to show you how to swaddle your little one if you'd prefer to be shown how it's done.


Disclaimer : The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the National Health Service (NHS). The content on this page is for informational purposes only and should not replace professional medical advice from your health professional. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment. For more resources on safe Swaddling please visit:




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