If you’re the parent of a newborn you’re probably already feeling how taxing it can be to have a newborn baby on board. While your baby is a joy and a great addition to your family, it does come with a lot of added responsibility. It’s no secret that babies often disrupt their parents’ sleep.
Having newborn and sleepless nights is often synonymous. One way in which many cultures have dealt with this issue is by using swaddle blankets for their babies.
This is one of the oldest ways to prepare a child to go to sleep. If you are considering swaddling your baby there are a few things you should hear in mind to make sure that the process is safe.
What Exactly Is Swaddling?
Swaddling involves wrapping a baby up in a light breathable blanket that will help them to sleep calmly. Only the baby’s body should be wrapped. Their neck and their head should be avoided.
This is because the risk of suffocation will increase if swaddling is not done this way. Swaddling a baby is said to help them feel warm and safe like they were still in the womb.
The Benefits of Swaddling
Many parents say that when they swaddle their babies it helps them to sleep for a longer time. Many others have said that it helps to soothe and calm their baby. It’s important to know that often this impact is felt when swaddling is used with other techniques.
Lifting your baby into your arms when they are crying and swaddled can make swaddling extremely effective. The combination of movement and that feeling of warmth from your body can be very effective at calming down babies and getting them to sleep.
Are There Any Risks?
Maybe you’re wondering if there are any risks associated with swaddling your baby. This is a valid concern and it is something that you should think carefully about.
For the most part, swaddling has proven to be effective and safe. Many women like to breastfeed their babies when they are swaddled as if they believe it helps with bonding, some mothers don’t like the idea. The bottom line is whether or not you choose to do this all depends on you and your parenting style.
How to Choose a Swaddling Blanket
One of the biggest decisions you will need to make is in your choice of swaddling blankets for your child. with so many swaddle blankets on the market, it can be overwhelming when you have to make a decision.
Here are some things you need to bear in mind when you are thinking about buying a swaddle blanket.
Consider the size of your baby. The bigger your baby is in size the larger blanket will need to be and vice versa. Also, think about how easy it will be for you to use the swaddle blanket especially if you are a new mom. There are so many things to learn when you are a new parent, The last thing you need is something that is going to give you a steep learning curve.
The materials that your baby’s swaddling blankets are made of are critical. You should only buy swaddling blankets that are made from cotton, another light material such as muslin. Never wrap your baby in anything else along with the swaddle blanket. They can overheat very fast if you do this.
When you buy swaddling blankets, make sure the product meets standards. Once you select the product in-store or you receive it via online shopping, always check it to make sure that there are no damaged areas. Swaddling blankets that have faults should be returned.
Swaddling blankets often come with manufacturer guidelines about the weight and age, take advantage of this to make sure that you are selecting the right blanket for your baby.
How to Make Swaddling Blankets as Safe as Possible
It’s important that you monitor the temperature in the room where your baby will be sleeping while they are swaddled. The last thing you want is for your baby to get over and make sure that you are checking the temperature in the room occasionally.
Always make sure that your baby he’s wearing suitable clothes or whatever temperature is in the room. Avoid swaddling your baby if they are feeling sick and running a fever. This can cause them to overheat and leave it further problems.
Swaddling should help your baby sleep it shouldn’t be one of the reasons your baby won’t sleep
Swaddling blankets often come with manufacturer guidelines about weight and age. Take advantage of this to make sure that you are selecting the right blanket for your baby.
As mentioned before when you are swaddling your baby you need to make sure that you do not swaddle them above their shoulder. Their neck and their head are completely off-limits when it comes to swaddling.
Be sure to swaddle from the shoulders all the way down to your baby’s body as snuggly as possible without causing discomfort for your child. The more loosely they are swaddled, the higher the chance your baby will move and loosen the swaddling cloths. This can cause suffocation.
As a rule, when swaddled your baby should be able to move their hips and their knees. This means that if they wish to kick they should be able to do so. Your baby’s legs should be in a frog legs position. You should avoid placing their legs straight down while they are swaddled.
Once you have swaddled your baby to reduce the risk of suffocation, make sure that you put your baby to sleep on their back. When a baby is swaddled they should never be put to sleep on their front or their side.
Choose the Right Techniques
Is it important that you select the right techniques for swaddling your baby. There are a variety of techniques available to you. There is the diamond swaddle, the simple swaddle, and the hands-up swaddle technique available to you. Do your research and find out which one is best for your child before proceeding with swaddling.
It can take some time to get your swaddling technique right. To make sure that you are doing everything effectively look out for helpful videos online that can assist you.
When to Stop Swaddling
As important as it is to learn how to swaddle your baby properly, there will also come a time when your baby will no longer need to be swaddled. You need to be aware of when this happens so that you can stop swaddling immediately as this is where swaddling can become dangerous.
You should stop swatting your baby as soon as she is able to hold up her head on her own. Once your baby is able to roll over it is also not recommended that you continue swaddling at this point.
There is a greater risk of suffocation because your baby might unravel the swaddling cloth very easily. Always watch for when your child starts getting very active in any way.
This is usually a sign that they have outgrown swaddling and no longer need it. It is important that you stop swaddling immediately to protect your child.
Give Careful Advice to Caregivers
When you’re not around to swaddle your baby yourself, make sure that caregivers such as babysitters, family members, and friends know exactly what to do when swaddling your baby. There is a learning curve involved for many people if they have never swaddled a baby before.
Make sure that you show them how to swaddle the baby so that the baby is not uncomfortable or overheated. Always ensure that you emphasize that the baby must always sleep on their back when they are swaddled.
Get Your Baby to Sleep
Getting your baby to sleep comfortably is every parent’s dream. One of the best ways to ensure that your baby is always getting the best sleep possible is to swaddle them. While swaddling is very effective, you need to make sure that you follow certain words and precautions to make it safe for your baby.
The precautions are easy to learn and follow. All you have to do is make sure you take the time to learn exactly how you should be swaddling your baby, so that they are as comfortable as possible. Additionally, you should let caregivers know all that you have learned about swaddling so that they can take the same precautions to keep your baby safe and comfortable while you are away.
You should prepare them before the actual day of babysitting and show them the technique that you use. You can have them practice on the baby under your supervision to make sure it is done correctly. This way you can be more confident that they know what to do when they babysit.