Swaddle Blankets

Written by Christa Gatewood
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The first month of life outside the womb can be strange and disconcerting for a newborn. They often miss the warmth and closeness of the womb. For this reason, many newborns are comforted by being wrapped tightly in a blanket, or swaddled. Swaddling a baby takes a little practice, but it is easy to do. If you can follow directions, you can do it.

Swaddling is a recommended way to quiet a restless child and is especially helpful in the first month of colic. However, there are some restrictions. After the child is about a month old, swaddling is not recommended because it can lead to developmental delays. Also be sure the baby is not too warm when swaddled as one of the risk factors for SIDS is overheating.

How to Use a Swaddle Blanket

Because swaddling is so useful to new parents, there are some companies that make blankets specifically for that purpose. Some of these blankets are no more than a pocket of fabric with an extra piece of material to wrap. This is a very easy design, but it is not capable of a proper swaddle and can be used for only one purpose. A receiving blanket is the perfect kind of blanket for swaddling. Swaddling receiving blankets come with the directions for swaddling on the label as an easy reference.

Swaddling is about wrapping the blanket tightly in a number of folds being sure the baby's arms are snug against his/her body. The baby will have no range of motion, which is particularly helpful if the baby is often woken by its own limb movement. Swaddling also keeps a baby from rolling over onto his/her stomach while sleeping, another risk factor for SIDS. While swaddling is enjoyed by most newborns, every baby is different, and it is important not to force swaddling on a baby who seems to dislike it.

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