With so much choice, you might be thinking that you should just make your own swaddles. While this is an option, it isn’t practical for most people – at least not on a consistent basis. For one thing, the ideal fabric blend can be hard to match and requires finding a source (which may or may not exist in your area) of Linen Cotton Canvas, a breathable weave that makes an excellent fabric for swaddle blankets. Then again, you can use muslin or any water-resistant cotton/polyester blend and your baby will be perfectly comfortable.
Naturally, having babies means that parents also need to purchase a lot of things. But deciding how many swaddles you actually need can be a little tricky. No one wants to overdo it by buying swaddling materials for their kid, but having too few might not be ideal either.
How Many Swaddles Do I Need?
You’re going to need a lot of swaddling blankets. In fact, you’ll probably want a lot more than you think you need. It sounds crazy, but it’s true! There is just no getting around the fact that babies spill stuff. All. The. Time. Swaddling your baby with receiving blankets is the cheapest, most versatile, and safest way to keep your infant warm, safe, and happy. It keeps them from waking themselves up with too much activity in their sleep cycle. It also helps keep them from rolling over while she’s still a little wobbly on some of the finer points of motor control.
Some hospitals provide swaddling blankets to their new parents. But it’s better if you just buy your own. A swaddling blanket at the hospital is just one more thing you have to pack up, and they can be more expensive than the kind you buy in a store. You may not want to use the same swaddling blanket after you leave the hospital, so it’s always great to have multiple on hand. As with most things, it depends. If you don’t do laundry everyday or travel a lot, consider 10-12 swaddle blankets. But if your baby can sleep through the night, and you can tolerate the piles of baby clothes/blankets/swaddles every other day, then three or four swaddles should be enough. So, the simple answer is 3-6 swaddles should be the perfect amount for you and your little one.
Types of swaddles
There are a few kinds of baby swaddle blankets on the market, and you can use them interchangeably or choose one over another to meet your individual needs. The swaddle blanket is a square of fabric and it’s sized so that when you wrap the cloth snugly around your baby, while their arms are still in the center of their body. The swaddling sack is a diaper-like jumper made from the same material as a traditional swaddle blanket but with open ends for their arms instead of sleeves. It’s supposed to keep your baby nice and snug as they sleep without restricting their arms.
- Swaddling blankets are large blankets that are used to wrap a baby. Usually, they are made of lightweight material and purposely made with excess room so that they can be folded into sections and then wrapped around the baby’s body. The extra fabric is useful not just for wrapping, but also for swaddling – when the fabric is twisted and tied in a special way it can make the baby feel more secure by reminding them of being in the womb. Swaddling is believed to aid in giving more sleep and relaxation, thus improving the overall health of an infant. While traditional swaddles were made of cloth and required some skill to use successfully. For the baby, the swaddle gives security and helps the baby sleep longer. Parents appreciate having their baby in the swaddle because they are too exhausted to even consider changing yet another poopy diaper. The swaddle also makes it easy to feed and change babies without waking them up, which is an especially welcome feature at 3 a.m.
- A swaddle sack is a general term for a wearable blanket a.k.a. wearable blanket with arms and legs. The original idea behind the swaddle was to keep babies warm and to help them sleep better by mimicking the way they were held within their mother’s womb. A swaddle sack is a combination of a sleep sack and a traditional swaddle. It is much safer for your baby since it doesn’t come undone as easily compared to the traditional swaddle done by folding. This product makes using a blanket as a swaddle much easier by eliminating the need to fold the blanket and tie it with a ribbon or secure it with safety pins. These blankets come in different shapes, designs and sizes. Although swaddle sacks are not quite as secure as traditional swaddles, they are safer than regular sleep sacks for many different reasons. First of all, the snug fit of a swaddle sack makes it virtually impossible for your baby to roll over or get their legs or arms out from under the blanket. Secondly, the tight sleeves of swaddle sacks make it far more difficult for babies to accidentally cover their faces with the blanket.
- Swaddle Pod has been helping countless parents across the country get their babies to sleep more soundly at night. Made of a stretchy material that helps simulate a close-woven womb and the swaddle pod allows for unrestricted movement of arms and encourages sound sleep, which is especially important for parents who have babies who like to wake up when they roll over or kick off blankets. The difference of the swaddle pod is its zip closure and environment created by its stretchy and elastic fabric.
How to swaddle properly
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be swaddled while they sleep. The benefits of swaddling range from better sleep to possible development benefits. Swaddling is an ancient practice, it’s shown to reduce stress and premature birth in babies. The way they’re folded tight is a lot like being in the womb. They feel warmer, and they find it easier to sleep on their backs in their cribs rather than on their bellies. There are different recommended ways to swaddle a baby, but no matter how you do it, those cute little arms have to be contained securely. If the baby manages to wiggle the arm out, that could lead to a potentially dangerous situation. That’s why we have listed 6 easy steps to make sure your baby is swaddled tightly and safely.
- The first step of swaddling is to place the blanket down on a flat surface and lay your baby in the center
- Place the baby’s head about 2 inches below the edge of the blanket
- Take one other side of the blanket, and wrap it over their body with their arms inside
- Tuck the sides of the blanket underneath your baby
- Next take the bottom of the blanket and fold it up over your baby’s feet making sure it’s not wrapped too tightly.
- Lastly take the other side of the blanket and wrap it over the other side and tuck underneath
It can take some practice to get the hang of properly swaddling a newborn, so don’t feel bad if your first few attempts don’t go as planned. It can be helpful to have an extra set of hands nearby for those fussy nights, but the most important thing is that you enjoy this time with your little one and allow yourself plenty of time to relax.
When to stop swaddling
Based on the research and studies conducted, there are several signs to look out for that can help parents ascertain when it’s time to transition their infant out of swaddling. The most common age that babies tend to start trying to roll over, as well as a general lack of interest and difficulty sleeping can usually indicate that the time has come for parents to find a new sleeping position for their baby. There are many different factors into deciding whether or not your baby is ready to stop being swaddled. So long as you keep an eye on your baby, you’ll be able to tell when it’s time for him or her to move on from the swaddle.
If you’re still at a loss, I suggest getting a few muslin swaddle blankets because they’re easy to wash, come in attractive colors and patterns, and are good for all seasons. Be sure to have one of these on hand at all times, though, or else you’ll be caught swaddling your baby with nothing but a diaper.The ideal swaddle should be easy to use, easy to wash and dry and comfortable. You might even find yourself using your swaddles for other reasons, like a crib blanket or nursing cover. An organized baby is a happy baby. With enough swaddles, you can help your baby slumber peacefully.