SWADDLING: ART, AND SCIENCE!
It is one of the best ways to settle a newborn baby, especially a baby who is overtired. And although we hear on a daily basis that ‘my baby hates to be swaddled’, it is one of the most proven ways to help a baby sleep. Baby’s move, they are active. They’ve been inside the womb, and in those last 6-8 weeks it’s getting tighter and more snug. Come the time to enter into the big, wide world - and things change! More light, more noise, more ‘freedom’ the stretch out and wriggle. But, a good swaddle is conducive for sleep. ✖️Swaddling re-creates this womb like environment, and it needs to be a nice snug, comfortable wrap, all while not limiting the movements of your baby’s hips. ✖️There are plenty of pre-made swaddles on the market - but nothing beats the good old muslin swaddle and practice! It’s not easy to begin with, and many mothers are afraid they will hurt their baby by rolling, wrapping and lifting arms and legs around. Remember this: if you’ve played sport, run after a toddler or even bumped your big pregnant belly at some stage - it’s no different! Be confident with your wrap, practice it and master it! ✖️For those who are still not confident, the miracle blanket is the best swaddle I have come by. It is easy to use, it actually works and re-creates a tummy sleeping position by snuggly wrapping the arms to the side, and firmly, but safely and comfortably wrapping around your baby’s belly to support them. It is also sworn by from parents with colicky and windy babies. ✖️Making sure you don’t swaddle your baby around the hips - by ensuring that they can ‘frog kick’ their legs up, by drawing them into their tummy if they need to while asleep or when waking. Wrap the arms and tummy, not the legs and hips! ✖️Between the ages of 2-3 weeks your baby will become more alert as the maternal melatonin wears off progressively. They will become more vocal, and may seemingly ‘fight’ the swaddle a little. But they will also fight or move while getting dressed! Persist, don’t give up. It will save your sleep!! A good time to initiate some 1:1 settling to help the, fall and stay asleep so they don’t become overtired, and an overtired Bub will fight a swaddle more than a well rested baby. ✖️ If your baby is around the age of 4-5 months AND rolling over in their sleep - it’s time to move to a sleeping bag. ✖️If they are still not rolling in their sleep, and you’re hitting the 4 month sleep regression - keep the swaddle! It will hep you get through this stage much easier, and you can transition out of the swaddle closer to the 5-6 months mark.
Need more information on how to settle your newborn, guide towards self settling or even move away from he swaddle while protecting what good keep you’ve got? Check out our sleep guides