The benefits of swaddling newborn babies are plentiful, but perhaps the one that new parents love the most is that it helps your newborn to sleep better, thus allowing you to sleep better! Newborn swaddling has been around for thousands of years for a reason — especially thanks to the sleep benefits and the comfort it can provide to our new little ones.
If you’re a parent who wants to try swaddling your newborn but you have some questions or aren’t sure how to start, don’t worry! Every parent has been there (including me!). Read on to learn more tips on the best type of swaddle blanket to use and the many benefits of swaddling your newborn.
The Benefits of Swaddling a Newborn Baby
Given that swaddling has been around for centuries, something must be working! The swaddling method is great from the newborn stage to around 4 months (or when baby begins to roll over).
From the moment a baby is born, they are exposed to a completely unknown environment, and that’s where swaddling comes in to help. Check out a more detailed list of swaddling benefits below!
Promotes Better Sleep
Our favorite benefit of swaddling is that it promotes better sleep for baby (so that means better sleep for you, too). When babies are new to this world, they have what is called a “startle reflex” while they are sleeping. This is all good and normal, but can sometimes wake baby up. When they’re wrapped tight and cozy in their swaddle, they aren’t able to startle themselves awake and they can sleep much longer.
Keeps Baby’s Hands Away from Their Face
Babies, especially newborn babies, are prone to scratching their face. Whether it be by accident from the startle reflex or simply because their sensitive skin is irritating them, it happens! And while this is a normal behavior for babies, it doesn’t mean we want our precious little ones with scratches all over their beautiful little faces. Parent’s can’t constantly watch their baby when he or she is sleeping, which is why swaddling is a great way to keep baby’s hands away from the face during the night and give you some peace of mind.
Keeps your baby on their back!
There’s ample amounts of evidence that prove putting your baby to sleep on their back is the best chance of reducing SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). When our babies are newborns, they have very little mobility, so keeping them swaddled and placing them on their back will typically keep them on their back. But please remember — as soon as your baby begins to roll over, it’s time to stop swaddling!
Swaddling can calm a colicky baby
Because newborn babies were used to tight-knit conditions when they were living inside your womb, swaddling can be the cure to all cries. Wrapping baby up in a buttery-soft swaddle can mimic that feeling of being in the womb as well as your touch, offering some familiarity and comfort. This is a great method to calm a colicky baby, as they might just need some help adjusting to their new environment.
The Best Fabric For Newborn Swaddles
It’s also important to note that the fabric we use on our newborn baby’s skin matters, so make sure you choose your swaddle wisely! Babies are so new to this world and their skin is oftentimes very soft and sensitive, which is why it’s incredibly important to be sure that the swaddle you're using to wrap your baby in is made of material that is safe and gentle to the touch. Check out our Pineapple of My Eye newborn swaddle made from heavenly layers of muslin fabric that both you and baby will love!
Pineapple of My Eye Swaddle Blanket
While swaddling provides many benefits, there are always precautions parents need to take when they are swaddling their baby. Perhaps the most important is always laying baby on their back to prevent SIDS. Additionally, be sure to keep the swaddle loose around their hips and legs so that they can move freely, which is necessary for healthy development.
How to Swaddle
How to swaddle a baby is often a question that many new parents have. It seems as though it’s an art form, but once you have it down, you’ll be so glad you learned it! Check out this video teaching you how to properly swaddle your baby and take a look at the written steps below!
How to swaddle baby:
Step 1: Fold the top corner of your blanket down and lay your baby in its center, with shoulders just below the fold line.
Step 2: Bring baby's arm alongside the body, slightly bent.
Step 3: Wrap blanket over baby's arm and tuck it securely under body. As you do so, pull the blanket on the opposite side a little to keep it nice and snug
Step 4: Bring the bottom point of the swaddle up and over baby's feet. Meanwhile, place baby's opposite arm alongside body, slightly bent
Step 5: Tuck the blanket under baby's shoulder, leaving room for baby's hips to move freely
Step 6: Bring the remaining blanket over the baby's shoulder, toward the chest. Hold the blanket in place at center, forming a "V"
Step 7: Wrap remaining blanket around baby's body and tuck extra fabric into fold at center
And there you have it! We hope that reading this blog gives you some insight into swaddling. From understanding all of the benefits and learning how to swaddle, you can relax knowing that you are more than prepared to swaddle your newborn baby.
Check out some of our favorite swaddles below!