Remind us again what exactly swaddling is… I mean, isn’t it just wrapping a baby up in a blanket? Because if that’s the case, aren’t all babies who aren’t born in the tropics swaddled? Glad you asked! Swaddling means that you wrap your baby snugly so that she is unable to move around as much. Swaddling should never be constricting or tight, only snug. Some movement is okay, but if you can keep your newborn’s limbs closer to her core, a number of things will happen in her favor.
First, because she is wrapped with her extremities close to her body, she is mimicking the comfortable position she has been used to for the last 9 months. She will not flail her arms and legs each time she is startled which means she is less likely to awaken from deep sleep for no reason. Second, swaddling will help her to keep her body temperature consistent, so she is less likely to wake up because she is too cold or overheated. Swaddling is also a safer alternative than blankets because it nearly eliminates risk of suffocation.
Suddenly I See
So now that you are convinced that swaddling is just one of the many tools in your Mama-belt, you are probably wondering which one is best. It really does depend on your personal tastes… and your baby’s. Believe us, if she does not like it she will let you know! The three basic styles are zippered, pocket and blanket. Zippered models like the Woombie ($25-$29) and Halo Sleepsack Swaddle ($30-$52) are super convenient because even the squirmiest of babies will not easily find their way out of these sacks.
Pocket models are by far the most common on the market. Baby Bonkie, Kiddopotamus, The First Years, SOZO, Summer and a whole slew of other companies make this style. Priced from $10 and up, these models are not generally the most snug or wiggle-free, but they are typically easy to come buy at local box stores and come in a variety of prices and fabrics from posh to mod to fruity.
The last way of swaddling is the oldest: muslin blankets. Be forewarned: receiving blankets are not swaddling blankets. They are generally thicker and smaller than swaddling blankets. Why use a thinner longer blanket? We’ll tell you. The thinner layers means your baby is less likely to overheat. More fabric means you can wrap it around her 2 or 3 times making her feel secure. Our favorites include:
- Wrap It Up Organic Swaddling Blankets (2 for $30) landofnod.com
- aden + anais Earthly Bamboo Swaddles (3 for $40) adenandanais.com
- Organic Muslin Swaddling Blankets (3 for $50) bambinoland.com