Whether you are an experienced parent or awaiting the arrival of your first little star, you have most likely heard of the term swaddling. Perhaps you are trying to decide if you should be swaddling your newborn, or maybe you are trying to decide between different types of swaddling blankets.
But what exactly is swaddling? Swaddling involves wrapping a newborn baby in a blanket to try and mimic the soothing conditions of the womb. Believe it or not, the practise of swaddling has existed for thousands of years, possibly as early as 4000 BC. Although there is a rather stark contrast between the gentle modern-day version of swaddling and traditional swaddling techniques.
Some parents may choose to swaddle their babies as a way to make them relax and sleep more soundly, but because of the lack of research to support such theories, it is difficult to say whether or not swaddling beneficial or not. At the end of the day, swaddling is a personal practice that won’t harm your baby if you follow safety guidelines.
How to Swaddle a Baby with Swaddling Blankets
Babies snuggly wrapped in swaddling blankets are undeniably cute, but before you eagerly attempt swaddling your little one, there are a few safety precautions that you need to keep in mind. No need to worry, as we’ve prepared a set of simple instructions to minimize any possible risk to your baby and introduce you to safe swaddling practices:
Guidelines for Safe Swaddling
Most importantly, your baby should always be placed face-up and on their back, and their blanket should never cover their face. You also need to keep your baby’s head and body sufficiently supported, especially if they are very young.
To get started, all you’ll need is a swaddling blanket, nimble fingers and either your baby or a doll to practice on, depending on what makes you feel comfortable, or whether or not you’re still expecting. Your swaddling blanket should preferably be made from a fabric that is breathable and light to protect them from overheating (we recommend muslin swaddling blankets). The size of your blanket should be at least 100cm x 100cm.
How to Swaddle a Baby: Step by Step
Place your blanket on a flat surface (such as a changing table or your bed), and spread it in a diamond shape. Next, take the top corner of your blanket and neatly fold it towards the inside or top of your blanket. Easy peasy, right? Your blanket should be folded flat at the top, and have three corners, at the bottom and sides.
Lay down your little one with their head just above the flat folded border of your blanket. Place your baby’s straightened left arm gently next to their left side. Pull the corner on the left side of their swaddling blanket over their left arm, across their body, and tuck it under their right armpit.
Now you’re going to do the same for the right side. Position their right arm next to their side. Pull the right side of their blanket across their body and tuck it underneath them. The blanket should be loose enough for you to put two to three fingers between their blanket and their body, but snug enough to keep your baby’s arms in place.
Lastly, gently fold the swaddling blanket up over your baby’s feet, loosely enoug to allow them to move their feet and legs, and tuck the end under their legs.
Swaddling Blankets for Babies
There are many different types of swaddling blankets that you can safely use to swaddle your newborn, each with their own advantages. Although in our experience, babies are generally most comfortable with swaddling blankets without velcro, zips, clips or buttons.
If you find yourself spoilt for choice and you simply can’t make up your mind, we strongly recommend the delightfully soft muslin swaddle blankets from Baby Star™ for a number of reasons. Muslin cotton is breathable and helps regulate your baby’s temperature by absorbing moisture - perfect for keeping your baby cool and comfortable. These super soft muslin swaddle blankets are also gentle enough to use on your baby’s delicate skin.