7 Tips Every Momma Needs to Get the Perfect Swaddle
You’ve read all of the baby books, spent hours planning out your nursery and the perfect outfit to bring baby home in. But what everyone failed to tell you is that once that baby is here and the nurses hand that perfect little creation you just made over for your first (of many….and I mean many!) sleepless nights, that that perfect picture of your sweet sleeping newborn wouldn’t happen quite as easily as you thought! I get it! I’ve been there! Swaddling your newborn is basically equivalent to folding an intricate piece of origami that just as soon as you think you’ve finished and set it down, busts open and you’re back at square one.
If you’re like me and your running on many sleepless nights and your Houdini little babe just keeps busting on out, I mean I guess he just doesn’t like being swaddled am I right? It wasn’t until baby numero dos that I figured out that hey! There’s a reason to swaddle and there’s a method to the seeming madness. But don’t worry I got you! I’ve been there and I’m here now to make sure you don’t find yourself in the same scenario, and even better yet I’m here to *hopefully* help you get just a little more sleep (if that’s even possible with a newborn!)
So what’s up with swaddling? Statistically speaking babies who aren’t swaddled wake up more frequently than babies who are swaddled! I don’t know about you that causes them to flail and startle themselves, and in turn can wake them up from what you were sure was finally about to be a deep sleep.
Now that you know WHY to swaddle, let’s cover HOW to swaddle with 7 tricks every momma needs to get the perfect swaddle:
1. Watch some videos! No one expects you to just have some natural know-all instinct of how to perfectly swaddle your babe. The great thing about videos is you can watch them over and over and that allows you to practice, and practice, and practice, and you get the point! I especially love this video and technique for swaddling.
2. Swaddle tightly - Many babies may act like they don’t like being swaddled at first, but it is probably because they are actually not being swaddled correctly. Swaddle tightly with arms in! But don’t forget swaddle tight at the chest, but not too tight at the hips (are you feeling like you need a degree just to get this technique down yet?!) Stretchy knit swaddles are my personal fave for getting a nice tight swaddle.
3. Try many variations! There’s no one exact right way to swaddle. If you’re little Houdini babe is just not digging the whole arms down thing, give a try swaddling with arms up!
4. Stop swaddling at the right time. Once your baby starts to roll over it’s time to do away with the swaddle to make sure they are sleeping safely. Swaddling is recommended for only the first 1-2 months of age.
5. Swaddle your baby first and then feed them. Creating this routine helps your baby to relax and feel calm while swaddled.
6. Only swaddle baby during sleeping times. This ones important! Swaddling only during sleeping times helps your baby recognize when it’s time to sleep, and trust me on this one - your baby is gonna need all of the reminders it can get to go to sleep!
7. Make sure your baby isn’t overheated. Under the swaddle your babe should be dressed in a light layer appropriate for the time of year. If it’s a super hot summer day it may even be appropriate to have your babe in a diaper only under the swaddle. A good rule of thumb is to check your baby’s ears. If they’re hot and red they are either dressed too warmly or the room is too hot.
Be consistent right from the start but just remember if it just doesn’t seem to be working and it’s causing more stress than it is good it’s okay to give up! Just because you bought a million and one swaddle blankets anticipating the arrival of your baby doesn’t mean they need to be used for swaddling. Swaddle blankets make great nursing covers, burp rags, changing pads, and car seat covers too! And if you’re like me and need a blanket in all seasons and temperatures, swaddle blankets are the perfect light weight go-to summer blanket. All babies are different, trust your momma instinct and find what works best for you!