If I’m honest swaddling was not really on my radar when Lili and Poppy were born, I used blankets but never really swaddled them. This is something I really want to try this time round, so I’ve been busy looking into the benefits and techniques of swaddling.
I feel like this has made a real come back in recent years and research confirms that there are lots of benefits to this age-old method of calming and comforting an unsettled newborn.
What is swaddling?
Swaddling involves wrapping a baby in a blanket or cloth for warmth and security. The idea is to mimic your baby’s experience in the womb, by recreating the comfort and security of light pressure around the baby’s little body.
The Benefits of swaddling…
Warmth – Swaddling provides extra warmth for your baby in the first few weeks, when they cannot control their own temperature.
Security – Your baby comes into a world and is instantly bombarded with new sights, noises, smells and sensations. Swaddling can help them to calm down and feel more secure when they’re being over-stimulated.
Comfort – Swaddling is a useful technique for comforting a fussy baby who won’t sleep. The slight pressure of the blanket keeps your baby from any sudden movements and startling themselves. This light pressure reminds them of the constriction of being in the womb.
Longer Sleep – Swaddling can help your baby sleep for longer. Research shows that newborn babies go to sleep easier when they’ve been swaddled and they are less likely to get upset or disturbed during their sleep.
How to Swaddle your Baby…
Lay the blanket or cloth down (in a triangle) and place your baby in the centre of the cloth with the upper edge sitting level with the back of the baby’s neck.
Gently hold your baby’s left arm across the chest in a comfortable position with one hand, then pull the corner nearest your baby’s left shoulder diagonally across the arm and body and tuck the edge under the baby’s back.
Fan out the bottom edge of the blanket slightly and pull it up towards your baby’s chin, making sure the legs have room to move.
Do the same for the right side, by gently holding your baby’s arm across the chest and bring the corner diagonally across the arm and body tucking the edge under the baby’s back.
Having read the benefits of this technique, I’ve already got some beautiful, super soft aden + anais swaddle blankets ready (I especially love the print in the picture at the beginning of this post). These will be coming with me in my hospital bag, ready to wrap and comfort our beautiful baby girl when she arrives.
Did you swaddle your baby? Do you have anymore tips?