Swaddling is a century old practice and is a technique that provides both security and warmth for babies which involves lightly wrapping baby in a breathable blanket. If this is something you’re thinking of doing with your new baby or are just curious to find out more, read on!
Despite swaddling being an age-old practice, in the modern world swaddling does tend to divide opinions and it’s not something all parents want or indeed feel the need to do.
We’re not here to tell you whether the practice is right or wrong, that’s entirely your decision, but we did want to share with you some of the known benefits of swaddling, as well as pointing out some of the safety tips you’ll need to be aware of before you give it a try.
Remember too that despite evidence that points towards the benefits of swaddling, all babies are different, so if you do try it and your baby clearly doesn’t enjoy it, use your intuitive judgement to decide whether your baby is benefiting or not and to determine whether it’s something you should try again.
Some of the benefits of swaddling
- Swaddling is believed to provide womb-like comfort to young babies, mimicking the pressure they felt in the womb, which in turns helps them to feel safe and comfortable.
- Largely anecdotal evidence suggests that swaddling reduces anxiety in babies, leading to less crying and it can even help them sleep more soundly and for longer.
- Swaddling stops the sudden, involuntary jerking movements of babies arms, something which can often lead to startling them when they are nodding off which can wake them up with a jolt.
There are several different swaddling techniques so we’d encourage you to use the technique that is safest and that feels right for you and your baby. Whatever method you choose, make sure your baby isn’t tightly bound and still has enough room to wiggle and move a little.
Read up on swaddling safety before you attempt it
We should stress that if this is a technique you’d like to try with your little one, despite swaddles being commonly known as swaddle blankets, we strongly recommend you don’t try this with a thick or heavy blanket.
Our baby swaddle blankets are made from breathable, 100% organic cotton which are soft and kind to babies’ skin, and perhaps more importantly, they help to maintain a more even temperature.
Using a thicker blanket or manmade fibres can lead to your baby overheating which can cause discomfort and is dangerous, so please ensure you don’t attempt to swaddle your baby in a blanket that isn’t suitable.
Remember too that swaddling is only intended for very new babies below the age of around 3 months and doing it too often, or too tightly can lead to orthopaedic issues.
When babies are swaddled their legs should not be straight and swaddled tightly together. For proper hip and leg development it’s essential to ensure that baby is swaddled with a more natural bend in the legs which leads to an open hip position.
Finally, if you are considering swaddling, please ensure you are familiar with the techniques that will allow you to do this more safely, for example, never placing baby on their front whilst swaddled and never wrapping the top of the arms and shoulders.
Thinking of swaddling your baby?
If you’re thinking of swaddling your baby, then we’d encourage you to read up on swaddling techniques and to refer to a number of different sources to learn about how to do it more safely.
We’ve linked out to some swaddling resources below for you and you can see our full range of baby swaddling blankets here.