There are a wide variety of techniques and skills that many parents do not have by the time their little one arrives. One of the most versatile and useful of all newborn care skills is the ability to properly swaddle a baby. However, it is not enough to just know how to swaddle, as with most newborn care skills, it is crucial to know when a swaddle is appropriate and how to use it most effectively as a tool. Over the next week, we will be covering the basics of several newborn care skills to assist parents. Below you find practical and useful information on how
When to Swaddle
Two of the most useful times to utilize a swaddle are when your baby is showing signs of overstimulation or during sleep times. Proper swaddling mimics the environment within the womb and can be an excellent source of comfort for overstimulated infants and newborns. The comfort can help reduce their stimulation level calm them down. During the first month, it is advisable to have your child swaddled during naps and overnight sleep. After that, many parents choose to stop swaddling at naptime but continue to use a swaddle for overnight until about the four-month mark.
There is no shortage of helpful information on how to swaddle across the internet, but here we present some of our favorites. First of all, make sure you are using an appropriately sized blanket for your child’s size. Many parents try to swaddle with blankets that are too small which increases the difficulty of achieving a successful swaddle. Ensure that your child’s arms are down by their side and not crossed in front of them. Additionally, the blanket should be below the shoulders to help keep it from covering the baby’s face and keep it loose around the legs, so they are free to move around. Finally, make sure you are aware of the temperature in your child’s room and count the swaddle as a layer of clothing.
Special Considerations for Preemies
When it comes to preemies, it is typically best to keep them swaddled most of the day because they become overstimulated quickly. If a preemie becomes overstimulated, hold your hand on their chest or head, turn off the lights, and swaddle them. We recommend the SwaddleMe which comes in preemie sizes. Preemies should also be swaddled with their arms on their chest and always while sleeping.