The earliest depictions of swaddled babies date back to 4000 to 4500 years old. However, swaddling then and now has drastically changed.
Back then, babies would be swaddled very tightly so movement of the limbs were tightly restricted. The thought was that this would help prevent limbs from becoming deformed and help them grow straight.
Today, we now know that a tightly wrapped baby is a BIG no-no. Movement of the arms in the hands above heart position is important so baby can self-soothe, and full range of motion of the legs and hips is crucial to prevent hip dysplasia.
Swaddling is very important for all babies. When done correctly, safe swaddling:
- creates a safe and secure feeling for baby (just like they felt in the womb!)
- prevents face-scratching
- prevents the moro reflex (baby startling awake), and
- best of all, helps baby sleep better and longer.
Here are the most important safe swaddling tips every new parent should know – especially since today there are so many swaddle solutions on the market it can be confusing on which is the safest choice:
#1 Empty Crib
We continue to see adorable photos of sleeping babies in their cribs, but then our eye catches things like pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, or crib bumpers or padding on the sides. This is SO IMPORTANT. The crib must be EMPTY.
Except for a tight fitted sheet and your swaddled baby, the crib should never have anything in it. Why? Because having items in the crib pose risks for suffocation or SIDS. As parents we unfortunately cannot be watching our baby every second during sleep so it’s our responsibility to provide the safest sleep environment for our little precious babies.
#2 Choose the Right Swaddle
There are a lot of swaddle options on the market and it’s great that so many companies are helping babies sleep more safely and soundly, but all swaddles are not created equally.
Types of Swaddles:
Traditional Blanket Swaddle
These are the swaddles commonly used in the hospital right after giving birth and there are a ton of muslin swaddle blankets on the market too.
- Are difficult to use – tired parents need something easy and quick.
- Come unraveled very easily – especially with strong babies like ours.
- Easy to overwrap baby in too many layers which leads to overheating – a risk factor of SIDS.
These have a flap or wing that holds babies upper arms/body snugly while the lower body has free movement in a sack-like swaddle.
- Can be too tight for babies.
- Can come undone and cover baby’s face.
Zip-Style Swaddle Sack
These are very popular and are easy to use – just put baby in and zip. (Usually with arms in or arms out options.)
- Expensive – our baby grew so fast, we spent $500 on swaddles in just the first few months.
- Some babies don’t like to be in a snug fitted sack-style swaddle.
- Tall or chunky babies many times don’t fit these types of swaddles.
- Babies who like to sleep with legs up like our baby did, are uncomfortable in these swaddles because of the legs down position – which means less sleep for us and baby.
Hybrid Self-Stick Swaddle
The AdaptiFIT™ is a self-stick baby swaddle blanket that holds itself in place just by pressing the blanket with your hand.
- Stays secure all night long
- Gives parents peace of mind knowing the blanket will not unravel.
- Helps baby sleep longer and better – parents too.
- SUPER EASY to use – anyone can swaddle a baby using AdaptiFIT™.
- Swaddle baby perfectly every time in seconds.
- Gives baby full range of motion – hips and legs.
- Puts baby’s hands in the hands above heart position so they can move and self-soothe.
- Offers both legs down or legs up sleeping positions.
- Grows with your baby – arms out position when it’s time to transition to arms-free sleep.
- Cotton inner layer helps regulate baby’s body temperature.
#3 Back is Best
Always remember to place your swaddled baby on their back to sleep. Babies who sleep face down have a big risk of suffocation or SIDS.
After a baby begins to roll over, some babies really love to sleep on their tummies no matter how many times you place them on their backs. In this case, we recommend the SafeSleep Breathe-Through Crib Mattress which is amazing for all babies. It has no sheet and instead offers a perforated, breathe-through sleep surface so babies who are face-down can breathe normally all night long.
It’s an incredible invention and unfortunately was thought of after the two owners lost a baby to SIDS simply because they rolled over in the crib during the night. A nightmare no parent should experience.
#4 Know When it’s Time to Transition
When a baby begins to roll over, it’s time to transition to arms-free sleep. AdaptiFIT™ makes the transition extremely easy. Just start with one arm out, one arm in during nap time and then again for night time sleep. Then the next day do two arms out for nap time and nighttime.
This is very important because if baby is swaddled and rolls over in the middle of the night, they need their arms out to help them roll back over – otherwise there’s a suffocation and SIDS risk.
Try the AdaptiFIT to see how it works! Enter our giveaway to get your $5 GIFT CARD to use towards your purchase.
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Safe swaddling tips for baby - learn how to swaddle baby without blanket coming unraveled. Keep baby safe while swaddling using these tips.