Congratulations on your first baby! I’m sure you are excited and maybe a little overwhelm sometimes when you think about the challenges of raising a little one. Well, as parent the best advice I can give is to educate yourself to become the best parent that you can be. That is why you are searching and learning about the best swaddle blanket that is out there for your baby.
First, all newborns are swaddle in receiving blankets at the hospital. Upon delivery, a nurse will wrap your wonderful bundle of joy in a blanket to keep them warm from the coldness of the outside warm. Just think, the baby has been tightly squeezed inside the mother wombs for sometime. The act of wrapping the baby recreates the womb experience while keeping him warm. A receiving blanket is typically smaller than a swaddle blanket because newborns are typically smaller, but they serve the same purpose of wrapping your baby.
My son was born 5 weeks ahead of schedule and I didn’t get a chance to go through the usual baby classes, so I was not prepared for a lot of things and swaddling was one of them. The nurses were nice and taught us how to swaddle our son. We eventually got the hand of it.
But, when we went home and tried swaddling past the first week, it became clear to us that swaddling will be challenge with our son. After swaddling our son, he would move around and eventually the swaddle will loosen. His arms will stick out and he gets uncomfortable. We were always afraid of over tightening our swaddle because it might to restrictive and be uncomfortable again.
Well, through all the try and error, we went with the Summer Infant SwaddleMe because we found the Swaddle Me to be easy to use. It was easy to put the baby in the SwaddleMe and quickly swaddle him before he is able to escape. We found that we could use the Velcro flaps or wings as markers to tell us how tight we wrap him. It provided some consistency. Lastly, it was easy enough that my husband could help out with the swaddling.
First time parents should look at the SwaddleMe as their swaddling solution because it truly is Simple as 1-2-3 to use.
A colic baby is generally described as a frequently crying baby and they cry for long durations. The cause of the crying can stem from wet diapers, being hungry, not being comfortable or improper temperature, but are usually beyond these common issues for all babies. Many pediatricians have started stressing the 5S to help comfort babies and their colic tendencies. The 5S are Swaddling, Side (or Stomach) position, Shhhhhh, Swinging, and Sucking. Swaddling is the first step in soothing a baby because it will try to remind a newly born baby of their time in the mother womb. A swaddle baby will be tightly wrapped (but are still comfortable) in a swaddle blanket to keep them warm and cozy. The compression of their body into a restricted space will conjure up good memories. This will hopefully relax and calm an anxious baby who is not use to the cold world that they arrived in.
The 2nd S is for Side or Stomach holding of the baby. Some babies find this position more comfortable for resting then sleeping on their back. Try various positions to hold your baby until they get comfortable and can fall asleep in your arm. My son loves it when I hold him up and he rest his head on my shoulders, but this will vary depending on the baby.
3rd S is for Shhhhh as in the noise you make when you want to quite down. I made a recording of me Shhhhh so my throat doesn’t hurt so much from Shhhhh to long and my son doesn’t know the wiser. I think the background noise is another tool that calms him down and the regular rhythm of the Shhhhh adds familiarity to his nap and sleep routine. My son also likes classical music as it is another great tool to signal to your baby that they need to rest, calm, and be prepared to sleep.
The 4th S is for Swinging or rocking a baby in the certain rhythmic motion. These motions along with sounds like Shhhh adds to the familiarity of sleep time and is great for signaling to the baby what time it is. The motion also reminds them of their time in the womb because mom would be walking back and forth and baby would move around in the amniotic fluid like a water-slide.
The 5th S is for Sucking on items like a pacifier or other items. The sucking motion reminds the breastfeed baby of their connection with their mom. It provides security for them knowing they are not too far away from their mom.
By combining the 5S most parents will have some success in reducing the colic of their baby and swaddling is the 1st step that parents need to take! With a less colic baby, parents can have some sweet dreams of their own at night.
I’m a big fan of the muslin blankets because I live in a traditional warm area of the United States. But, with winter upon us the night temperature can easily drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. As a cautious parent, you are probably thinking a muslin swaddle blanket is not warm enough for your baby. You are probably right because muslin blankets are designed for hot and humid environments to help cool your baby. Here are some things you can do to make sure your baby is adequately kept warm in their swaddle blanket –
- Turn on the room heater for the baby’s room and keep it nicely warmed around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Instead of using a single muslin swaddle blanket, I’ve seen parents use 2 muslin blankets at a time to further insulate their baby from the winter cold. But you can always use more muslin blankets until the baby is warm enough.
- Mix and match a muslin swaddle blanket with another thicker cotton swaddle blanket or fleece swaddle blankets.
- Switch to the pouch swaddle blankets by SwaddleMe, Miracle Blanket, and Halo. These items are great because after I swaddle my baby in a muslin fabric, I can further cover them in one of these ouch swaddle blankets. It provides another layer that I don’t have to worry about my baby kicking off in the middle of the night.
- Go away from the swaddle blanket if your baby is old enough and start using sleepsacks to help keep them warm. There are plenty of thick and warm sacks from Halo or Merino Kids that are great and comfortable for any baby to sleep in
During the winter, parents can sometime cover their babies with so much insulation that they can actually get too hot. Here are some signs you need to look for to make sure you are not overheating your baby
- Check for redness in his face.
- Check for sweat on his forehead and hair.
- Check for wet and damp clothing that is un-related to a leaky diaper. Usually the spots that I look for is the back of the clothes around the shoulder area.
- Increase fussiness during the night because he or she is uncomfortable
Yes, muslin blankets are too thin for a baby during the winter. Muslin swaddle blankets are great for hot and humid days, but during this winter season, parents should look at alternatives for better options in keeping their little ones warm and comfortable during those cold nights.
You just purchase a great swaddling blanket and you want to keep it as clean and great looking as you can. With any baby clothing or fabric products, you should give it a wash before having their baby wear or us the product. This is true for swaddling blankets as well because you don’t know how blanket could’ve been contaminated during the transit and handling.
The instructions on the SwaddleMe microFleece Swaddling blanket is to machine wash low with like colors using cold water. To avoid the Velcro from sticking to other clothing during the washing have the SwaddleMe Velcro securely attached to itself. This will make your Velcro last longer and your will have to worry about damaging your other clothes in the wash. After washing, the swaddle blanket can be tumble dry on low heat. The swaddling blankets do need to be iron and do not use chlorine bleach on this product.
The instructions on the SwaddleMe cotton Swaddling blanket is also machine washable. You can set the washing to low with like colors using cold water. Secure Velcro to swaddle blanket before washing. Tumble dry low.
You are set for keeping your SwaddleMe swaddle blanket clean for your baby!
It is not recommended to wash in warm water, but you can because it allows for good cleaning action without as much fading, wrinkling, and shrinking. Aden and Anais recommends to wash your blanket in cold water which does not exceed 30 degrees Celsius or 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold water is generally between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (15-27 Celsius). Warm water is between 90 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit (32-43 Celsius).
Here are the instructions that Aden and Anais gives for taking care of their wonderful swaddle blanket.
Care instructions -
- Wash before use
- Machine wash with like colors
- Use only chlorine bleach when needed
- Tumble dry on low heat
- Do not iron
A swaddle or receiving blanket is the best solution to keep your newborns warms. Swaddle blankets are great are creating a tight snuggle fit around the baby. The tightness reminds the baby of it’s time in the womb because that is the environment they are most familiar with.
In the meantime, the swaddle blanket will do its job of keeping your newborn nice and warm. To check if your newborn is too hot, look at the swaddle blanket and feel if it’s wet from sweat. If it is wet, try lighter swaddle blanket like muslin fabric which are more breathable and will help cool down the newborn a little more than traditional flannel cotton blankets. Another option is to keep your room temperature closer to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
This question is often brought up because parents are worried they may be overheating or not providing enough warm to their newborn in the SwaddleMe blanket. But, with the proper care and attention parents can rest assure their newborn is fine.
Typically, babies can be dressed in a onesie, pants, and socks before they are swaddle in the SwaddleMe blanket. But, if you noticed your baby’s onesie is wet from sweat then you need to regulate the room temperature because the baby is probably too warm. You can try swaddling without the socks and pants as these extra insulations are not needed. If your baby’s onesie is still wet from sweat, then you might want to try a different version of the Summer Infant SwaddleMe blanket. There is fleece and a thinner cotton SwaddleMe blankets. The fleece is great for providing the extra keeping babies warm during the winter and when room temperature might drop below 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the night. For those hot summer days, use the thinner cotton SwaddleMe blanket. If the onesie is still wet from sweat, then dress the baby only in a diaper before swaddling him in the SwaddleMe.
If changing the outfits they wear underneath do not help, then adjust the room temperature to a slightly cooler value then before.
Here are some other tricks to help you monitor your baby’s temperature:
1. Touch the back of their neck as this is a good spot to gauge warmth or coldness.
2. Touch the baby’s hands for coldness
Keep up the swaddling because it has a lot benefits!
Swaddling your baby is a great way to keep your newborn warm, comfortable, and happy. But, most of all you want to keep your baby safe when swaddle. Below is an instructional video on how to keep your baby safe by performing a proper swaddle with Aden and Anais swaddle blankets.
Here are the highlights from the video -
- Find a flat and safe place to lay your swaddle blanket down.
- Place baby on top of swaddle blanket.
- Hold baby’s arm down and fold swaddle blanket around baby
- Fold bottom of the swaddle blanket up to wrap excess around the baby for tight swaddle.
There is no magic number for all parents because the need for each baby and family will vary. Instead, parents need to ask themselves these simple questions to better gauge how many blankets they need.
- How many newborn(s) am I caring for?
- How often do I do the laundry for baby items?
- How often does the baby throw-up or spit out food?
- How often does the baby soil blankets during diaper change or sleep?
It is okay if you do not have the answer to some of the questions (specifically 3&4) above. Once the baby comes and you will have a better idea on the answers to question 3 & 4, then you can purchase more or stay pat with the swaddling blankets you have. If you know how many times you do laundry (recommended once per day) then you can start getting a rough idea on the minimum amount of swaddle blankets you might need.
For 1 newborn, the minimum amount of swaddle blankets should be 4, if you do laundry once per day. I personally had 12 because I like having extras around and my laundry time was very sporadic. The logic for 4 swaddle blankets goes by the amount of time babies are feed per day. Doctors recommend feeding newborns every 2-3 hours and if you break-down to every 3 hours that leads to 8 feedings per day. Each feeding will not result in a dirty or soil swaddle blanket, but there are plenty of ways for the swaddle blanket to get dirty (ie. Baby spits out food, diaper leakage, soil blankets, etc).
Non-traditional swaddle blankets, that are more like sleeping bags from SwaddleMe or Halo Sleepsack, are great for bigger babies because they have Velcro to secure babies in a swaddle. As newborns get older (1 month +) or bigger, parents could transition into these swaddle blankets. These blankets are more expensive and I would recommend a minimum of 2 and rotate the use of them only when one needs to be wash. In this way you will always have one clean swaddle blanket available for your newborn.
Overall, new parents should have 4 traditional swaddle blankets on hand before the baby arrives and order more blankets or sleeping bags as needed when you are more familiar with your baby’s need. Babies will grow and get too big for their swaddle blanket faster than you know it. But parents could use extra swaddle blankets in other useful ways, like a burping cloth, shade cover, and changing sheet.