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.
Graco is well known for making popular car seats, strollers and combination of the two called travel systems. They make quality products for babies, so when I found out that they are selling receiving blankets I wanted to check them out.
The first observation is that these receiving blankets are soft to the touch and are made of 100% cotton flannel. This 4-pack set has various color designs ranging from giraffes to circle patterns. These receiving blankets are 30”x40” in size and great for newborns, but if you were thinking about swaddling your baby with these blankets when after the first month, then you might want to looking into other swaddle blankets by Aden and Anais or Swaddle Designs. They make blankets that are as large as 47”x 47”.
These Graco receiving blankets can be easily machined wash and dry without any problems. The colors do slightly fade with washings, but it adds a broken in look to them. The flannel does loose some of its softness, but they are still great for wrapping your baby. Muslin fabric swaddle blankets tend to stay softer even after multiple washing. But, what makes these blankets great is the pricing. It’s relatively affordable for a pack of 4 that you can easily rotate when they get dirty.
With any receiving blanket, your baby will eventually out grow them or you want to train them to sleep un-swaddle. But, these Graco receiving blankets are versatile and can be used for other useful things like a towel, wipe, blanket, shade covering or for whatever comes to your mind.
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.
Moms who are expecting a little one in 2013 should try Aden + Anais muslin swaddle blankets and bring a pair with you to the hospital! These swaddle blankets are the best you can find because of their safety benefits, the comfort & quality of material, and the versatility. I got a 4-pack as baby shower gift and I love using them.
When my son was born, I realized swaddling a newborn can make them safer when they are sleeping in their cribs alone. A swaddle baby will help babies sleep on their backs and reduce the likely hood of SIDS. A swaddle baby will reduce the effect of moro reflexes which startles a sleeping baby and keeps them from having long sleep times. A swaddle baby will be more comforted because the swaddle is a blanket that will keep a baby warm like the time he was in your womb. But over zealousness in swaddling with thick and multiple blankets can be detrimental for babies as they can overheat. Signs of overheating can be found in wet blankets from sweat and babies’ temperature rising above the normal 97 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit range. Aden + Anais’ swaddle blankets are finely weaved muslin cotton, making them very breathable. The breatheability of muslin cloth will keep infants warm enough without the fear of incubating them. This makes muslin swaddle blankets great for hot and dry climates and reduces the risk of overheating. If babies are not warm enough, multiple muslin swaddle blankets can be used to further insulate the baby. Being able to use multiple swaddle blankets makes it more versatile for environments with big temperature swings between night and day.
The versatility of Aden + Anais’ swaddle blankets can be found in how lightweight and compactable they are. You can easily fold a full size blanket (47” x 47”) into any small pocket and take it with you wherever you go. This flexibility is an added bonus, especially if you are a parent on the go. Traveling with a baby could be tiring enough, but having to carry extra weight will tire you even more. Travel light and you can use them as a nursing cover, burping cloth, wipes, and for shade. The versatility is only limited by your imagination.
The material quality is great, as the cloth is as soft a swaddle blanket you can find anywhere. The softness will help comfort your baby and will not irritate your baby’s soft skin. The swaddle blanket has great elasticity for better and easier swaddling of the baby. The fabrics are very durable and after multiple washing you will notice the swaddle blankets will get softer. You will be using these blankets for a long time without any worries of needing to replace them. The price you will be worth the investment because of its durability and versatility.
Aden + Aneis 100% muslin swaddle blankets are great quality swaddle blankets fit for all babies. The swaddle blanket will help parents comfort their newborn and the reward will be extra hours of sleep for both.
The Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe is another great swaddle blanket for parents to use. To begin with, parents will notice the shape of the SwaddleMe is a pouch with side wings on each side for wrapping. This feature is definitely one great benefit of SwaddleMe blankets because it allows for easy swaddling of infants.
- Easiest Swaddle Blanket to use
First, the pouch allows for easy placement of the baby’s leg inside. Once inside the pouch, the wings can be pulled around the baby and held down with the Velcro sewn into one of the folding wings. The Velcro strap allows for a more secure swaddle, especially if your baby easily frees themselves from traditional blankets.
SwaddleMe has two main fabrics to choose from: microfleece or cotton. Both are great and soft enough for babies, but the microfleece has a slightly longer durability after several washings. The microfleece material will be warmer for the baby than the cotton, therefore be cautious if you live in a warmer region because the fleece could be too warm for your baby. The cotton material has more stretch and will make swaddling easier. Cotton is more breathable than the microfleece and would be better for cooler regions.
SwaddleMe has some drawbacks like other swaddle blankets. The pouch and wings system will eventually be too small for your growing baby and that means you will need to purchase different sizes SwaddleMe. These purchases could add up as SwaddleMe has sizes ranging from small to large. I recommending getting the right size SwaddleMe as your baby will be more comfortable because of it.
The Velcro system is definitely a great part of SwaddleMe, but after more than 3 months of use the Velcro will loose it’s stickiness. But most likely by that time, the baby will need to size up to another SwaddleMe or you will be training the baby to sleep without being swaddle.
Overall, the SwaddleMe blanket is easy and very natural to use. There is little training require in order to get the perfect swaddle and the result is more sleep for babies and parents. Parents should give SwaddleMe blanket a try and reap the benefits of better nights sleep for your baby and you.
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.
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.
Newborns from the age of 2 to 4 months have the highest risk of Sudden Infant death syndrome. But, parents need to be aware SIDS is a potential risk for babies up to the age of 1 year. Since, the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) started recommending back sleeping, the occurrence of SIDS have dropped to about 3000 deaths per year. This is still an alarming number, so parents still need to be watchful in their baby care.
Some other factors parents should keep an eye out for:
1. More boys die of SIDS than girls.
2. A SIDS death happens quickly, with no signs of suffering.
3. More SIDS deaths occur in the colder months.
Parents are probably all familiar with the benefits of swaddling like lowering occurrence of SIDS, better warm, improve sleep, calming and soothing for babies. But parents, may not know that if they are improperly swaddling their newborn there could some potential harms.
There is a condition called Hip Dysplasia that is becoming a more common with newborn babies according to pediatricians. Hip Dysplasia is the misalignment of the femur head to the hip socket. The rise in Hip Dysplasia coincides with the growing popularity of parents swaddling their newborn. Hip Dysplasia is the result of parents who are swaddling their newborn too tight around the hip and are restricting the natural frog motion of the newborn’s leg. Thus, the hip and femur head will be misaligned with continued improper swaddling. Hip Dysplasia can be corrected by using a Pavlik harness for newborns or by surgery for older kids. But parents need to learn to properly swaddle their newborn to prevent this from happening in the first place.
Below is a video by Dr. Price and he goes over what parents need to do properly swaddle their newborn and some cool swaddling techniques to prevent the occurrence of Hip Dysplasia. Watch the video and learn from Dr. Price (International Hip Dysplasia Institute – IHDI).