Swaddling your newborn to sleep can be very beneficial. Many people wonder if they can ever swaddle their baby as the nurses did at the hospital. I admit, my husband was better at making our little “burrito” than I was until I found an easier way which I share below.
Today, we will go over reasons you should swaddle your baby and also show you how to swaddle a baby in 3 super easy ways.
Why Swaddle Your Baby?
The reason why you swaddle your baby is to make her feel like she did when she was in her mommy’s tummy. She didn’t have room to stretch out and, for months, found comfort in being tightly “held” in your belly. And, the movement, when you walked, lulled her to sleep.
Dr. Harvey Karp in The Happiest Baby on the Block suggests that babies actually need more time in the womb (a fourth trimester), but if they had that time, they’d never get through the birth canal because their head would get too big. Makes sense!
Therefore, swaddling extends the womb feeling for babies.
When babies are first adjusting to this big, cold world (compared to your belly), swaddling helps a lot to keep them calm and relaxed. Swaddling is especially helpful when babies haven’t outgrown the moro reflex (or startle reflex) where their limbs “jump” uncontrollably.
What if Your Newborn Doesn’t Like Being Swaddled?
Sometimes it appears your baby doesn’t like to be swaddled. This could be true. But sometimes, they are just so overtired and wound up that they resist the swaddle only because they are agitated and fatigued.
It does not necessarily mean your baby doesn’t like it. After you swaddle your newborn, try swaying and soothing him to see if he will calm down.
My son loved to be swaddled, but at first, he’d still cry once he was swaddled. Contrary to the video you’ll see down below, he did not calm down instantly once he was swaddled (just his personality). But, he did sleep better and longer once he did fall asleep and he was swaddled.
If your baby just never calms down, or if swaddling used to work and now it doesn’t, it might be time to stop swaddling.
How to Swaddle Your Baby
It is pretty difficult to describe, in words, how to swaddle a baby. Some people call it wrapping up a burrito and if you’ve ever made a burrito, it is a little similar. You want to fold the bottom of the blanket over her legs and then wrap up the sides, so the “contents” don’t fall out. 🙂 Better yet, let’s just watch a video on how to swaddle your baby:
But, why go through all of that trouble?? There are 3 easier ways to swaddle your baby!
3 Super Easy Ways to Swaddle Your Baby
There are much easier ways to swaddle your baby, so he or she can’t break out. The main goal of the swaddle is to help your baby feel secure and comforted. They like the “snug” feeling, which can be achieved with 3 products that make it sooooo much easier!
The Miracle Blanket
The Miracle Blanket was just the product I needed to swaddle my baby much easier. It has velcro so it’s much harder for babies to break out of the swaddle. I just couldn’t wrap the blanket tight enough, so having this made it super fast and easy. When your baby is fussy, it was a God send!
Love To Dream Swaddle Up SwaddleUp Blanket
The Love To Dream SwaddleUp Blanket is one of my favorite products to recommend. I never got to use it because either I didn’t know about it or it didn’t exist when my boys were babies. But, we’ve had many families recommend this product to us in the past 10+ years we’ve been around. My favorite part about this blanket is it helps you transition away from swaddling in a more gradual fashion so you can do it when your baby is truly ready. When your baby is ready to stop being swaddled, simply zip off one or both of the “wings.” It’s that simple!
Very similar to the Love To Dream SwaddleUp Swaddle blanket, the Woombie offers you to keep your baby’s arms in or keep them out for a nice transition away from swaddling when your baby is ready. It’s comfortable and breathable for your baby and we hear from families who use this one all the time, too!
You might also be interested in:
Swaddling and tips to safely swaddle.
Can You Sleep Train While Baby is Swaddled?
A common question is whether you should sleep train while your baby is swaddled. It never hurts to try to let your baby fall asleep unassisted, even while swaddled. Some babies simply will fall asleep within a few minutes when they are put down awake. Other babies (like mine) will not. So, in general, I do NOT recommend sleep training while your baby is swaddled, especially if you are using a variation of Cry It Out. Your baby needs to find a way to self-soothe whether it’s sucking on her fingers, thumb, or holding on to her sleep sack. But, if you put down your baby and he fusses or cries for 5 minutes or less and he’s swaddled, it appears you have a very good self-soother and you can continue swaddling and when he’s ready, you can probably stop swaddling fairly easily.
What if stopping the swaddle is not easy?
You’re in luck! This entire site is dedicated to when things don’t come easy when it comes to your baby’s sleep! Make sure you get your FREE guide and helping your baby sleep through the night, check out our Facebook Fan Page, or consider our baby sleep consulting services, where you can get a custom sleep plan for your family that you can feel good about.
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When To Stop Swaddling And How