The term swaddle means to wrap or bind with garments or cloth, so as a parent or carer of a newborn baby, it’s almost impossible to resist the urge to swaddle. Getting them out of the bath into a warm fluffy towel. . .swaddle, wrapping them in a super soft pram blanket. . .swaddle, and of course holding them in your arms for those long awaited newborn cuddles. . .swaddle (ok, so your arms aren’t technically cloth but you get the idea). However, when it comes to swaddling your baby for sleep or comfort, we love nothing more than an organic muslin swaddle blanket. With so many designs to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the latest collection from leading organic brands such as Frugi and Toby Tiger.
Why use a muslin swaddle?
Soft, snuggly, but more importantly 100% breathable, a muslin swaddle offers the right amount of comfort and warmth, thanks to its lightweight design. Made from a single layer of organic cotton, a muslin swaddle is pure and gentle against your babies skin, and reduces the risk of overheating, giving you peace of mind when needed most. Plus, it can be used in so many ways, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without one. Blanket, nursing cover, changing mat or burp cloth, a muslin swaddle is a must have for any changing bag.
Shhhh, don’t wake the baby
Did you know, the Moro reflex, or startle reflex as it’s also known, is a common reflex in all newborns that indicates healthy development of the nervous system. You may notice your babies arms and legs suddenly straighten out then slowly pull back in, almost as if they are free falling, but don’t worry, this is all part of the reflex and only occurs when there is a sudden change to their senses. Which of course, is all fun and games until it interrupts their sleep, yikes, because we all know how precious sleep can be in the early days. So how does swaddling help I hear you ask? Well, it prevents the startle reflex from happening by gently restricting their movement, keeping them snug and secure in the land of nod. The Moro reflex usually lasts for a few months so it's a good idea to swaddle from birth to coincide with this and aid a restful baby.
How to swaddle a baby
If you have ever looked upon a swaddled baby and wondered what the secret to their contentment is, then wonder no more as we are here to show you how to achieve the perfect swaddle. Not only does it help them sleep, it is a fantastic technique for calming your baby too as it mimics the closeness of the womb. Simply follow the step by step guide below.
Step 1 - Take you muslin swaddle cloth and lay it on a flat surface in a diamond shape, with a point at the top. Then, fold the top point down so you have a straight edge.
Step 2 - Place your baby on his back with his neck in line with the straight edge.
Step 3 - Gently hold your baby’s right arm by his side and pull the left hand point of the cover across him. Secure the cover by tucking it underneath the left hand side of his body, leaving his left arm free. Make sure the cover isn't pulled too tight so he still has movement in his hips.
Step 4 - Holding your baby's left arm in place, bring the bottom of the cover up and over his left shoulder, tucking any excess fabric underneath him.
Step 5 - And finally, bring the remaining corner across the body and wrap underneath him to secure your handy work, et voilà, one happy cosy baby.
When to stop swaddling?
As tempting as it may be to keep your baby swaddled into the later months, there are a few tell tale signs that it might be time to stop.
- When they can roll onto their front
- When they can wriggle free
- If they appear distressed or unsettled
But don’t worry, if you think it’s time to stop swaddling, you can always move them into a super soft sleeping bag where they will be just as comfortable, we promise.