Swaddling is an old technique of gently wrapping baby in a soft blanket to help make him feel safe and secure. Swaddling with gentle softness in mind also helps your baby sleep through the night by preventing any of the involuntary movements little ones commonly experience during sleep.
It seems like a simple enough task – wrapping your baby snug using a soft blanket, but there's more to swaddling than meets the eyes. Here are a couple of things you need to remember when swaddling your baby.
Do make sure you do not swaddle too tightly
Swaddling your baby too tightly may lead to hip problems – especially with his legs pressed together and straight down. Swaddling too tightly might also make it hard for your child to breathe. Make sure you make enough room in the swaddle blanket for your baby to be able to move his hips and knees freely.
Don't cover your baby's mouth and neck
Your baby may not be able to breathe if you cover his mouth when swaddling. His neck should not be tightly covered too, to minimize risks of overheating and choking. Always check if your baby looks flushed, feels warm or is sweating and breathing heavily. These could be signs of overheating.
Do use the correct swaddling technique
Have a pediatrician or someone who has done it before, teach you the proper way to swaddle your baby. There are a couple of reliable techniques online, but to make sure everything will work out for your little one's benefit, have someone show you the basics and correct you when you make any swaddling mistakes.
It is absolutely important to make sure your baby is lying on his back every time you put him in a swaddle. If your baby is very much able to move around, it is more advisable not to use these swaddling techniques. A baby who is not able to flip from his back to his side is the ideal age to swaddle. You also always have to remember the importance of not swaddling too tight. Remember that your little one needs to be able to breathe - a loose, gently fitting swaddle that will not come undone during his sleep is advisable.
Do use the right swaddling cloth
When it comes to choosing the material you are going to swaddle your baby in, you can choose between a swaddle wrap or a blanket. Whichever you choose, make sure it is made from breathable materials like cotton or muslin.
Do use dermatologist-tested cleaning products
Make sure you clean your swaddling cloth using natural laundry detergents and fabric conditioners – like Downy Baby Gentle. These baby-friendly products are kind to your baby's skin. Downy Baby Gentle does not have dyes and harmful ingredients. It contains a mild, long-lasting scent that guarantees gentle softness.