Newborn and infant babies love to feel cosy and secure as they adjust to the new surroundings around them. During their time in the womb a baby is in a warm, comforting and soothing environment. When using a baby swaddle blanket this often recreates the sensations the baby had in the womb.
A baby swaddle blanket helps your baby to sleep comfortably by wrapping your baby in a blanket around the shoulders and legs to restrict their movement and creates a very gentle pressure around the baby’s body giving a sense of comfort whilst resting. This helps to calm and soothe your baby and often settles them into having a peaceful night’s sleep. Research has suggested that babies who are settled using a swaddling blanket often experience a deeper sleep and are likely to wake less frequently than when placed under sheets or blankets.
When asleep, the baby swaddle blanket can help keep newborns from being disturbed by their ‘moro’ or ‘startle’ reflux’. This occurs when babies ‘jump’ or ‘startle’ themselves awake by quickly extending their arms and legs, and lifting their necks when asleep, often for no apparent reason.
A Baby Swaddle Blanket can help your baby’s development
It has been suggested through research that using a baby swaddle blanket can help the development of low birth weight and premature babies. When asleep, using a swaddling blanket on a premature baby in a position to simulate the environment of the womb can help comfort and support their physical development helping them to sleep better, feel more secure and settled with less crying, it may also encourage them to save energy by moving around less. Holding a premature baby in a curled position when using a baby swaddle blanket can help support their physical development, by encouraging the development of the naturally curled position also known as flexion which babies assume in the womb providing them with comfort and support.
Baby Swaddle Blanket Can Help Reduce Colic
A baby swaddle blanket can help to ease the discomfort of colic in the early weeks, this is because when the baby is wrapped in the blanket it provides a gentle even pressure around the whole of the babies abdomen.
Can a Baby Swaddle Blanket Help to Reduce SIDS?
Some research suggest that baby swaddle can help to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), as it encourages babies and infants to sleep on their backs rather than their tummy’s. In this position they are more likely to sleep better and for longer periods with fewer spontaneous awakenings. There is also less risk of loose blankets covering their faces and they are less likely to roll over. Of course a side benefit is that if your baby is sleeping for longer periods then so can you.
It is important, however, to ensure that your baby does not get overheated when using a swaddling baby blanket. Keep the overall room temperature cool and use a very lightweight material, preferably made of cotton. Always ensure that you do not wrap up the baby’s head when using the swaddling blanket as this can encourage overheating or suffocation, and make sure you don’t wrap your baby too tightly as this may affect circulation. If in doubt contact your midwife or health nurse for advice.
Not All Babies Like to Be Swaddled
It is worth noting that some babies do not like to be swaddled as the restricted sensation that it provides may make them feel uncomfortable. If you find that your baby becomes more fretful and fidgety when using a swaddling blanket you can try wrapping your baby more loosely or leaving the arms outside until your baby becomes used to the feeling.
There are a number of alternative swaddling blankets available online with the main options listed below:
The Miracle Blanket
The Miracle Blanket is made of a soft material which is easily washable. It contains no press studs or Velcro and has been designed to make swaddling your baby easy. It can be used on babies from birth to 4 months. The Miracle blanket has a built in lateral band which can help a baby who has wind or colic, by applying slight pressure to the baby’s tummy. There are arm flaps and a foot pocket in the blanket allowing for a snug fit. The Miracle Blanket is made with 100% unbleached cotton.
Slumber Bug baby swaddle Blanket
The Slumber Bug baby swaddle Blanket is made of 100% quality soft cotton flannel. It has colour coded Velcro fasteners and a cord lock feature which prevents the baby from kicking their feet out. The Slumber Bug blanket also has a gathered neck feature which keeps the fabric away from your baby’s face. It can be used from birth to 3 months using the traditional swaddling method, and from 3 months up to 6 months when using the under-arm swaddling method. A matching newborn nightcap is often included with every blanket.
Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe Blankets
The Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe blankets are available in four fabrics, 100% Cotton Knit, 100% Cotton Flannel, Lightweight Microfleece and Luxe Velboa. The Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe blankets come in different sizes and are available from premature babies from 3 pounds up to to 22 pounds. The SwaddleMe blankets have soft fabric wings which stay securely in place with self fasteners, and are re-adjustable. The Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe blanket contains a leg pouch which pops down easily with no need to unwrap baby’s arms, which is useful for changing nappies. There is also a SwaddleMe on the go blanket available which has a harness slit allowing for swaddling a baby in a car seat or stroller.
Loving baby swaddle Blanket
This Loving swaddling a baby Blanket has a hammock design which allows for a comfortable fit for premature babies up to the age of 3 months old. It has a unique design which allows easy swaddling and is safe and secure. The blanket fits snugly around the baby contouring to the baby’s neck, shoulders and body, and has dual purpose sides which allow for you to tie the blanket into a bow at the front which ensures a secure swaddle. It also allows the option of having your baby’s hands in or out of the blanket. The blankets are crafted from high quality 100% flannel cotton, and can be machine washed and dried.
Grobag baby swaddle Blanket
The Grobag Swaddling blanket is made from 100% lightweight stretchy cotton and is a cleverly shaped blanket which wraps around your baby to make swaddling simple. It has no Velcro, poppers or zips and is suitable from birth to 3 months. The Grobag Swaddling blanket can also be used for underarm swaddling.