01 Nov Is Your Swaddle Game On Point?
Just drop that phrase around a group of parents and they will know exactly what you are talking about.
Often what follows is sharing their experience with swaddling their baby or babies.
Sometimes they will even whip a swaddle out and demonstrate what did and didn’t work.
In the midst of all the helpful thoughts, it can be hard to know what to do for your baby (whether it’s your first, second, or third, etc.)
So let’s first go back to the start, and talk about the environment in the womb:
- It’s Warm (Typically slightly higher than your body temperature, the womb is warm and cozy.)
- It’s Loud (Sounds of your digestive system and blood swooshing, the thumping of your heart, along with your baby hearing noises outside the womb by twenty-four weeks.)
- It’s Snug (By the end of a full term the average baby is filling up your womb, reminding you that there’s a reason why women get to the point of being “done” with being pregnant. The little kicks you may have felt during the second trimester are now full body rolls.)
One day, or after many days, baby makes their escape from your womb.
Whether through a vaginal or cesarean birth, your precious baby is here!
You may be feeling equal parts of never wanting to stop staring at your new baby, but so desiring some sleep too.
You’ve heard that swaddles can help.
You watch the nurses in the hospital swaddle up your newborn in a jiffy and eventually baby has to be unwrapped to be looked over again.
Baby is unswaddled, and it’s your turn to try.
It feels like there’s too much (too little?) blanket, or maybe too little (too much?) baby.
Maybe you’ve got a fussy baby (which newborns fuss, let’s just be real with that), in the middle of trying to get the perfect swaddle and you think to yourself,
“I need to know how to swaddle a baby! Like right now!”
Not just any baby.
But MY baby!
Well let us break it down for you.
- First and foremost that some babies LOVE swaddles, while others never will.
- Some babies will want both arms snug in and others will want one or both hands out (I’m looking at you nuchal hand babies).
- Some babies will love their hands in, and then the next day want them out. Babies are sometimes complete mysteries. Keep trying, you are doing a GREAT job!
Ultimately this entire parent thing is trial and error, and getting to know your baby’s needs. There is no one size fits all in parenting, and if someone tries to convince you there is, run like the wind.
- Checking this out would be something great to consider: American Academy of Pediatrics (Can’t recommend enough to read the Safe Sleep Recommendations)
- Making sure there isn’t too much blanket to your swaddle which can help with avoiding the extra swaddle going over baby’s head and avoiding any restriction in breathing.
- A very tight swaddle can also can restrict baby’s circulation and breathing. Keep it a little snug but not too tight.
- Consider a breathable material for your swaddles, so that baby doesn’t get too warm.
- Swaddle in a way that gives plenty of room for their legs and hips to move, which will help avoid Hip Dysplasia.
- Baby should always lay on their back, NEVER on their belly.
- Keeping a close eye on your baby, to determine when to stop swaddling (if baby can roll over or to the side it’s a no go.)
- Make sure that you are getting rest and actually sleeping too, so you can remember all of these important safety things! I know, I just said get sleep with a newborn. Don’t laugh, remember that’s definitely one of the things that a postpartum doula can help with!
Giving your baby your best, comes from a place of making sure you are taken care of too!
*Always be sure to check with your Doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
Melinda Britton, Owner and Certified Doula
Doulas of Marquette