The arrival of a baby means a new mother has to stack up on various baby essentials, from baby bottles to diapers to loads of clothes. One among them are swaddling blankets, which are used for snugly wrapping a newborn. This allows the baby to feel secure, warm, and comfortable, especially while sleeping. Snug swaddling soothes the baby, prevents over stimulation, and helps in containing the jerky movements, also known as the "Moro" or startle reflex, which can awaken a sleeping newborn.
A Point to NoteBefore buying a swaddling blanket, it is a good idea to check if your baby likes being swaddled or not. While some babies love swaddling, others like to wriggle around and just hate the sight of a constricting blanket.
Most blankets are soft, lightweight, and thin so that they can be wrapped snugly around the baby. The fabric quality and ease of cleaning are among the various factors that make a swaddling blanket just right for your infant. Here is a detailed look at the points you need to keep in mind when you choose a swaddling blanket for the baby.
There are different types of swaddling blankets available in the market, from simple receiving blankets to special blankets that are designed specifically to swaddle the baby. Traditional swaddling blankets are small, square blankets that need to be folded and wrapped around the baby. In contrast, the modern versions make wrapping the baby an easy task. All you need to do is pop the baby in the insert, wrap one wing over the other, and secure with self-fasteners. Some blankets have Velcro straps that can be employed to secure the baby.
Some amazing choices include:
► NüRoo Swaddler
► Summer SwaddleMe Cotton Large
Special wearable blankets, known as sleep sacks, which can be zipped up once the baby is in place are also popular. So, there is no need for you to learn the ''fine art'' of swaddling a baby. Not only is it simple to use, but its unique design makes it difficult for the baby to cover his/her face while sleeping. This also prevents the likelihood of the baby kicking off the blanket. Some sleep sacks have special features such as little pockets for the baby's legs, leg pouch to facilitate diaper change, and "wings" to wrap around his/her arms securely.
Some popular sleep sacks in the market include:
► HALO SleepSack Swaddle 100% Cotton
► The Woombie Ultra Sleeper
► Summer Infant Swaddle Pod
Choosing the right size and shape is equally important. A large blanket size for a small baby may not fit well, resulting in sleepless nights for you and the child. On the other hand, a small blanket may be a little too tight, resulting in a cranky baby. If you are opting for a traditional square-shaped swaddle blanket, then ensure that the size is perfect for a clean, tight swaddle. In case you intend to buy a sleep sack or a modern swaddling blanket, then pick the right size―small, medium, or large―according to the baby's weight.
Swaddling blankets are available in a range of fabrics, from polyester to fleece to flannel, to eco-friendly options such as bamboo and organic cotton. The choice of fabric should depend on the weather. For the warmer months, a cotton swaddling blanket should work well, while fleece or flannel blankets are suitable for the cold winter months. You also need to find a fabric that is stretchable and breathable to ensure maximum comfort for the baby.
With so many things to do, you certainly do not require a complex swaddling blanket to add to your woes. Choose an easy-to-use swaddling blanket with a secure design. While traditional blankets are cheaper and available in a range of designs, they are harder to use, as you need to master the right technique to wrap around and under the baby perfectly.
In contrast, a sleep sack or cocoon-shaped swaddling blanket can be zipped up after placing the baby in it. So you do not have to worry about the baby wriggling out. Moreover, these sacks allow the baby to free her arms around and keeps her comfortable. You also need to ensure that the swaddling blanket is durable and easy to clean. Even if they may seem somewhat expensive, look for brands which provide superior quality.
When buying a swaddling blanket, go big on prints and colors. From cute floral prints to jungle themes and abstract prints, there are a range of colors that ensure that your nursery looks bright and cheery. Some of these blankets can be customized to include your baby's photograph and name as well.