Swaddling is a common parenting practice that has been around for ages and it is recommended for infants because of how it reminds them of being in mother’s womb. While swaddled, baby feels safe and comforted allowing them to self-soothe so they can fall asleep and stay asleep longer periods of time. The problem is, many new parents are unaware of how to safely swaddle baby, which can pose risks of suffocation, hip dysplasia, and overheating (a risk factor of SIDS). Here are some tips from our friends over at Woombie for how to swaddle baby safely:
- Use a swaddle that makes it easy for you to swaddle baby
Swaddling baby with a traditional square blanket can be confusing and ultimately lead to improperly swaddling your baby. The nurses in the maternity ward make it look so easy to wrap your baby up in a little perfect burrito, but it’s not as easy once parents try themselves. There is a great solution to swaddling baby safely and effectively with complete confidence.
One of the best baby swaddles that is easy to use, is the Woombie! Just place your baby inside and zip up! No wrapping required, which means no risk of the swaddle blanket coming unraveled and covering baby’s face (suffocation hazard), no risk of over swaddling baby in too many layers causing overheating, and no risk of swaddling baby too tightly causing issues with baby’s hip mobility.
The Woombie works so well because it mimics the feeling of touch, warmth, and cuddle, re-creating the womb environment baby felt prior to birth. This is important for calming baby and preventing flailing arms as well as the startle reflex.
- Swaddle baby and then place baby on his or her back to sleep.
Placing baby on her stomach is a big no-no. It can cause baby to rebreathe his own exhaled air which can lead to SIDS. The most important thing to remember is back is best.
However, if your baby does successfully roll over onto her stomach, using a breathe-through crib mattress like the SafeSleep BreatheTHRU Crib Mattress will reassure you that baby will be safe even if facing down. Our unique and revolutionary mattress is the only completely breathe-through mattress on the market. With a bed of air layered between the mattress and the base, baby can still breathe normally through the mattress while face down as there is constant airflow.
- Do not over swaddle baby.
If you are using a regular blanket, you must be careful to avoid over swaddling baby. Never use double blankets. Using more than one blanket can make your baby overheat – another risk factor of SIDS.
(Another great benefit of our SafeSleep BreatheTHRU Crib Mattress is that it helps keeps your baby’s body temperature stable – not too hot and not too cold.)
- Don’t swaddle baby too tightly.
Again, with traditional swaddle blankets, it’s easy to swaddle baby too tightly. Swaddling too tightly can also cause baby to overheat and also leads to hip dysplasia. The Woombie swaddle sack allows baby to have a good hip range of motion to prevent future hip issues.
- Stop swaddling baby once he/she is ready.
If you find your baby is starting to roll over, this means it’s time to stop swaddling. There are different ways to transition your baby out of the swaddle, such as using an arms-free swaddle like the Convertible Woombie. The SafeSleep BreatheTHRU Crib Mattress gives parents the comfort of knowing that if your swaddled baby does roll over, they can still breathe normally through the mattress. Infants who roll for the first time who are swaddled have a 40% increased risk of SIDS when on fiberfill surfaces. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/early/2016/05/05/peds.2015-3275.full.pdf
Be sure to consult with your pediatrician or certified child sleep consultant if you have any questions about your baby’s sleep habits or to double check that you are safely swaddling your baby. Reach out to the Baby Swaddle Guru/Inventor of the Woombie Swaddle, Karen Barski, with any questions at http://www.woombie.com/swaddle-guru/.