As expectant and new parents, we all want a happy, secure and content baby who falls asleep easily, allowing us our much-needed rest in-between feeds and diaper changes.
However, more often than not, reality is vastly different, catching us by surprise when our baby is struggling to settle. We try everything to soothe our babies, yet hours pass and we still have a distressed baby and are no closer to finding the remedy.
Like most new parents we grab at our phones and frantically type “natural ways to soothe a crying baby”. To our relief, thousands of search results flood the screen with all sorts of advice, and the top sits the time-tested solution of swaddling.
But wait. The trouble is, are we swaddling the right way?
It looks simple enough, wrapping a swaddle blanket repeatedly around our baby until they look nicely nestled, but in our moments of searching for an instant remedy, we mustn’t forget the safety precautions to ensure a safely swaddled baby.
Swaddle Sacks Vs. Swaddle Blankets.
In order to decide how to swaddle we must first decide what we would like to swaddle with. With the increased awareness of the benefits of swaddling, we now have the choice of opting for a traditional swaddle blanket or the new swaddle sack.
In both instances, cotton should be your material of choice as it’s soft, breathable and will not irritate your baby’s delicate skin.
Whilst the swaddle blanket is versatile, it can be used as a burp cloth, a tummy time blanket, a nursing cover, a stroller cover, a changing table cover, and last but not least a swaddling blanket, it is however just a strip of cloth with a multipurpose design.
The organic cotton swaddle sack on the other hand has been created with one purpose in mind, to help your baby sleep sweetly and soundly.
It recreates the warmth and coziness of the womb and in turn helps our babies (and us) get a few extra hours sleep. With its hassle-free simple design, it is easy to use, and with its top-to-bottom-dual-zipper, we can easily move our babies from home to car seat or stroller without waking them.
Why Sleep Sacks are Safer for your Baby? Arms in Vs. Arms Out
Babies under three months should have their arms comfortably tucked into the swaddle with their hands placed over their hearts, this differs from past methods of swaddling where arms were placed at the baby’s sides.
New research has shown that the old method can ’cause joint problems and limits mobility’ therefore using a sleep sack is not only simple and handy but safe as a baby can be zipped into the sack instead of wrapped.
Babies over three months can sleep with their arms outside of the sleep sack as their startle reflex known as the Moro reflex subsides after a few months which reduces the chances of them waking themselves up.
Sleep sacks are also safer to use with babies that are beginning to roll over onto their sides and tummy. The freedom of arm and leg movement will help them to get themselves out of a roly poly situation.
Tight Vs. Loose Swaddles.
When we think of swaddling, we are overcome with traditional images of tightly swaddled babies. However, it is important to get the tightness of the swaddle right, allowing for plenty of leg room.
This is crucial to ‘allow natural movement of the legs’ and to prevent the risk of hip dysplasia which has been an issue with the traditional swaddle methods.
By incorporating a dual zipper, arm and leg openings, the SnuggleBees Zip-Up Swaddle has been professionally designed to allow for natural movement without disturbing your baby’s peaceful slumber.
Back is Best.
In order to follow safe swaddling practice, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that the baby should always be placed to sleep on their back.
The importance of this is crucial when swaddling to reduce the chances of SIDs in the first six months when its risk is highest.
Whether you chose to use a swaddle blanket or a sleep sack it is always safer to make sure your baby is put down to sleep on his back!