Most new babies are soothed by being swaddled (though we know of a few who definitely don’t care for it). Here are some important safety tips to bear in mind.
- Wrap firmly but not too tightly
- Baby’s legs and feet should be able to move freely, and bend at the hip
- Leave arms free for babies over 3 months, to allow self-soothing
- Leave baby’s head uncovered
- Don’t let baby get too hot
- If you bring baby into your bed, remove swaddling to prevent overheating
- Always place baby to sleep on his/her back
- If you are going to swaddle, safest is to do it from birth. Do not suddenly start when SIDS risk is highest (2-3 months)
- Opinion varies on when to stop but my personal view is that if baby can roll over, it’s time to think about stopping swaddling and certainly baby’s arms should be free.
There are many swaddles on the market that make the action very easy and some which allow the baby to hold his/her arms up by the head as they may prefer.
Swaddling essentially mimics the sensation of being in the womb. It is not by any means the only thing you can do to mimic the womb environment. For example:
- Skin to skin
- holding in a sling
- A warm bath
- Shhh…or white noise
- swaying and rocking (try sitting on your birth ball with babe in arms and bounce!)
- “Tiger in the tree” hold
You can probably think of more!