Are you ready for baby boot camp? Sure, you can practice, take classes and read countless books prior to birth, but when your baby is finally in your arms in the maternity ward, that’s when the real learning starts. Over the three days we spent in the hospital, the nurses taught me so much like how to bathe the baby, how to diaper the baby and—oh yes—how to swaddle the baby. This last one was new to me.
The Moro reflex causes newborn babies to get startled and feel like they’re falling. This makes them jerk their arms and legs, and that can wake them up at inopportune times. If you keep them swaddled while they’re sleeping, babies are likely to sleep deeper and better. You’ll get some basic receiving blankets from the hospital, but I never found them to be quite big enough. Luckily, there’s no shortage of other great swaddling solutions on the market!
Traditional Swaddling Blankets
The average swaddling blanket is just a large, square piece of fabric with no sophisticated engineering. I recommend that a swaddling blanket be at least 35” wide, but I prefer the 47” Aden + Anais blankets, which are made from incredibly soft cotton muslin.
I also love the Ultimate Receiving Blanket. It was invented by Lynette Damir, a Registered Nurse, who experienced firsthand the pitfalls of swaddling with a blanket that’s too small and too thick. The Ultimate Receiving Blanket is a generous 44” wide, and it is made from high-quality flannel with great designs.
Engineered Swaddling Blankets
Back when my kids were small, I took pride in my swaddling skills with a simple blanket, but especially in the early days of parenthood, many parents appreciate the ease of using something a little more engineered. Velcro, pouches and other features can simplify the process a bit, so you can get your baby bundled up quickly and back to sleep!
The SwaddleMe from Summer Infant is incredibly simple—just put the baby in the pouch, close the Velcro for a snug fit, and you’re done.
The Ergobaby Swaddler is a bit more sophisticated with arm pockets and leg pouches to keep your baby feeling secure.
The Zen Swaddle by Nested Bean is a very unique, mom-invented swaddler with a small, gentle weight sewn in to mimic a parent’s embrace!
The Easy Swaddle from Aden + Anais uses the same soft, breathable muslin as their standard blankets but with the convenience of an engineered swaddled. It reduces swaddling to a speedy four-step process, and it closes with snaps.
Finally, remember this—it’s not just your preferences that matter here but your baby’s preferences as well, so you may need to try a bunch of different swaddling products and techniques before you find the perfect solution. But if you keep at it, you can win some more restful nights for baby and for yourself too!