Don't babies who are swaddled up look super cute wrapped up in their blanket, sleeping soundly? Swaddling has been around for a long time and has remained popular for a reason. For the uninitiated, swaddling is the practice of wrapping your baby's body in a light and breathable blanket, leaving only their neck and head exposed to help them sleep.
Now, you may be wondering, what's so good about swaddling, and should you swaddle your newborn too? That is ultimately your decision to make, but the benefits of swaddling is undeniable. Swaddling your little one can help settle and calm down your baby, often encouraging deeper sleep for longer hours. This is because swaddling protects babies against their natural startle reflex, which also prevents them from scratching themselves on accident. Swaddling also helps eliminate anxiety in baby as it imitates your touch, making them feel snuggled, safe and comfortable at night. Comfort and safety for your baby aside, longer sleep hours for your baby also means more rest for yourself as well!
If you are tempted to try swaddling now, but unsure how to start or are intimidated by the seemingly complicated wrapping that is involved, fear not! There are two type of swaddles, the traditional cloth type and more recently invented, the zip-up swaddles. Zip-up swaddles are perfect for parents who may not be as proficient in wrapping up your little one. This way, your little one can also be snug and safe in his/her little sleep bag!
However, swaddling is not without risks. As swaddling keeps the legs straight and together for a long period, it may increase the risk of conditions such as hip dysplasia. This is why it is important to ensure your swaddle has enough space for your baby to bend upwards and outwards for developing the hip joints. This does not mean that there are no solutions to this. The designs of swaddles have evolved and now there exist swaddles that are specially designed to allow natural hip-healthy leg positions, and approved by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, such as our Tommee Tippee
When then, should you stop swaddling? As soon as you notice your baby starts to roll over, you should stop swaddling. This is usually between 2-4 months old. You can reuse your swaddles as burp cloths, playmats and more! Read more about how to utilise your old swaddles here. Hopefully this clarifies swaddling doubts you may have and we are excited for you to embark on your swaddling journey!