Swaddling 'How to' and Safety


- REASONS TO SWADDLE -

Existing for centuries in different cultures, swaddling is an effective tool in promoting a sound sleep and maintaining an even body temperature, while preventing baby scratching themselves or waking due to their startle or 'Moro' reflex ( a primitive reflex that is not under baby's control and causes them to throw up their arms and waking themselves )

Swaddling can be comforting as it mimics the intra-uterine ( within the uterus ) security that newborns are accustomed to and reduces over stimulation
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- WHY MUSLIN? -

Bamboo and Cotton muslin are perfect for for swaddling as they are natural fibre, lightweight and soft with a breathable weave. The gauze like texture keeps baby warmer in winter and cooler in summer compared to other fabrics which reduces the risks of overheating and chance of SIDs
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- HEALTHY HIP DEVELOPMENT -

In order to allow healthy hip development when baby is swaddled, legs should be able to bend up and out at the hips. They should NOT be wrapped so their legs are straight and unable to move. When baby's legs can move freely and lay relaxed, the hip joints can develop naturally
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- SWADDLING WHILE FEEDING -

While it can be frustrating as newborns tend to not have control over their hands, skin to skin is best when feeding (For both breastfeeding and bottle ) as it promotes bonding between mother and child while encouraging baby's natural instincts. This will help keep baby relaxed and warm as they are near your body heat and smell, the swaddle blanket can still be used to cover you both
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- TRADITIONAL SWADDLING TECHNIQUE -

Lay the swaddle on a flat surface in a diamond shape, folding the top corner down to create a straight edge ( with the point 1/2 to 2/3 of the way down ) Place baby on their back in the centre with their neck on the fold

Place the right arm down comfortably at baby's side bringing the left corner of the diamond over the body and tucking under, baby's weight will hold it in place. Place the left arm down comfortably then bring the bottom corner up over the left shoulder tucking behind baby's back or tie in a loose knot if the swaddle is larger in size. Remember it is important baby's hips and knees are relaxed in a natural 'froggy' position, not bound tightly. Bring the remaining right corner over and tuck snuggly behind baby

Remember every baby is unique, some may prefer to be swaddled with one arm or both out to self sooth, or may prefer to not be swaddled at all
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- HELPFULL TUTORIALS -

Traditional technique
https://youtu.be/aU1q8bYivM4

Variations from traditional
https://youtu.be/pYcEdhidzVY

'Aussie' or Arms up Technique
https://youtu.be/3WpaYhxSI-g
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- SAFETY -

Do not have excess fabric against baby's face and always place baby on their back, placing on their side or tummy increases the chance of SIDs. Baby should sleep on a firm surface with no loose blankets or fabric and no pillows or toys surrounding them, this reduces the chance of suffocation and promotes air circulation

Baby should be wrapped snug (a loose swaddle will be ineffective and a possible suffocation concern) but not so tight to restrict breathing, you should be able to slide your hand between the swaddle and baby's chest

Babies are not yet capable of regulating their own temperature and should be kept not to hot or to cold. Treat the swaddle as another layer of clothing with baby dressed accordingly, do not use a hat while swaddled. A sweaty head and neck are signs of baby being to hot. Parents should always check by touching to ensure baby is kept comfortable.

Do not keep baby swaddled all day but use it as a tool to relax and create a before sleep routine, they still need time to move freely and develop gross motor skills as they grow
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- WHEN TO STOP SWADDLING -

*Once baby begins to roll it is advised to stop swaddling or change to arms out

Babies will reject swaddling at different ages and will generally let you know when they have had enough by making a fuss or wriggling out, commonly when they begin to want to move more while sleeping, always listen to your own baby as you know them best.
This could be a good time to try another swaddle technique i.e arm out or the 'Australian' technique where they are swaddled completely but arms are up beside the face.