Thought it’s maybe a good time to talk about newborns and swaddling as it will benefit many new mums out there… I’ve also found out that many of my friends welcomed a new bub recently, exciting times ahead!
For new mums, the first few weeks can be joyous and exciting, but it’s also normal to feel overwhelmed and anxious as the weeks pass. If you’re like me, then no amount of information will be too much, especially as you’re adapting to this new phase in life and trying to be the best momma you can be to your child.
Swaddling is an excellent tool for comforting a newborn as it mimics the feeling of confinement they experienced in the womb. Swaddling is very much encouraged during the early months as you’ll probably notice that your baby startles a lot while they’re sleeping, and this may cause unnecessary wake ups. Newborns will still need some help with falling asleep before their circadian rhythm, ie. biological clock matures (normally at around 12 weeks old); and swaddling may just be the right tool to help your baby sleep better.
However, keep an eye out if you’ve been swaddling your baby too tightly especially in hot tropical climates like Malaysia, if you notice your baby sweating under the swaddle, then perhaps you’ve wrapped him too tightly or the swaddle is too thick. If not done properly, this can lead to SIDS.
Somewhere around the 2nd month, you’ll notice that your baby may not like the idea of being tightly wrapped anymore, they become experimental with their movements, kicking and stretching their arms out from it. That’s when you can gradually release one arm at a time and see how they respond, and by the 3rd month, you should be working your way out of it. Going swaddling free during bedtime is a great place to start experimenting with no swaddle as it tends to be the easiest time of the day to get a child to fall asleep.
So when does swaddling become a prop?
You’ll notice that swaddling may become a prop if you have to constantly intervene somewhere in the night or nap to get them wrapped up again… and you definitely do not want to be doing that with 5 sewn together swaddles just so that it’s big enough to wrap a 8 month old baby! You can see how problematic that is, so do transition your baby out of that swaddle before 6 months.
However, if you notice that your child loves the idea of security, then I would recommend something like a sleep sack or this new thing that I came across lately called the COSI bedsheet, where baby’s arms are out and it’s safe for them to move around with it.
No matter what you do, just take note of these AAP Safe Sleep Recommendations when placing your newborn to sleep during naps and bedtime:
- Place your baby on her back to sleep, and monitor her to be sure she doesn’t roll over while swaddled.
- Do not have any loose blankets in your baby’s cot. A loose blanket, including a swaddling blanket that comes unwrapped, could cover your baby’s face and increase the risk of suffocation.
- Keep your baby’s cot free of bumper pads, soft bedding, wedges, toys, pillows and positioners.
- Your baby is safest in her own cot or bassinet, not in your bed.
- Swaddling can increase the chance your baby will overheat, so avoid letting your baby get too hot. The baby could be too hot if you notice sweating, damp hair, flushed cheeks, heat rash, and rapid breathing.
Note: COSI bedsheet can also be purchased from Babydash.com.my here.