Having a baby – one of the most highly anticipated, thrilling and crazy times of your life where you float in a beautiful love bubble of newborn bliss!
Life with a newborn can be a full on overload of positive sensations and experiences, however, it can also be sprinkled with some very tiring moments. Or to put it bluntly - sleep deprivation - every new Mama’s nemesis. Nothing can bring a new family’s bliss crashing down faster than the heavy reality of zero sleep. Although newborns sleep a lot – they also wake a lot – alllll day and allll night long. ***Palm to face!***
One of which is the art of swaddling. Or, in other words, wrapping your tiny squish up like a little baby burrito. Swaddling has been proven to reduce crying whilst also encouraging babies to sleep for longer stretches at a time. Now, that’s got your attention, right? When I first discovered swaddling, I couldn’t get over the effect it had and the benefits it brought us as a family. It’s a fantastic way to soothe your baby's existential pains as they adjust to their new life in this big new world. The concept of swaddles were introduced hundreds of years ago as a way to mimic the snugness of the womb, making baby feel safe and protected with an extended in-utero sensation in the outer world.
Swaddling helps baby settle to sleep soundly, and for longer stretches at a time, mainly by decreasing the startle-reflex awakenings and stopping them from hurting or scratching themselves with their uncontrollable little fingers, arms and legs.
Below are four key pointers to help set you up for swaddling success. Follow these simple tips and to ensure you are swaddling your baby safely so that you can rest easy as you both get much better sleep.
Choosing the Right Swaddle
What you wrap your baby in is vitally important. Newborn skin is super delicate and ultra sensitive, so you want something natural, breathable, free from chemicals and soft to touch.
Avoid non-breathable synthetic fibres at all costs. They can be very harsh on such delicate little bodies, harbouring moisture and aggravating the skin. Instead choose a natural fibre. Two of the best fabrics to choose are Bamboo or Cotton.
Our swaddles are a generous size at 1.2m x 1.2m but they are also super stretchy meaning they will grow with your baby. The stretchy quality to them makes them perfect for mamas who are new to the technique, easy to wrap and tuck and ensuring a stay-put swaddle embrace.
Not only are our swaddles super kind to our babies skin and doubly kind to mamas, helping them get more sleep, but they are also super kind to the environment too.. As a Mother myself, I want to help protect the world my kids will grow into. That's why I have consciously created our stretchy swaddles from bamboo, the most sustainable crop in the world. Fast growing and needing no fertiliser or chemicals.
If you’re anything like me, you might be becoming just a litttlleee bit obsessed with checking your new baby’s temperature, right? It’s fine, it’s a rite of passage as a new mama to be paranoid. But your baby’s temperature is so so important. That’s another reason why it’s so vital to choose the right swaddle. The fabric must be breathable so that baby doesn’t overheat.
Swaddling with the right swaddle is super safe all year round, winter to summer. Our swaddles are made from a super-smart knitted bamboo material that is naturally thermo-regulating. They cleverly regulate your baby’s temperature so that your little one stays cool in summer and warm in winter. You can also layer up underneath during cold weather or wrap naked baby skin in more humid weather. A room temperature gauge is always very reassuring as a new mum. And remember to feel for baby’s temperature with your hand, at the back of their neck. This will give a much more true indication of their temperature than their hands or feet which are often cooler
Bamboo fabric is 40% more absorbent than even the finest cotton as it gently pulls excess moisture away from the skin without drying the skin out. It’s also one of the fastest drying materials so it won’t harbour any moisture or stay damp. This is what helps regulate temperature and keeps baby cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold.
How to Swaddle
You’re probably wondering how you even go about wrapping your precious baby up like a little burrito? Well, the key to this is having the right amount of stretch in the fabric.
We spent an endless amount of time ensuring our BellaMoon bamboo swaddles are specifically designed and woven to the exact amount of stretch needed for the perfect swaddle. (There’s four different colours, all the same stretch).
The traditional swaddling method is as follows:
- Spread the swaddle out flat, with one corner (the top) folded down (inwards)
- Lay the baby face-up on the blanket, with their head above the folded corner.
- Straighten the left arm, and wrap the left corner of the blanket over the body, tucking the blanket between the right arm and the right side of the body.
- Then tuck the right arm down and bring the bottom corner of the blanket up and over the body/right arm pulling the blanket snug behind the right side of the body.
- Finally, wrap the right corner of the blanket over your baby's body, until only a small bit of the blanket remains.Tuck any remaining blanket fabric behind the back.
Swaddle Sleep Position
It goes without saying really, but never put a swaddled baby to sleep on their front. The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) recommends that you place your baby on their back to sleep, and monitor them to be sure they don’t roll over while swaddled. Swaddling is effective up until about two to three months of age. After that, babies intentionally start to roll over in their sleep. At this stage swaddling should be discontinued, allowing their hands to be free so they can roll back over and support themselves.
So Mama, we hope this gives you all the information you need to send your little one into a blissful and long sleep whilst you get that much needed time-out to yourself.
Lots of love x