There’s arguably nothing cuter than a newborn baby. Except a dad holding a newborn baby. And something all mother’s can agree on, Dad’s make the best swaddlers.
But even the greatest Dads in the world sometimes need a little lesson on smothering your baby with love the safest way possible.
Here are 5 things to keep in mind while making sure your newborn gets a great night’s rest.
1. Clear The Crib
You know all those adorable baby toys that you received before your bub was born? Forget them, they don’t become important until about the 9 month mark. And honestly, even then they end up just being glorified decoration as your little one decides on a favourite and ignores the rest.
The point is, you need to clear all of them away for the first few months because ensuring your baby’s bed is nice and bare is essential to safe and happy swaddling.
2. Use A Nice Large Soft Wrap (Not A Traditional Blanket)
Google ‘swaddles’ and you’ll come up with over 13 million results, so it’s pretty easy to get your hands on something just right. Basically it’s a soft and often slightly stretchy material than you can handle easily. Here’s a good one to get you started.
From there you lie your little one into the middle of the square (off centre), head over the top of the wrap, then level with shoulders. Take the right side of your swaddle and swap it around your bubs arm and then bring the arm over the front and tuck underneath the baby. Do the same with the left side and there you have it, a cute little baby cigar.
Using a traditional blanket is just going to cause headaches for you and bub. They might overheat (not good), they’ll wake up (not good for either of you) and even worse they might smother themselves with the heavy fabric (definitely not good).
Swaddles are specifically designed for maximum ease for parents and awesome comfort and breathability for babies.
Monogrammed luxury Egyptian towel from Sheridan.
3. Don’t Swaddle Too Tight
It’s safe to say that you love your bub a LOT and so the temptation is there to wrap him or her up like a tighter-than-tight burrito of love.
But you actually want to make sure they still have a bit of wriggle room because a tight swaddle can sometimes lead to infant hip dysplasia. Babies have taut muscles from sitting in the womb cross-legged for all that time, so they need a few months to learn how to stretch out fully. A too-tight swaddle can force hips to move out of the socket, preventing proper development.
We know you’re thinking “great, another thing to add to my ever-growing list of parental anxieties” but fear not, simply ensuring that your baby can move their legs freely will ensure a restful night’s sleep for both of you.
4. Always Place Your Baby On His Or Her Back While Swaddled
A swaddle is basically a really soft baby straight-jacket. Something that would drive an adult nuts, but is 100% comforting and soothing to a mini-human.
As you can imagine, you can’t really do much in a swaddle except stare at the ceiling and feel all cosy. For that reason, ALWAYS lie your baby on his or her back while swaddled to prevent them rolling over and covering their face.
At this point your little bub can’t wriggle out of a smothered position so it’s very important to keep them happy and face up (sorry, yet another thing to angst over).
5. Speaking Of Rolling…
Once that rock n’ roll party starts it’s time to say goodbye to the swaddle and hello to blankets or a nice secure sleep bag. Congrats! You’ve gotten through swaddling season and you and bub are most likely starting to get longer stretches of sleep.
The bad news? You’ve got teenager-dom to look forward too…
Sheridan monogrammed baby towel.
Need more visuals? Here’s a how to from our friends at Sheridan…
Produced in collab with the swaddle experts at Sheridan.