Ok, let’s talk about swaddling. I had NO idea it was so controversial until I posted a reel on instagram demonstrating Dr. Harvey Karps’s “5 S’s of Soothing a Baby”. You can see it here. In the comment section I was berated, in multiple languages mind you, about how horrible I was for swaddling my baby. HUH!?
So, while I fully believe in swaddling a newborn for soothing and sleep- I’m here to say, if its not for you, that’s fine! I’m a huge supporter of “if it works for you, keep doing it”. There is no right way to raise a baby or child. I’m here to support you and meet you where you are. With all that being said, my job is to give you the facts- and the fact is, swaddling has been proven to soothe a newborn baby. It mimics the tight hug sensation of the womb, and calms their nervous system.
Now, obviously we aren’t keeping the baby swaddled all day every day. This tool is used for sleep and when baby may be over stimulated (aka the witching hour). During the other hours of the day when baby is awake we offer things like tummy time to develop their motor skills. I recently posted a video of how to properly swaddle a baby on my instagram page, but here are the non negotiables in safely swaddling a baby:
- Tightness– we want it tight, but not too tight. Make sure you can fit two fingers under the material wrapped across their chest. We also want their legs and hips to be loose to prevent hip dysplasia, so focus mainly on wrapping their arms down.
- Breathability– make sure they aren’t getting over heated. I only use cotton swaddles for this reason. Also, make sure there is good airflow in the room they are sleeping in by using a ceiling or box fan.
- Age– swaddling is for newborns only. If the baby is 3 months, or starting to roll, it’s time to stop swaddling.
Have any questions about swaddling? Send me a message! I teach all this and more in my Newborn Sleep Foundations package.
You’ve got this!
happy as a clam in the famous double swaddle!