Picture this…you’re in a cozy, warm, dimly lit cocoon. The walls hold you in a firm embrace and it’s relatively quiet in there, with no loud noises except the comforting thump of a human heartbeat. And then…BAM! You’re thrust into the chaos of the world. When you think of a baby’s journey from a soothing, embracing comfy place to the great outdoors (so to speak), it’s no surprise that many newborns find comfort in being cuddled, swaddled or wrapped when they sleep.
Why do we need to swaddle?
Chances are, when you were in the hospital with your newborn, a nurse showed you how to wrap or swaddle (the term is interchangeable) your baby to help them settle and sleep on their back. Wondering why we’re advised to wrap newborns and put them to sleep on their back?
Current evidence suggests that it is safest for babies to sleep on their backs until they show signs of being able to roll, in order to avoid Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI). Wrapping babies and placing them on their back provides stability and helps to keep babies in the recommended sleep position. It’s very important to note that as soon as your baby shows signs of being able to roll, stop swaddling and move to a sleeping bag where the baby is able to move their arms and legs freely. Also, you must not swaddle your baby if you’ve opted to co-sleep.
What to look for in a swaddle
There is little evidence to indicate that there is a specific product on the market that is safest for baby. You could choose a basic muslin wrap or a sleep suit such as a Love to Dream swaddle, where the baby’s arms are able to be up by their heads and they can put their hands in their mouth to self-soothe. What we do know though is whatever wrap you buy should be made of lightweight fabrics like muslin or cotton to avoid overheating.
How to swaddle
From birth you may opt to wrap your baby with their arms included to avoid the startle reflex disturbing their sleep. Then from around two or three months, once the Moro reflex subsides you can release either one or both arms to allow self soothing.
1. Lay out flat a lightweight cotton or muslin wrap, then fold the top edge down by about 20 cm and place your baby with their shoulders in line with the fold
2. Tuck one of your baby’s hands under the fold
3. Bring the edge of the wrap across the body and secure it by tucking it under your baby’s legs
4. Tuck the other hand under the fold
5. Bring the other edge of the wrap across your baby’s body and tuck it in under their back
6. Fold any extra length up and under your baby’s legs
Raising Children has a good visual guide for how to wrap your baby.
Our pick for great swaddles and wraps
Feroza Designs Swaddle Wraps
Feroza Designs swaddles are made from beautifully soft 100% cotton voile. They’re super light and perfect for Singapore’s hot weather. Not only do we love the delicious softness of Feroza Designs’ swaddles, but they also come in pretty muted colours like lemon, rose and aqua with splashes of soft grey.
Priced from $85 (4 swaddles packaged in a cute muslin drawstring pouch), available at Feroza Designs.
Kalila Organics Muslin Swaddle
Made from 100% organic muslin cotton, Kalila Organics has nailed the minimalist, gender-neutral look with its swaddle selection. From adorable manatees, beach scenes and paddle boarders, we’re totally digging these organic wraps. They also come in handy as nursing covers and blankets for tummy time.
Priced from $34.90, available at Kalila Organics.
Le Petit Society Organic Muslin Swaddle
Another brand totally nailing the cool, gender neutral designs is Le Petit Society. With gorgeous prints including sea turtles, rainbows, blackberries, sailing ships and strawberries, these 100% cotton organic muslin wraps are super soft and lightweight. These swaddles come packed in a sweet muslin drawstring bag, or in a themed set of three.
Priced from $23.80, available at Le Petit Society.
Love to Dream Swaddle UP Original
If your bub is keen to sleep with their hands up by their head, these Love to Dream swaddles are perfect. Baby can also reach their hands to mouth for self soothing. They’re super easy to put on and unlike wraps, tiny tots are unable to get cheeky hands loose and wake himself up. We also love that the mid-sleep nappy change is made easier, with a two-way zip allowing access to the bottom half.
Our favourite sleeping bags
Once your baby is getting ready to roll, you’ll need to stop swaddling and pop them into a sleeping bag so they can move around unrestricted. It’s important to choose a sleeping bag that is the right size for your baby’s weight, with fitted neck and armholes. Sleeping bags can help reduce the risk of bedding covering your baby’s head and the potential for suffocation. They also reduce the need for additional bedding, keeping the sleep area free of suffocation risks (it’s also a no to soft toys, cot bumpers and heavy blankets).
Aden + Anais Sleeping Bag
Do they make these in adult sizes? Made from super bamboo muslin, these sleeping bags are lightweight, breezy and allow babies to move around unrestricted. We also love the 2-way zipper for quick nappy changes.
Priced from $78, available at Mothercare.
Gro Bag Baby Sleep Bag
The designers of Gro Bags have thought of everything. These sleeping bags come in various thicknesses, depending on your climate and they’ve got 100% cotton outers with super soft jersey lining. Gro Bags even have two-way zippers to fit a five-point harness, so you can clip bub safely into their carseat without removing the sleeping bag.
Bonds Sleep Bags
We love the vibrant, gender-neutral prints of the Bonds sleep bags. They come in both winter and summer weights, with two-way safety zips. And these snuggly beauties are also a relatively affordable option when it comes to sleeping bags for babies. Bonds offers free shipping to Singapore for orders over $100.
Priced from around $30, available from Bonds Australia.
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