While in the womb, baby is tightly cuddled inside mum for nine months, so it's natural that they would find comfort from swaddling after birth. Swaddling is a technique that can help calm fussy or crying babies and even help them sleep longer during their first few months of life, which is something all mums need. But, there are a couple of important things to remember in order to swaddle your baby safely. Follow these important swaddling safety tips.
Always place your baby to sleep on their back.
A baby should never be placed on their stomach for sleeping, but especially not while swaddled.
Baby's cot should be bare.
Do not put any loose blankets, pillows, bumpers or stuffed animals in the bed with your baby as they can be a suffocation hazard. Baby’s cot should be bare with just a tight fitting sheet.
Avoid swaddling with a traditional blanket.
Avoid using a traditional blanket for swaddling. A traditional blanket can more easily come loose or undone when used for swaddling than a wearable blanket swaddle, like the HALO SleepSack® Swaddle. Loose blankets should be avoided as they can become a suffocation hazard.
When there are signs of rolling, it's time to stop swaddling.
Swaddling should be discontinued when your baby shows signs of rolling over or breaking free from the swaddle blanket. When this occurs, transition your baby into a HALO SleepSack® Sleeping Bag. While it varies for every baby, generally a baby should not be swaddled past 4 months.
Make sure the swaddle is securely wrapped.
To reduce the risk of the fabric accidentally covering baby’s mouth or nose, the swaddle wrap must be snug, appropriately sized, positioned around baby’s torso and securely fastened.
Some infants want to self-soothe by sucking on their fingers or touching their face. Positioning your baby’s arms across his chest or elbows bent with hands towards his face is helpful for allowing movement if your baby is unsettled with the confinement of swaddling. If your baby is fighting to be free of the swaddle blanket we suggest transitioning to swaddling with arms out or switching to a SleepSack sleeping bag.
Always select the appropriately sized swaddle for your baby.
We recommend selecting a size based on your baby’s current weight and length. It’s important that the swaddle is not too large for your baby. It should not be purchased like clothing as something that your child will grow into. Please refer to the SleepSack® swaddle and sleeping bag size chart to select the proper size for your baby.
Your baby is safest in his/her own cot or bassinet, not in your bed.
Bed-sharing can increase a child's risk of Suffocation by 5 times.
Swaddling may increase the chance your baby will overheat, so avoid letting your baby get too hot. Your baby could be too hot if you notice sweating, damp hair, flushed cheeks, heat rash, and rapid breathing. To avoid overheating, baby should be dressed in just lightweight pajamas or a bodysuit underneath the swaddle. Keep baby’s room at 20-22 degrees.
Do not tightly swaddle your baby's hips.
Your baby should be able to freely move and flex his/her legs. Look for a swaddle with a generous sack design, like the HALO® SleepSack® swaddle. It's recognised as "hip healthy" by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.
The HALO® SleepSack® swaddle makes safe swaddling easy.
The HALO SleepSack swaddle with its adjustable swaddle wrap, immobilizes baby’s arms to prevent the “Moro” or startle reflex. And, it is the original 3-way adjustable swaddle that adjusts to your baby’s sleep style. Swaddle arms in, one or both arms out to ensure baby’s best sleep and an easy and gentle transition to the SleepSack wearable blanket. Click here to learn more.