21 Dec Swaddling- Baby Calming Techniques
When welcoming a newborn, a child into the world, the primary focus of most parents is to make sure their baby is healthy, happy and protected. Parents want to comfort their child in any way that they can, which is why for decades so many parents have turned to swaddling to help their baby sleep and feel more comfortable.
There are so many reasons to swaddle your baby, whether it is because your baby isn’t sleeping well, they need to be held all the time, they are being woken up by their flailing hands or if they are struggling to stay calm. If you have struggled with swaddling, it is important to consider that it may not be your baby that is the problem, but the swaddling technique that you are using.
There are seven main types of swaddling techniques, each meant for different situations. Understanding now only how to use these techniques but when can help your baby feel a sense of calm and comfort as they adjust to the new world around them.
Feeding Cues Swaddle
Age: 1-2 weeks
The feeding cues swaddle is a great technique for babies who are still learning to breastfeed and when parents need a short break between feedings or from skin-to-skin care. You can use a hospital blanket or larger swaddle blanket for this technique.
Hands Up Swaddle
Age: 1-4 weeks
This is a great technique for babies who still prefer being curled up with their hands by their face. This swaddle can be used for babies who scratch their face and who may not normally like their swaddle. You can use a thin flannel blanket in colder seasons or a bamboo blanket in warm seasons for this swaddle.
Bat Wings Swaddle
Age: 2-6 weeks
This is a great swaddling approach for babies who like having their hands on their chest or who may normally squirm out of their swaddles. If your baby needs swaddling to soothe them to sleep, this is a great technique to try. Use a Velcro wrap over a receiving blanket for this approach.
Age: 6-12 weeks
This is the perfect swaddle for babies who get out of everything, but who do better when they are swaddled. This is a problem-solving swaddle for fussier babies and can be done with a Velcro wrap over a receiving blanket.
Arms Only Swaddle
Age: 3-4 Months
If you live in a hot climate where swaddling may overheat your baby, then the arms only swaddle is a great option. It is also an effective technique for babies who like to kick or prefer having more leg mobility. A thin, muslin or bamboo blanket works great with this technique.
Age: 3-4 Months
If your baby is old enough to have their arms in an arms down position, then this is a great swaddle option to consider. It gives babies a lot of leg movement and can be done with a large rectangular, or square blanket or a Velcro wrap.
Age: Prior to 40 weeks gestation
If you have a premature baby who needs a break from skin-to-skin contact, this is an approach to consider. It can be done with a Velcro wrap and a receiving blanket, or two layers of blankets. This technique can help premature babies keep their body temperature up and adjust to life after NICU.
Swaddling is a great tool for any parent to use, especially if they understand these seven primary techniques. If you ever have any questions about swaddling, how to do it or when to use this technique make sure to ask your pediatrician for more information.