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Your newborn needs a lot of sleep. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, infants should be sleeping between 10 to 18 hours per day. New parents looking for ways to calm a fussy baby and help lull their little one to sleep should consider using swaddles. Swaddling is a truly effective and timeless technique of snuggly wrapping the baby in a soft breathable blanket to mimic the safe feeling of being in the womb, which helps soothe and encourages restful sleep. “For nine months newborns have been in tight quarters,” explains Gina Posner, MD, a pediatrician at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley. “Once out in the real world, they have a startle reflex which sometimes will wake them up while they are sleeping. The swaddle helps keep them from startling themselves awake.”
Best Swaddles And Sleep Sacks For Newborns:
- Itzy Ritzy Cutie Cocoon And Hat Set
- SNOO Sack
- Happiest baby Sleepea 5-Second Swaddle By Dr. Harvey Karp
- HALO SleepSack 100% Cotton Swaddle Wrap
- Cloud Island Floral Muslin Swaddle Blankets
- Aenne Baby Muslin Baby Swaddle Blanket With Dinosaur Dino Print
- Aden By Aden + Anais Easy Safari Babes Swaddle Size Large
- Love To Dream Swaddle UP
- Mother's Lap Classic Swaddle Baby Blankets
- LifeTree Muslin Feather Print Bamboo Cotton Swaddle Wrap
- Little Unicorn Cotton Muslin Blanket
- Hudson baby Muslin Swaddle Blankets
- Uncommon Goods Burrito Baby Wrap
“Swaddling reduces fussing and improves sleep,” adds Dr. Harvey Karp, author of The Happiest Baby on the Block. “It is an amazing and empowering tool—there’s nothing more overwhelming for a new parent than feeling unable to help a screaming baby.” Swaddling is also a great way to ensure that babies remain asleep on their backs. “With the Back to Sleep program promoted by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), swaddling ensures that a young baby cannot, in fact, roll over onto their front,” says Robert C. Hamilton, MD, pediatrician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California and author of 7 Secrets of the Newborn. “Thus, there is a protective effect in swaddling as well.”
Be sure to loosen up just a little when swaddling to allow your baby to have some movement in their hips and legs to avoid hip dysplasia. However, swaddles should stay neatly tucked in place. It is advisable to stop swaddling once the baby begins to roll or starts to squirm out of the swaddle as loose blankets are dangerous to newborns. “Swaddles are effective for the first 3 to 4 months,” advises Dr. Hamilton. “After this, the child is more robust and more difficult to get into a swaddle. Also, I find that the constricting effect, that works so well when they are young, doesn’t seem to have the same value.” Sleep blankets are ideal for helping babies transition from swaddling when they are old enough or ready for more range of motion while sleeping. Adds: Dr. Karp, “Since swaddling reminds babies of their happy life in the womb and since—after birth—babies need a fourth trimester of extra womb-like soothing, it makes sense that by around 4 months, most babies are ready to be swaddled with one arm out, to see how they do. And, if that goes well, it’s time to eliminate the swaddling altogether and celebrate your baby’s graduation!”
Whether you are tucking your babe in for a nap or wrapping up for bedtime, we’ve uncovered a variety of comfy, cozy swaddle blankets and sleep sacks to help your babe swiftly drift off to dreamland—which means a little extra shut-eye for mom and dad!
Swaddle blanket: Lightweight, cotton blanket wrapped securely around the baby to simulate the security of the womb.
Swaddle suit: A wearable blanket that provides more mobility for babies, allowing them to move their legs and arms without constriction while still giving warmth and comfort for better sleep.
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