We are currently swaddling our newborn baby girl for when she goes to sleep. She seems to sleep much better and for longer.

There seems to be a lot of conflicting opinions on Swaddling. In Hospital all the Midwifes would swaddle the babies but our health vistor (UK) has told us that they don't recommend it due to the risk of overheating.

I've also read a lot of conflicting opinions regarding SIDS and swaddling.

Whats your opinions on it? did you find it help your baby sleep better? At what age did you stop?

Thanks

asked 22 Oct '09, 13:12

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edited 14 Dec '09, 01:56

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We swaddled both our girls for the first 3-4 months. We stopped when we started implementing sleep routines and encouraging them to self-soothe. I never noticed any detrimental effects, short or long term. Both of my children have perfect use and function of their arms, etc. If you have a baby who is very wiggly when they sleep, the swaddle prevents them from waking themselves up with their arms. It worked wonders for us. If you're concerned about overheating, you can use a very thin, breathable cotton and dress them lightly.

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answered 22 Oct '09, 13:36

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erin
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Our daughter would not sleep unless she was swaddled. Until she had control of her arms she would often inadvertantly smack herself in the head and wake herself up. She was swaddled until she was about 5 months old. The nurses in the hospital taught us to swaddle her and they simply told us keep the blanket at shoulder level.

As for overheating, we live in Canada and she was born in September when it starts to get cold so she was swaddled in the fall/winter months. We also used a lighter blanket and made sure the room wasn't too warm.

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answered 22 Oct '09, 20:01

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Tammy ♦♦
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Have you read The Happiest Baby on the Block? There is a lot of great information about swaddling in that.

We swaddled my son until he was about 6 months old, and our daughter for the first month or two. He really needed it to sleep while she didn't.

Two pointers from HBOTB (that I found were accurate) were to make sure you swaddle very tightly. This reduces chances of the the swaddle coming undone and being loose around the baby (loose blankets are a SIDS risk). To ease your fears about overheating just make sure that if babe becomes at all sweaty around the neck or face that you take off a layer of clothing or remove the swaddle. With my daughter (born in March) we generally swaddled in a diaper only.

Aden and Anais is a popular brand of large muslin swaddle blankets from Australia that you might be interested in- they are lightweight and meant for warmer climates, they keep babe warm but are breathable.

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answered 22 Oct '09, 20:28

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I forgot to add that even if you wrap tightly babies will be able to loosen the swaddle up some and move their limbs a bit. According to HBOTB it is meant to approximate the restrictions of the womb.

(22 Oct '09, 22:12) Tanisha

I did it for the first week they were born then it scared me too much. My kids move around a LOT so I was afraid they'd wiggle themselves out and suffocate. Our DR. doesn't like swaddling but they do it in the hospital.

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answered 22 Oct '09, 13:32

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Mommy trial and error
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The advise I read is good. Non of my babies were swaddled for longer than bout a week at longest ... but we slept them on their stomachs (I'm grandma now). But with SIDS & sleep them on their back ... hitting themselves awake is a problem. My oldest son at about a week or so old cried one day .. i tried everything .. nothing worked ... in frustration & took the swaddle off him to let him 'howl' cause I couldn't figure out what he wanted ... THAT was what he wanted ... he was happy then & I never swaddled him again .. other babies LIKE it longer. Each baby tends to be unique ... go with what seems to work best for YOUR baby & you.

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answered 22 Oct '09, 21:55

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Pearl M
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We sure did it, it really helped, our son just seemed so much more comfortable and relaxed when swaddled. Google "miracle blanket"!

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answered 22 Oct '09, 22:06

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I have heard the miracle blanket is amazing. I am definately getting one next time.

(23 Oct '09, 00:19) Tammy ♦♦
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Also, miracle blankets make great baby shower presents. It's super useful, yet not something many people already know about.

(23 Oct '09, 18:06) lgritz

@Igritz, you should add it to the baby shower gift question if you haven't already.

(24 Oct '09, 00:53) Tammy ♦♦

We swaddled our daughter for 6 weeks like the hospital taught us, but found that no matter how well we wrapped her, she'd always manage to wriggle her way out. Once I checked on her and she'd got herself out so much that the swaddle was up near her face and covering her nose - I was mortified, and needless to say, that was the end of the swaddle for her.

She now sleeps in baby sleeping bags, but we also had to move her out of her bassinette at the same time as she likes to sleep with her arms stretched out and in the bassinette, she would flay her arms about and wake herself up whacking the sides of the bassinette.

We also found that she grunts and groans less now in her sleeping bags and as she sleeps in our room, makes for a better sleep for all of us!

Swaddling is great for babies who like it - it prevents their startle reflex from waking them up and also mimics the snuggly confines of the womb. If you're worried about overheating, make sure you always use muslin for breathability and check the back of your babe's neck whilst sleeping to make sure they are warm but not sweaty.

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answered 22 Oct '09, 23:06

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Lin
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We completely swaddled our boys for the first week until we were told by the hospital that we should not be wrapped their arms as it could be a factor leading to SIDS due to overheating, or not able to use their arms. We were told that the first few days after an infant is born, they love to be swaddled tight to recreate the feeling in the womb, but after that they are starting to adjust to the world and are exploring moving their hands and faces and enjoy being able to stretch out their limbs.

After we were told not to swaddle, we just began wrapping them in blankets, just under their armpits, so they were still nice and tight and warm, but they had use of their arms and could stretch out their legs. They still slept just as soundly as if they were completely swaddled.

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answered 22 Oct '09, 14:05

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Asked: 22 Oct '09, 13:12

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Last updated: 14 Dec '09, 01:56