Swaddling is a traditional and widespread practice among many different cultures. Why do you use a cotton blanket, such as a muslin blanket? And how do you practise safe swaddling so that your baby is both comfortable and secure? Read on.
What are the benefits of swaddling?
Swaddling reassures a baby.
It induces sleep.
It soothes colic.
What’s its secret?
A baby has just come out of their mum’s womb, where they were warm, protected, inside a snug environment. This new world seems huge to them, full of light and stimulation which they struggle to cope with.
Swaddling helps infants regain that sense of containment they were used to inside the womb, reassuring them and making them feel protected again.
Swaddling a newborn is a widespread practice as it helps to aid their sleep, especially if your baby is fussy or crying.
It also suppresses the Moro reflex which causes babies to wake up suddenly while asleep and helps keep colic at bay thanks to the warmth they feel when snug inside a swaddle wrap.
How to swaddle with a blanket – a step-by-step guide for newborns
What do you need to swaddle your newborn? A soft, lightweight, thin blanket. Even better if the blanket is made of cotton, an organic and breathable fabric, which respects a young baby’s delicate skin. It should be at least 1 meter by 1 meter in size.
Before you begin, a few guidelines to remember:
- Baby's face and neck should stay outside of the swaddling wrap
- The swaddling blanket should not be too tight; your baby should feel a sense of containment but also be comfortable
- Baby should have enough room to stretch out and flex their legs
Here's how to swaddle an infant, step-by-step:
- Lay your muslin swaddle blanket on a flat surface to form a rhombus shape, with the bottom point facing towards you. Now fold the top corner in on itself so that the blanket is shaped like a diamond.
- Place your baby on top of the large muslin swaddle blanket, baby’s neck should be positioned on the top fold.
- Gently place your baby's right arm against their side, or across their belly, as you hold your infant still. Take the right side of the muslin swaddle cloth and wrap it around your baby's body, folding it underneath their back. The cotton muslin blanket should be tight enough to keep their arm positioned at their side.
- Repeat with their left arm and the left side of the blanket. At this point you should have a V-shaped swaddle wrap across your baby's chest.
- Take the bottom end of the blanket and fold it upwards, tucking it underneath your baby's legs and back. Alternatively, you can fold the bottom end of the sheet upwards, up to the height of your baby's chest, and then take hold of the left end, stretch it out to the right, and tuck it underneath your baby's back.
When to stop swaddling?
The technique of containment, or swaddling, is especially recommended during a newborn’s first weeks of life, starting from those first few days following the birth.
This is the time when babies need to feel cuddled and protected, as this is their first experience of being in a spacious environment, which is much bigger than the world they were used to inside mummy’s tummy.
Generally speaking, swaddling a baby isn’t advised from their third month of life onwards, when babies have an increased awareness of space and their environment and, consequently, are less afraid. Also, it is important, at this stage, to let an infant experiment and develop movement coordination.
Koala cotton muslin swaddle blankets are perfect for swaddling your newborn.
Koala Soft Touch 120x120 are an absolute newborn essential for all resourceful parents: swaddling your baby in the soft embrace of Koala newborn swaddle blankets will help you manage every little crisis which arises.
Your baby will feel just as safe and secure as when they were inside mummy's tummy and will fall asleep peacefully.
Made of 100 percent GOTS-certified organic cotton, they stay super soft wash after wash for maximum comfort at all times.
When you're away from home, you can use Koala 120x120 muslin newborn blankets as a nursing cover to create an intimate, private environment wherever you are. Just use the special strap provided and tie it around your neck and then wrap the extra large muslin blanket around you and your baby!
Did you know Koala Soft Touch muslin squares come in two other sizes? The 30x30 size muslin squares are perfect for use as a bib, a baby burp cloth, or a dribble bib for teething, while the 80x80 size muslin squares can be used as baby blankets, a towel, a changing mat cover or as a baby comforter.