Parents often use swaddling as a way to calm or pacify their baby. Many parents make common swaddling mistakes, here are some tips on how to avoid them.
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Parents often use swaddling as a way to calm or pacify their baby. This is an approach that involves wrapping a baby, from the neck downwards, in a thin blanket or cloth. However, you need to ensure you do this properly if it is to be effective and, of course, safe. With that being said, many parents make common swaddling mistakes. Check out these common swaddling mistakes and tips on how to avoid them.
It’s Okay to Use a Premade Swaddle
Yes, some parents have no trouble using a thin blanket to swaddle their baby, but others struggle, and so a premade swaddle blanket is a great solution. There is no shame in using one! You should always go for whatever is going to make you and your baby feel the most comfortable. There are so many options out there today, including swaddle blankets that contain Velcro to give you a bit of extra security.
Not Having a Swaddle Transition Plan
Knowing when to stop swaddling can be difficult, but for most babies, this will be around the age of three to four months old. There are a few signs that your baby is ready to stop swaddling. This includes fighting the swaddle, growing too strong to stay swaddled, and an increase in activity. You need to have a transition plan, though, for this. Start by swaddling with the arms free and then transition into a wearable blanket.
Don’t Swaddle Too Tight
Yes, you need to provide your baby with security, but this doesn’t mean you need to wrap them tightly. They need to be able to move their hips while being secure and snug at the same time.
Swaddling a Baby with Bent Arms
This is another error that parents often make when swaddling. If your baby has bent arms, this means that they are going to be able to get out of the blanket quicker. To make them more secure, you need to make sure that their arms are straight. It will help them to sleep better.
Don’t Use a Swaddle as Punishment
While swaddling is designed to calm your baby down. It is not designed to be used as a punishment. You should not simple swaddle your baby because he or she is crying. They are probably crying because they need something. If you use swaddling to simply attempt to quiet your baby, soon the swaddle will become arch enemy number one, and you will have a huge struggle on your hands.
Don’t Swaddle After Your Baby Begins to Roll
Once your baby’s mobility improves and they are now able to start rolling on their tummy, you need to stop swaddling. This is because it is going to be much less comfortable if they are able to move around in their sleep. Not only this, but there are dangers associated with swaddling once your child can start rolling around. This is due to the fact that they may end up in a position whereby they are not able to breathe very well.
Don’t Overheat Your Baby
Of course, you would never want to intentionally overheat your little one, but getting the temperature right can be very challenging when you are swaddling. The best thing to do is always make sure you use a blanket or cloth that is made from a thin and breathable material. You should also check on your baby regularly to make sure that they are not shivering or sweating. After all, swaddling is simply designed to make your baby feel secure – it is not about keeping your newborn warm.
Never Cover Your Baby’s Face
Last but not least, this should, hopefully, seem like common sense to most people that are reading this. However, it is vital to point it out. You should never, under any circumstances, cover your baby’s face with the swaddle; even if they are cold or you have any other reason for thinking this would be a good idea. Your baby can suffocate with things on their face. This is dangerous!
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding some of the most common swaddling mistakes that parents make when swaddling a baby. Avoiding these common swaddling mistakes can help you and your baby have a better night’s sleep!
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Michele is a Family Life Educator. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!