Doulas Northwest | The Right Swaddle: Helping Babies And Parents Get More Rest
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25 Jun The Right Swaddle: Helping Babies And Parents Get More Rest


Swaddling in some form has been around forever and the skillful wrapping of your newborn can have incredible benefits. Plus: it’s adorable!

But how can it help you and your babies get more rest??

It’s partly about getting comfortable, and partly about being able to stay comfortable.


Soothe & Settle In

When you and your baby are tired, even over tired, it’s normal for everyone to feel fussy and more on edge. It’s more likely that you and/or baby will become irritated more easily, and also more likely that it might feel harder to quickly feel soothed.

For your newborn, being fed and dry is one step to soothing and comfort. For most babies, their ability to settle in and relax into rest will increase dramatically if they are then wrapped snugly in a way that reminds them of the tight, curled up environment they’ve recently been born out of.

For them, feeling this comfort can lead to less crying and an easier time falling asleep. Especially for newborns less than 8 weeks or so.

For you as the new parent, witnessing your child relax into rest can help you also relax into rest, knowing that their physical and comfort needs are being met.

Resource tip for our book reading parents: Dr. Harvey Karp lists swaddling as one of the key ingredients to what he calls the “5 Ss” in his book Happiest Baby On The Block. Something many of the families we work with, love.


Reducing Risks & Increasing Peace Of Mind

When a baby is swaddled without loose fabric (especially around their face) and placed on on their back on what the American Academy of Pediatrics defines as a safe sleep surface, a reduced risk of SIDS is supported.

Parents, I know how important it is to consider safety when laying your baby down to sleep! Sleep better yourselves, when your peace of mind is increased. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve helped new parents talk through their worry about letting themselves go to sleep, while their baby is sleeping.

*Swaddling keeps your baby warm and removes the need for extra blankets or other padding in a bassinet or crib.

*To effectively continue to support the reduction in SIDS risk while swaddling, it is recommended to transition into an arms out swaddle technique by 8 weeks of age or as soon as baby starts trying to roll over.


How about more sleep?

This is for you too, parents! The longer a baby is comfortable and sleeping, the more zzzz’s for you. Swaddled babies wake less often and often get better REM sleep. Better sleep for baby can lead to less fussiness, and has a positive effect on growth & development.

And if baby is getting better quality sleep, you can too.

Many families choose to swaddle with lightweight, square swaddle blankets like the ones by Aden And Anais.  We find others swear by swaddlers tailored to form a snug fit, like these, from Love To Dream. Either way, feel free to be entertained by our videos on YouTube, where Kristyn demonstrates several of her favorite swaddle variations.


If hands learning something you’d love, let us know! Our Postpartum & Infant Care Doulas can teach you in the comfort of your home, and you’ll be able to master the perfect swaddle for your baby as we stand by your side. How does that sound?


Seattle | Tacoma | JBLM | Olympia



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