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Keep your baby warm and cozy in a swaddle blanket
What is a swaddle blanket?
A swaddle blanket helps makes the transition to the world easier for baby, especially during naps and sleep time, by wrapping him or her up snugly inside a blanket. This can help baby feel more settled, calm them, keep them warm and cozy, and improve sleep quality.
Swaddle blankets come in different shapes and sizes, from square blankets or swaddle wraps that wrap around a baby to swaddle suits with closures and openings for easier swaddling.
They are typically made of material like cotton, muslin, flannel, organic cotton, or bamboo, and come in a variety of designs, from solid colours to patterns with animals, stars, or florals to match your nursery theme.
What types of swaddle blankets are there?
As noted, there are two main types of swaddle blankets: a swaddle wrap and a swaddle suit.
A swaddle wrap is a large, square blanket that you place under baby in a fold-over triangular shape, then wrap around the body in a specific way, leaving the arms and legs out or wrapping them snugly inside. This “burrito-style” method is the traditional method of swaddling, and it’s the way the nurse will wrap your baby in the hospital after he or she is born. Swaddle wraps come on their own or in sets of 2, 3, or 4, or even bundled with other items, like a hat.
The quicker and easier method is the swaddle suit. Designed for babies from 0-3 months or infants from 3-6 months, they include zippers, Velcro, or hook and loop closures. Place baby inside and secure it closed. Some leave the arms and/or legs free or offer the option to tuck the extremities in or out. These are usually sold individually, but it’s a good idea to have at least two to rotate between.
Things to consider when selecting a swaddle blanket
If the baby has sensitive skin or allergies, you might prefer organic material, or eco-friendly bamboo.
Features like two-way zippers or closures that make late night diaper changes easier can be a lifesaver, as can swaddle suits that remind you that “back is best” through embroidered wording on the back.
You’ll want to swaddle your baby such that he or she still has room for kicking inside, to promote health hip development. If the baby is bigger than average, look at material like cotton muslin that is larger in size and stretchy.
Some babies like to self-soothe, so it’s a good idea to let them keep their arms out after about two months. Some swaddle suits even have built-in teethers that babies can chomp down on to self-soothe.
And you want the swaddle blanket or suit to match the season and temperature of your home. So, while flannel might be great during the cold winter months, or when the air conditioning is running inside in the summer, something cooler like bamboo or cotton might be best when it’s hot inside.