Everything You Wanted to Know About Swaddling Blankets

Everything You Wanted to Know About Swaddling Blankets

Posted by Blog Admin on

Swaddling is the practice of wrapping a baby in a thin blanket, encouraging a feeling of security, calming the infant, and promoting restful sleep. Classically, babies have been wrapped in swaddling clothes for thousands of years, but in the modern era, there are swaddling blankets for such a purpose. This short guide should tell you everything you need to know about the practice of swaddling, why it’s beneficial, and how to choose and use a swaddling blanket.

What Is a Swaddling Blanket?

Swaddling blankets are thin blankets that are wrapped around a baby to encourage relaxation and sleep. When done properly, swaddling simulates the womb, helping to decrease stress and promote more restful sleep for baby.

Most swaddling blankets are made of blends of super-soft, breathable material like muslin, jersey or flannel cotton, or even bamboo fibers. Some are made with slightly elastic blends containing synthetics such buttery-soft viscose or polyester.

This construction enables swaddling blankets to remain soft and gentle enough for your baby’s skin, but both warm and breathable, keeping the baby warm and comfortable while reducing the risk of overheating.

Swaddling Blankets

Why Are Swaddling Blankets Beneficial to Newborns?

Swaddling blankets are used to gently wrap the baby around the arms and shoulders. A swaddle is like a soft cocoon that envelops the baby, keeping the baby warm and snug; swaddling is believed to simulate the experience of being in the womb, relaxing and calming the baby, and helping to prevent fussiness and fidgeting. As a result, swaddled babies usually awake less and sleep longer. Swaddling can also help limit the Moro Reflex (also known as the startle reflex).

Swaddling is also beneficial for babies under 2 months of age because it encourages more restful sleep and can help keep the baby on his or her back, which is considered safer for newborns. In addition, swaddling can help prevent very young babies from pulling any loose sheets over them, helping to prevent the risks of suffocation.

Swaddling blankets

What Material Is Best for a Swaddling Blanket?

Swaddling blankets are conventionally made of soft, breathable natural materials like muslin or cotton which are excellent thermoregulators, and which are hypoallergenic and soft enough for a newborn baby’s skin.

We use butter-soft, 100% cotton muslin or viscose in our swaddling blankets. The viscose material is produced from the cellulose that is naturally occurring in wood pulp, making it a safe, sustainable, semi-synthetic material. Our muslin is responsibly made with 100% cotton and a breathable, light weave for an added measure of safety for your little one.  For use in swaddling blankets, these are both great materials in their own way.

Both cotton and viscose are not only soft and warm, but also breathable. This makes them ideal for keeping the baby warm at night, but for wicking moisture away from the baby’s skin, helping to prevent overheating. Both materials are also exceptionally soft which makes it perfect for use in fabrics that will be used to keep newborns snug, warm, and comfortable.

The Versatility of Swaddling Blankets

Many parents will learn how (and why) to swaddle their newborns from nurses or doctors, before they even leave the hospital.

However, conventional use of swaddling blankets, though fairly straightforward and simply, is only the beginning. There are many other ways to use our swaddling blankets. Being made of super-soft, breathable, smooth viscose or cotton muslin, they can also be used as:

  • Burp cloth: Though we also sell dedicated burp cloths here at Little Unicorn, our swaddling blankets can double up for the purpose, thanks to their softness and breathability.
  • Changing pad cover: Soft, warm, and breathable, a swaddling blanket can be used in a pinch to provide a soft, comfortable cover for a changing table or pad.
  • As a stroller cover: If you’re taking baby out and the sun’s just a bit too bright or direct, you can shade the stroller with one of our swaddling blankets.

These are only a few of the more valuable additional uses of our swaddling blankets, but there are others, too!

Swaddling blankets

The Importance of Keeping Baby Safe and Warm

Observing safe sleep practices (such as having newborns sleep on their backs, and avoiding loose fabrics around the crib) are critical not only to newborn safety but to newborn health and development.

It is equally important to keep your newborn warm while at the same time minimizing the risks of overheating, which can be just as dangerous. Our swaddling blankets, made of soft, breathable viscose or 100% cotton muslin, will help with that.

However, the practice of swaddling your newborn is only one observation of many that can be used to improve safety while keeping your baby warm and comfortable. Swaddling should only be used until babies show signs of attempting to roll over. However, at this point, it is equally important to continue to use appropriate fabrics and crib sheets that will keep the baby warm and comfortable while eliminating unnecessary risks.

While you’re here, don’t miss our collection of crib sheets, sleep bags, and top knot hats, all of which are designed to offer unparalleled comfort and safety for your newborn.

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