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To swaddle or not to swaddle?

(18 Posts)
WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Fri 21-Jun-13 12:31:09

I tried to swaddle dd but somehow she could wriggle out if it, she was like a newborn Houdini. We had the swaddling wrap with Velcro lord only knows how she got her arms out of it.

You should take some time to learn how to swaddle safely if that is what you want to do. I personally have never swaddled any of mine as both my DD1 and I had DDH. I have cut and pasted a bit from the steps charity website below about safe swaddling.

Swaddling is the name given to the practice of wrapping babies in a cloth or thin blanket, with the aim of pacifying or calming them. Not everyone agrees with swaddling, studies have shown that it can be linked to:

· an increased risk of cot death

· a reduction in breastfeeding at birth

· an increase in early weight loss

· Improper swaddling can also lead to instability and dislocation of the hip, a condition known as hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia results when the top of the femur bone is not properly located in the hip socket or is loose in the hip socket. The condition is most common in breech birth babies, firstborn girls and when there is a genetic predisposition or family history of the dysplasia. If diagnosed early and with proper care, this condition can usually be treated. However, hip dysplasia often goes undiagnosed and can lead to early onset of adult arthritis of the hips with hip replacement at a young age.

To promote healthy hips, the baby should be wrapped so that the legs are able to bend up and out at the hips. This position allows for natural and proper development of the hip joints. When swaddling baby, avoid stretching out the legs straight or pressing them together.

Some parents choose to wrap their babies in sleeping bags specifically designed for swaddling, instead of using a simple cloth or blanket. Commercial products for swaddling should have a loose pouch or sack for the baby’s legs and feet, allowing plenty of hip movement. However, even some of these commercial products can confine the legs if they are tightened around the thighs.

It's especially important to allow the hips to spread apart and bend up. In the womb the legs are in a foetal position with the legs bent up across each other. Sudden straightening of the legs to a standing position can loosen the joints and damage the soft cartilage of the socket.

To find out more parent friendly information please download our guide to hip healthy swaddling visit International Hip Dysplasia Institute where you will find a video and information leaflet about hip healthy swaddling:

For advice about treatment and caring for a child with hip dysplasia please call the STEPS helpline on 01925 750271 or email

Myliferocks Fri 21-Jun-13 11:54:49

4 of mine absolutely hated being swaddled yet 1 loved it and would only sleep that way.
I just used a cellular blanket that was slightly fluffy.

rowtunda Fri 21-Jun-13 11:42:36

Definitely swaddle - my DS loved it. We used the miricule swaddle from mothercare (was given to us as a present) its like a baby straight jacket!! DS loved it x

Sunnysummer Fri 21-Jun-13 11:29:51

Swaddling with a cellular blanket, or i - my favourite - with a large muslin wrap (the giant Aden and Anais ones are awesome, and double a pram covers, nursing covers, tummy time mats, spit wipes etc). I agree with pps that it's not worth buying too many types of zip up or premade wraps until you know what your baby likes - mine hated all the zip ones!

Also, if you are swaddling, don't take some initial tears as a sign that your baby hates it, mine cried at the beginning and we thought he didn't like it, then a midwife showed us how and it turned out that we were just not confident enough swaddlers, and that we just needed to be more patient with letting him settle.

dd loved being swaddled. personally I liked the swaddle me blanket as she always escaped from my diy swaddle. I had two so one to wash and one to wear.

ilovevenice Fri 21-Jun-13 11:22:15

Mine - bloody iPhone...

ilovevenice Fri 21-Jun-13 11:20:35

I swaddled all 3 of mine and the best blanket was a sickly green one we were given by the hospital! I did also use swaddle sheets lent by a friend with Velcro on that were good. I found if they weren't swaddled they smacked themselves in the face by accident (perhaps that's just mind though!).

DD also hated her arms being swaddled, but loved her legs and body being wrapped up. Just to add to her fussiness, she only really liked it if you used her fluffy blanket, and made sure there was some left under her head! Good job she was a winter baby. Thankfully she grew out if that pretty quickly.

Basically, I wouldn't buy any special swaddling blankets either. You might never use them, but even if your baby loves being swaddled, a normal thin (or huge fluffy) blanket will work just as well.

Livingwithmymother Fri 21-Jun-13 11:18:56

Swaddling with cellular blankets all the way. Although midwives will tell you not to. But when my baby wasn't settling in hospital the midwives in there swaddled her and she slept for 3 hours. Suppose it's what works for you. And I swaddle with cellular blankets just keep checking she's not too hot in this ridiculous weather

AThingInYourLife Fri 21-Jun-13 11:16:35

My guys have all loved swaddling, but not all babies do.

One special swaddle blanket is probably enough for now.

If you and the baby really love it, you can always buy more later.

MadamNoo Fri 21-Jun-13 11:16:27

swaddle all the way! nice and tight, people seem to feel a bit odd about it at first but it honestly does seem to soothe them. a slightly stretchy blanket is good, I had fine knitted ones from John Lewis. I didn't swaddle their feet up, just pinned the arms.

AnythingNotEverything Fri 21-Jun-13 11:16:06

I wouldn't spend a lot of special swaddle blankets - contrary to popular belief they don't all love it! My son always slept with his hands up by his ears and the only time he cried was when we tried to tuck them into a swaddle!

As PP said - check YouTube for instructions, and remember that a folded blanket counts as two blankets!

Bejeena Fri 21-Jun-13 11:12:17

I guess you don't really know until the baby is here what s/he will actually prefer a lot love swaddling, some maybe not so much I don't know.

However I don't think you need a special swaddle blanket just use a normal one and if you have one special one already use that and if baby loves swaddling then get another one if you feel the need.

I wasn't going to bother with a special swaddle wrap to be honest as got lots of blankets.

Don't buy special swaddle blankets, a normal blanket can swaddle just as well. So long as it's quite thin. I used a cellular blanket. I'm sure you'll be able to find YouTube videos.
Swaddling is fantastic for babies, it really settles them.

Nellysgirl Fri 21-Jun-13 11:03:20

Good question! I've been wondering about this myself. Any recommended brands out there?

peanutbuttersarnies Fri 21-Jun-13 11:00:59

My two would have slept terribly without being swaddled up to about 3 months.

lauracutee Fri 21-Jun-13 10:59:40

Right, I'm pretty well prepared for Baby's arrival - I've got the grobags, etc (Ok, no cot yet but we're on to that!)
I know that you are not advised to put baby in a grobag until they are a certain weight, so before they reach that weight, what should I do?

I bought a lovely Swaddle Me wrap and I'm thinking of buying a few more, but I was wondering if they're any good?

Can anyone advise me?

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