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Anybody know about swaddling?

(23 Posts)
VintageGardenia Wed 23-Jul-08 10:24:23

Hi, I am 39 weeks preg. I don't remember any talk of swaddling when my DS was a baby, though that was some time ago, as he is now 10. But yesterday my mum gave me a short newspaper cutting from the T-graph of all places, about swaddling babies for sleep. She said when she had her babies (30 odd years ago) it was usual to wrap up tightly in a blanket - not exactly swaddle though.

Just wondering does anyone know about it / do it / have any thoughts?

And if anything else has happened in the last ten years that I should know about ... perhaps a teeny hint for me...

Thank you.

frootloop Wed 23-Jul-08 10:32:41

i swaddle ds and he's 5 months now, its the only way to get him to sleep and stay asleep.

you can buy special swaddle robes from places like

frootloop Wed 23-Jul-08 10:35:32

sorry, not kiddicare, doh!

i meant

juuule Wed 23-Jul-08 10:37:52

Swaddled all mine. Only way that I could get them to calm down and settle. My eldest is 21yo and I was shown how to swaddle by the midwife. My youngest is 5yo.
Ask a midwife to show you how to do it.

cmotdibbler Wed 23-Jul-08 10:37:57

They tried swaddling DS when he was in SCBU - he hated it, and I've never tried since. He's a very active sleeper though, and hates to be restrained.

Some of the childcare 'gurus' advise it, which is why its made a comeback apparently

Redrun Wed 23-Jul-08 10:45:47

I never swaddled my DD1 and she still doen't sleep well 4yrs later. I swaddled my DD2 from the day she was born and she is the best sleeper.
I bought two types of swaddling cloths. One ("here this one") was a long piece of fabric which you tucked one end under one arm and wrap the child in the remaining fabric. I didn't get on well with this one as DD2 kept on getting her arm out. The second one ("here this one") I got on better with. I also used very large muslin squares folded into triangles when the weather got too hot for the swaddling robes.

VintageGardenia Wed 23-Jul-08 10:46:02

The one they showed was a merino wool wrap, and it was wrapped around a baby in just a nappy. It's called a Coocooi wrap from Merino Kids (of course that particular page of the website doens't work today).

I wondered:

1. Would wool next to the skin not be very irritating, even if it's lovely soft merino? I can't imagine sleeping in a merino jumper and nothing else.

2. Is it frustrating for the baby if s/he wakes up and is struggling to be free?

3. How can you keep the baby's body heat regulated?

juuule Wed 23-Jul-08 10:53:47

I never used a specialised swaddle wrap. I used a cotton crib sheet.

Fold the left hand top corner down.
Lay the baby on the sheet.

As you look at the baby:

Bring the left hand side of the sheet tightly across the front of the baby's body trapping the right arm.

Bring the right hand side of the sheet tightly across the baby's body trapping the left arm.

Fold the excess, dangly bit at the bottom up the back of the baby's legs, trapping loose end of the sheet.

Tuck in any bits under baby's chin.

juuule Wed 23-Jul-08 10:54:48

If the weather was hot, I would dress the baby in a vest and nappy only and swaddle. The cotton was absorbent and cool.

HonoriaGlossop Wed 23-Jul-08 11:03:32

same as juuule - you don't need special swaddle blankets, we just used a sheet

Lots of babies like being swaddled, I would say it's certainly worth a go. We did it with ds who is six now. As the weeks go on they start to not need the swaddle and you can leave their arms free but you can take advice on that from your health visitor.

HonoriaGlossop Wed 23-Jul-08 11:05:37

I meant to say I wouldn't have used wool - cotton is fine, it lets the skin breathe and will let the body temperature regulate.

And I think most babies actually like the secure feeling; I don't think they have that struggling to be free feeling. Of course they have been very tightly packed for 9 months so it seems logical that they like and are used to that 'tight' swaddled feeling.

lizziemun Wed 23-Jul-08 11:09:28

I just used an cot sheet and did what Juule did with dd1 who liked it. DD2 didn't do it because does not like to be pinned down. But them she is a fidget grin.

iwouldgoouttonight Wed 23-Jul-08 11:25:09

We heard about swaddling when DS was about 2 weeks and we swaddled him until he was about 12 weeks and starting wriggling about more. It was an absolutely godsend for us, although I know all babies are different. It makes them feel all safe and 'held' like they were in the womb and also stops them waking themselves up when their arms flail about. I thought it looked really weird and uncomfortable when we first tried, but DS loved it, as soon as he was swaddled he'd settle back to sleep. We used a cotton sheet over a nappy to begin with (DS was born in the summer) and when he started to get out of that we used a swaddling blanket - think it was about £12 from Mothercare.

VintageGardenia Wed 23-Jul-08 11:30:34

When my DS was a very small baby he used to sleep with his arms above his head - so if I had swaddled him would I not have been making him sleep in an unnatural position?

Also if I was bf would I feed then swaddle or swaddle for his nighttime feed? If you see...

juuule Wed 23-Jul-08 11:36:41

When very small mine were almost permanently swaddled.
I would generally change the nappy, then swaddle, then feed. Once fed and content, I'd lay them down to sleep.

VintageGardenia Wed 23-Jul-08 11:48:40

Thanks guys smile.

DonDons Wed 23-Jul-08 11:52:56

I swaddled DD from day 1 until about 6 weeks, and then half swaddled (ie under arms) until 11 weeks, then moved onto grobags. She is a great little sleeper. You don't need a special blanket - just a sheet (if warm) or a fleecy type blanket/sheet if a bit cooler.

robino Wed 23-Jul-08 12:01:06

Just to add - it was the ONLY way dd1 would sleep until she was 6 months old (and it had to be really tight!), DD2 is 3 weeks old and won't entertain the idea at all. Be prepared for either!

VintageGardenia Wed 23-Jul-08 12:07:20

LOL robino I am prepared for nothing!

Elffriend Wed 23-Jul-08 13:01:04

I only started swaddling DS when he was about 12 weeks - wish to hell I'd thought of it sooner!

Never used a specialist blanket - just a cotton blanket given as a present. In terms of temperature, just make sure the room temperature is ok (as you would do normally). I thought it looked cruel at first (we swaddled him REALLY tightly) but he LOVED it. He used to have quite a strong startle reflex, so swaddling helped a lot. He obvioulsy felt secure and womb-like again and slept so much better. When he was ready to not be swaddled he just worked his arms out. We then progressed to just swaddling under his arms then moved him to a sleeping back - no problems.

Some babies hate it - most seem to adore it!

Botbot Wed 23-Jul-08 13:04:54

I bought an expensive swaddling blanket but dd hated it. Depends on the baby.

MrsBadger Wed 23-Jul-08 13:07:03

dd wouldn't sleep with her arms swaddled but it was the only way I could contain her flailing enough to feed her - I used an old flat cot sheet or any old blanket thus

she still (11m) sleeps 'semi swaddled' ie with the blanket wrapped around her under her armpits (she hated sleeping bags for some reason)

VintageGardenia Wed 23-Jul-08 13:14:53

Oh great MrsB that's really clear! I do think I might try it when the LO arrives.

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