What’s baby wearing to sleep?Jul 28, 2021
What’s baby wearing to sleep?
Hello loving parents,
If you’ve worked with me, you know that I have pretty strong opinions about what your baby should wear to sleep!
Swaddling is a must from birth until about 2-4 months when baby starts to roll over. Here’s why, per Dr. Karp, author of The Happiest Baby On the Block: “Swaddling recreates the snug packaging inside the womb and is the cornerstone of calming. It decreases startling and increases sleep.”
You can swaddle with a breathable fabric, such as a muslin blanket, or you can use a velcro swaddle, which I find easier. The arms should be wrapped snug at the baby’s side – so they don’t flail around and smack themselves in the face. The hips are loose and flexed. Don’t let baby overheat and don’t let his head get covered. If the climate is hot, you can swaddle the baby with just a diaper on underneath. Babies shouldn’t be swaddled all day, just for naps and sleep.
Your baby may resist swaddling at first – do it anyway. Babies are used to being snug as a bug – think how tightly squeezed they were in the womb. Do not skip swaddling because you’re worried baby will get addicted. You will wean off the swaddle when those jerky newborn moro reflexes reduce. Baby’s needs will keep changing. Use what works when it works.
Caution: Do not swaddle if bedsharing, as it prevents the baby from being able to use their arms and legs to alert adults who get too close. Stop swaddling as soon as baby starts rolling over, which is usually between 2-4 months.
Some swaddle options:
Velcro Swaddle from Firstcry
Muslin Swaddle from Ooka Baby
Once your baby starts rolling over, you can switch to a sleep sack where the arms are kept free. A sleep sack (sometimes called “sleeping bag” or “wearable blanket”) is a must because it is SAFE – loose blankets are not safe for babies under age one. Also because it will keep your baby WARM and COZY – unlike a blanket which can easily move and stop covering baby in the night. Another good thing about the sleep sack is that if your baby is sleeping in a cot/ crib, it will prevent baby from being able to lift his or her leg and try to climb out.
Some sleep sack options:
Sleeping Bags from Masilo
Sleep Sacks from Ooka Baby
Sleeping Bag from Mothercare
Please keep in mind that the general rule of thumb for sleep is that we want the room to be nice & cool but we want the baby to be warm & cozy. If baby is too cold, this can lead to early rising which 10 out of 10 parents that I’ve spoken to try to avoid!
Cozy Little Sleeper, a 3-week course for newborns age 0 to 4 months
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