We all know how important sleep is – not just for a newborn, but all through childhood and beyond! And of course, a well rested family is a happy family, on all fronts.
Much has been said about the importance of routine when it comes to sleep, and of course, this is spot on. Having a bedtime routine certainly helps a baby know when it’s time for nigh-nighs. And while it’s important to have the right parameters in place for good sleep – with temperature, lighting and noise all playing a part, not enough focus is placed on what baby is sleeping in and on. Not to mention the fact that baby should feel safe and secure.
Swaddling is one way to ensure a peaceful sleep for your little one, especially swaddling with a Natural Kids bamboo wrap!
In fact, swaddling goes back many hundreds of years, but certainly from a safety perspective the importance of baby wrapping can to the forefront once again in the mid-1990’s following research around the increased incidence of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), directly related to babies sleeping on their tummies. From this time, swaddling made a resurgence as it’s a great way to ensure bub stays on their back – the safest place for them to sleep. If your baby can roll over by themselves when wrapped, it’s certainly time to stop swaddling! Thankfully, there are at least nine other uses (besides swaddling) for your Natural Kids swaddle – check them out here.
There are so many reasons to swaddle your baby, including, but not limited to:
- Swaddling can help babies to settle, which can reduce excessive crying. Note though that swaddling isn’t a magic pill! It is, however, the foundation on which other soothing techniques can be introduced. If you have a particularly fussy bub, you could start with swaddling and then add other soothing techniques such as a dummy, white noise etc.
- Swaddling reduces the likelihood that your baby will wake him or herself with the startle reflex, which in baby’s early days is a common concern as they learn to manage their little limbs. Note that most of your newborn bub’s limb movements are unintentional, hence they are referred to as the “startle reflex”. Swaddling immobilises their arms so they don’t suffer from this random movement, which in the long-run helps them to develop better motor skills.
- Swaddling ensures that bub’s body temperature is regulated – especially easy to do when swaddling in self-regulating bamboo swaddles / wraps.
- Swaddling can make a baby feel far safer and more secure, almost back in the womb (especially during what they call the fourth trimester, which is the first three to four months after the birth).
- Swaddling can help reduce the rate of SIDS as babies can’t inadvertently cover their heads or faces with any linen or bedding products, nor can they roll over on their stomachs. (in 2007 the Journal of Paediatrics completed a meta-study on swaddling and it was shown to reduce the rate of SIDS).
- Swaddling can certainly aid in the sleeping process – both getting them off to sleep and ensuring they get enough sleep for development, which is especially crucial in these first few months. Most certainly, swaddling stimulates sleep continuity – baby will generally sleep for longer (as they can’t startle themselves awake).
- Swaddling research shows that swaddling can be especially helpful for premature babies!
NOTE: Swaddling isn’t for every baby – if your little one seems more distressed when swaddled, it might not be the best solution for his or her sleep-time!
As you have learnt, swaddling your newborn bub can certainly aid in the sleep process, for your entire family! But what to do when this “fourth semester” is over and your little one has outgrown his or her swaddle wrap (and keeps breaking out!)?
Well, we have some good news … with at least 10 other ways to use your Natural Kids swaddle so you can benefit from many, many years with your bamboo wrap! So many reasons to make sure you always have a swaddle in your nappy bag for whenever you leave the house (and that you always have a pile handy at home).
Here’s a teaser … pics to come (with a new Natural Kids accessory soon to be launched to ensure you get so much use out of your bamboo swaddle wraps).
Der! Talk about stating the obvious, but we had to get this one in our top 10 uses for a swaddle, right? I mean, we are renowned for our soft, luxurious swaddles, after all.
2. Nursing cover for breastfeeding
Because of the absorbency and breathability of bamboo (click here for more info on the benefits of bamboo), Natural Kids swaddles are perfect to use as a nursing cover while you’re breastfeeding, if you’re looking for a little more privacy when out and about. Add one of our NK Swaddle Straps (currently under production!) to secure the wrap, so bub can’t easily pull it off.
3. Change mat
Why wouldn’t you want to change your bub on a mat of soft, absorbent bamboo? You can use your Natural Kids swaddle as a change mat – simple fold it to the most appropriate size, especially when you’re out and about. Or tuck it in and fix to your change mat at home (using the NK Swaddle Strap) – a more permanent solution and another great way to use your bamboo swaddle. Well, IT IS almost as soft as a baby’s bottom!
4. Play mat
When you’re at a friend’s house or grandma’s place and you want to make sure your bub has somewhere safe and clean to play and kick around, simply whip out your spare swaddle and set it up as a play mat on the floor. Simple!
5. Pram or bassinette cover
As noted in suggestion number 2, bamboo is super breathable, so it makes for the perfect pram or bassinette cover for when your little one is sleeping and you want to keep the sun (or prying eyes) out, and their attention focused on nap time! Simply affix your swaddle wrap to your pram with a NK Swaddle Strap (stay tuned – these are coming soon!) or safe pram toy.
6. Giant absorbent bib
Yep, you know bamboo fabrics are really absorbent, because we have all ready told you, right? Well, did you think of folding your swaddle into quarters, affixing one of our soon-to-be-released Natural Straps, and turning your super soft swaddle into a super absorbent bib for your extra messy little one? No? Well, now you have! Of course, if you’re gifted on the sewing front, you could cut them down to size first (or even turn them into washers or blankies for little ones!).
7. Bottom sheet – bassinette or cot
Natural Kids swaddles are incredibly soft and large (120cm x 100cm), and we all want our little ones to get the best sleep possible. So, if you don’t have a Natural Kids cot sheet handy, or you’re still using a bassinette, simply tuck your super-sized swaddle in under the mattress and turn it into a soft bottom sheet for your baby to nap on! Zzzzzzzz …
8. Top sheet
As per suggestion number 7, you can easily turn your swaddle wrap into a bottom sheet … or even a top sheet for when bub is too big for swaddling! They are so soft, snugly, comfy, breathable and hygienic – what a great way to get even more use out of your swaddle!
9. Pram blanket
On those cool days when you’re out and about, you can turn your Natural Kids swaddle into a pram or bassinette blanket – presto!
10. Bath time
As our swaddle wraps are so absorbent, did you think of using one as a bath towel (it really soaks up that excess bathwater beautifully!) or as a snuggle blanket post-bath for a special cuddle?
If you have any suggestions you’d like to add to the list, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Simon, aka The Swaddle Daddy, became the master of swaddling just an hour after little Hudson (now five) was born. He took to the art of swaddling like a duck to water, which was lucky, as Hudson was a big fan of swaddle-induced naps (and so was Alli, Hudson’s mum!). If Mummy swaddled, Hudson was likely to wriggle out in seconds flat, but this was never the case with Daddy.
So, when Alli and Simon purchased Natural Kids it was just “natural” that Simon took on the role of Swaddle Daddy! Today, Simon is the face of all things swaddling related.
Stay tuned – he’s in the process of creating a host of instructional DVDs for mums and dads keen to learn the art of swaddling.
Just one slight delay – the pair need to wait for the birth of their little one (due late June) so The Swaddle Daddy can get to work! But when that baby is born the video camera will swiftly come out so Simon can explain his swaddling tips and tricks, along with providing instructions on a number of different swaddling techniques.
Here are a few pics of Simon with a well-swaddled Hudson in his first few days.
Stay tuned … Simon (aka The Swaddle Daddy) will be creating a series of videos with different swaddling techniques in the coming weeks and months!
For now, here is an overview of our core recommended Natural Kids swaddling technique. If you have any questions, email email@example.com.