Swaddling your baby during the first three to four months of his life is a must-do practice if you want to help him sleep and sleep well. Why babies love them so much may be because they simulate a womb-like environment that comforts them to sleep. Regardless of why, you should know know they work extremely well, even though your baby might protest while you’re putting it on. Of course, the better you are at putting it on him, the less he’ll protest!
The problem is that putting them on can be extremely tricky. The nurses at the hospital make it look so magically easy too. I remember them trying to teach me to swaddle my son with that standard blue and pink, striped blanket, in like 60 seconds, while I looked on completely dazed and confused. My husband was far better at it in those first few hours, but it still inevitably came loose and my son would awaken early from every nap because of it.
Right when I was giving up on the idea that it even helped my son sleep at all (on day two), my friend and her young family came to visit us in our hospital room. They brought with them some newborn diapers, a cute onesie, and two Velcro swaddles that she had used on her son. She told me that the Velcro ones were life-savers and I was game to try them right away.
She was so right – although now I call them “sleep-savers!” The Velcro swaddles are far easier to put on and do a far better job of staying on. I preferred the two Summer Infant SwaddleMe swaddlers that my friend gave me for the first month and then added a couple of HALO Sleepsack swaddles (which are great, a tad easier to put on, but a bit looser) so I had four total and didn’t have to wash them constantly. If you follow the steps with the SwaddleMe, you’re on your way to better baby sleep!
STEP 1: Wash and dry the swaddle. Unlatch the Velcro at both points and lay it open on the changing pad or crib.
STEP 2: Place your baby on top of the swaddle, face up, and place his legs into the bottom portion.
STEP 3: Pull one loose side over one arm while making sure to hook the arm Velcro to the Velcro on the bottom portion by his belly, then tuck it behind the opposite shoulder.
STEP 4: Wrap the other arm, making sure to pull it super tightly, but this time, secure the two Velcro tabs to the long piece of Velcro on the side.
STEP 5: Ensure that the fabric isn’t too high so it could never cover your baby’s mouth. It should be fastened at his upper-chest.
Note: It’s time to absolutely stop swaddling your baby when he can roll over from his back to his tummy.