For centuries, parents have been swaddling their children in order to calm and soothe them. But why do babies need to be swaddled? What are the benefits of this ancient practice? Let’s take a look at why swaddling is such an important part of caring for newborn babies and some amazing alternatives to swaddling.
Swaddling is the process of wrapping your baby in a blanket or cloth in order to prevent them from moving around too much, calm babies, and let them sleep soundly. This process has been used for centuries and has been proven to help babies stay calm and comfortable.
In fact, studies have shown that swaddled infants sleep better than those who are not swaddled. Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is also linked to swaddling as it helps keep babies safe and secure while they are sleeping. Traditional swaddle blankets are soft and flexible, which helps keep babies warm without overheating.
Read More: How To Get Your Baby To Sleep Without A Pacifier
10 Alternatives To Swaddling
Here are 10 different swaddle alternatives to help your baby feel secure and snug without having to resort to swaddling.
1. Wearable Blankets
These blankets have become increasingly popular in recent years. They are lightweight and breathable, making them perfect for summer nights or warmer climates. Plus, they keep your baby’s arms free so they can move around more easily.
2. Sleep Sacks/Sleep Bags
These baby sleep sacks are roomy enough that your baby can move their arms and legs freely while still keeping them cozy and secure. They come with either armholes or sleeves, depending on how much freedom of movement you want your little one to have.
3. Wraps And Slings
Wraps and slings are great options if you want your baby close while they sleep (or while you’re going about your day). There are lots of varieties available, from stretchy wraps to woven wraps that require special tying techniques.
4. Co-Sleeping Products
Co-sleeping products like co-sleeper bassinets allow you to keep your baby close by without compromising their safety – plus they make nighttime feedings much easier! If you decide this is the route for you, make sure to adhere to all safety guidelines set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Read More: Why Do Babies Sleep With Their Mouths Open?
5. Rocking Cradles Or Bassinets
If swings aren’t an option for whatever reason (or if you just prefer something more traditional), rocking cradles and bassinets can be great alternatives for helping your baby fall asleep faster – especially if they’re not a fan of being swaddled!
6. Weighted Blankets
Weighted blankets use gentle pressure to help reduce anxiety in babies who don’t like being swaddled – plus they provide some extra warmth as well! Just make sure the blanket isn’t too heavy; the AAP recommends that these blankets should weigh no more than 10% of the child’s body weight.
7. White Noise Machines/Apps
White noise machines can help mimic the sounds of being in the womb, creating a calm environment where babies feel safe enough to drift off into dreamland quickly and easily. These days there are even white noise apps available for smartphones if purchasing a machine isn’t an option for whatever reason!
8. Sound Soothers/Sound Machines
Sound soothers provide both sound and motion at once – providing soothing music as well as gentle swaying motions that mimic rocking or being held in someone’s arms (the perfect alternative for parents who don’t always have time for rocking!).
9. Soft Toys & Blankies
Soft toys such as stuffed animals or blankies can help babies feel comforted during sleep time, plus it gives them something comforting to curl up with when it’s time for bed. Pacifiers can provide both comfort and distraction for babies who don’t respond well to swaddling – just make sure you never force your baby to take it if they’re not interested.
10 . Mirrors & Mobiles
Mirrors can help provide visual stimulation during nap times while mobiles give babies something interesting (and colorful!)to look at while drifting off into dreamland – both excellent alternatives to swaddling.
Read More: Why Do Babies Like To Sleep On Your Chest?
Techniques For Swaddling
Let’s take a look at some home techniques for swaddling.
Infant massage can be a great way to help them relax and feel secure – especially if they’re used to being swaddled. Using gentle, circular motions, start with their head and work down towards their feet.
A warm bath can be incredibly relaxing for babies who are used to being swaddled. Make sure the water is not too hot (around 37°C is ideal) and supervise them at all times during the bath.
Rocking your baby in your arms or in an infant swing can help provide comfort and security – something that’s often missing when you don’t swaddle them.
Singing & Talking
Your voice can be soothing for babies who miss being swaddled, so try singing or talking to them in a gentle, calming voice.
Pacifiers can provide comfort and distraction for babies who don’t respond well to swaddling – just make sure you never force your baby to take it if they’re not interested.
Using soft toys & blankies: Soft toys such as stuffed animals or blankies can help babies feel comforted during sleep time, plus it gives them something comforting to curl up with when it’s time for bed.
Read More: Why Do Babies Sleep With Their Butts In The Air?
How To Do Bassinet Swaddling Safely
When done correctly, bassinet swaddling can provide comfort and security for your little one, but it’s important that you follow the correct steps when doing so in order to ensure safety.
Start by laying out a light blanket on a flat surface with one corner folded over slightly so that it resembles a diamond shape. Place your baby’s face up on the blanket with its head above the folded corner before carefully wrapping each side across the baby’s body until only its arms remain outside of the blanket.
Securely tuck in any loose ends at both sides of your baby’s chest and make sure not to leave any fabric near their chin or face as this could be dangerous if they become tangled up while sleeping.
Finally, always take into consideration different temperatures when dressing your baby; if it is cold outside you may need an extra layer or two of clothing before beginning bassinet swaddling.
Read More: Why Do Babies Smile In Their Sleep?
Swaddling is a wonderful way to keep a newborn cozy but sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way – which is why there are plenty of other options out there! Whether it’s wearable blankets, wraps & slings, sound soothers, or soft toys & blankies – there’s bound to be something out there that works best for your little one! Give some of these alternatives a try today – and get ready for some sweet dreams tonight.