swaddled twins

For some parents, the term “swaddle” isn’t something they’re familiar with. The word might get thrown around as nurses work their swaddle magic in the hospital. The truth is that safe swaddling can be a game-changer, especially during the newborn phase.

If you’re wondering whether to swaddle or not, keep reading to help you make that decision of should you swaddle your baby, as well as safe swaddling techniques to make sure your baby sleeps safely and comfortably--which means more sleep for you!

shop swaddles >

For some parents, the term “swaddle” isn’t something they’re familiar with. The word might get thrown around as nurses work their swaddle magic in the hospital. The truth is that safe swaddling can be a game-changer, especially during the newborn phase.

If you’re wondering whether to swaddle or not, keep reading to help you make that decision of should you swaddle your baby, as well as safe swaddling techniques to make sure your baby sleeps safely and comfortably--which means more sleep for you!

shop swaddles >


do you have to swaddle a newborn?

The short answer to this is: no! You definitely don’t have to swaddle your little one, and there is a chance your baby won’t even like to be swaddled. However, it is definitely worth giving it a shot!

If you’re curious about what is the purpose of swaddling a baby, you should know that it is an age-old practice that women have been using for generations to soothe newborns. When you swaddle a baby, you are essentially just wrapping a special blanket snugly around their body. You can learn how to swaddle a baby with our blog “How to Swaddle a Baby.”

Many parents find swaddling to be an extremely useful tool in helping to keep their baby calm and comfortable, and it becomes a go-to.

does swaddling help babies sleep?

This is one of the main reasons why swaddling a baby is a good thing! Not only will seasoned parents tell you this, but the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that swaddling can be a useful technique to help calm infants and promote sleep.

For parents unsure whether to swaddle or not to swaddle, it definitely doesn’t hurt to try to see if it helps your little one sleep for longer stretches. Many believe it is so comforting to babies, especially newborns, because it mimics the closeness and security they were used to in the womb. 

is swaddling safe?

When parents first see a baby all wrapped up tight in a blanket, they sometimes start to wonder, “Is swaddling safe for newborns?” It 100% is! Although, like anything with babies there are safe and unsafe ways to swaddle. Not following swaddling safety guidelines can cause your baby harm, even death.

You can easily reduce the risk of harm by following safe sleep practices and swaddling techniques. 

Here are the most important safe swaddling tips to remember:

Make it snug (but not too snug). To know whether or not you’ve swaddled your baby too tightly, try the “two-finger test.” This is when you attempt to fit two to three fingers between the swaddle blanket and your baby’s chest. If your fingers easily fit, you’re good! If you can’t fit your fingers, you need to loosen the swaddle.

• Keep the hip area loose. The top of the swaddle should be snug across your baby’s chest, but make sure the bottom is loose enough for your little one’s legs to stay bent and flared out. This promotes healthy hip development and decreases their chances of developing issues such as hip dysplasia.

Be sure to make sure the baby's not too hot. Swaddling in too many layers can lead to overheating. This increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). To avoid this, keep the room your baby sleeps in at a comfortable temperature (preferably between 68°-72° Fahrenheit) and avoid extra layers. For most babies, a onesie or cotton pajamas under a swaddle blanket are enough.

Never swaddle above the shoulders. Your baby’s neck and face should never be covered by the swaddle. In general, nothing should be in the crib that would obstruct your baby’s ability to breathe or constrict around their neck.

In addition to these, you need to make sure you are still following safe sleep practices set by the AAP. This includes:

• Always placing a baby on their back to sleep whether or not they’re swaddled

• Sleeping your baby in a bassinet or crib with a firm mattress and fitted sheets.

• Room share for the first 6 months to a year

• For the first 12 months, making sure the sleep area is clear of loose blankets and toys.

Here are some of the most common questions parents have about safe swaddling techniques:

are swaddle blankets safe?

Not just any blanket lying around should be used as a swaddle. A key way to practice safe swaddling is to make sure you’re using a proper blanket. You want to use a thin, breathable fabric like aden + anais’s cotton muslin swaddle. Cotton muslin blankets are an excellent choice because they are extremely breathable and help to prevent overheating. At the same time, they aren’t too firm and provide more stretch so your baby will be less confined. 

is swaddling with arms out safe?

You’ll want to pay attention to the baby arm position when swaddling, however, this is more for your baby’s comfort level than safety. Swaddling is not “one-size-fits-all”, and there are variations of safe swaddling techniques you can try. Some parents find their babies prefer the coziness of the blanket around their chest but prefer their arms free. 

Plus, there is no evidence to suggest there is an increased risk of SIDS when you swaddle your baby with their arms out. As long as all other safe sleep guidelines are practiced, it is a safe way to swaddle. 

If babies prefer their arms out, parents might consider a cotton muslin light sleep sack instead of a swaddle. 

is it safe to swaddle a baby that can rollover?

Once your baby starts to show signs of rolling over, your safe swaddling days are coming to an end. Safe swaddling after the baby starts rolling does not exist. This is because it is extremely dangerous for a baby to roll over while swaddled. According to AAP, a swaddled baby who rolls over onto their stomach is at a much higher risk of death. 
 

how long is swaddling safe?

When swaddling no longer becomes safe varies by baby. The primary indicator is your baby’s mobility. As soon as your little one starts to show signs of rolling over on their own, it’s time to stop swaddling immediately! For some babies, this can mean you have to stop swaddling as early as 2 months old. 

In general, most babies will be ready and able to transition out of the swaddle around 4 months old. At this time, their mobility is reaching the level where it is no longer safe. At that time, parents need to start transitioning their little ones out of the swaddle.  

 

do you have to swaddle a newborn?

The short answer to this is: no! You definitely don’t have to swaddle your little one, and there is a chance your baby won’t even like to be swaddled. However, it is definitely worth giving it a shot!

If you’re curious about what is the purpose of swaddling a baby, you should know that it is an age-old practice that women have been using for generations to soothe newborns. When you swaddle a baby, you are essentially just wrapping a special blanket snugly around their body. You can learn how to swaddle a baby with our blog “How to Swaddle a Baby.”

Many parents find swaddling to be an extremely useful tool in helping to keep their baby calm and comfortable, and it becomes a go-to.

does swaddling help babies sleep?

This is one of the main reasons why swaddling a baby is a good thing! Not only will seasoned parents tell you this, but the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that swaddling can be a useful technique to help calm infants and promote sleep.

For parents unsure whether to swaddle or not to swaddle, it definitely doesn’t hurt to try to see if it helps your little one sleep for longer stretches. Many believe it is so comforting to babies, especially newborns, because it mimics the closeness and security they were used to in the womb. 

is swaddling safe?

When parents first see a baby all wrapped up tight in a blanket, they sometimes start to wonder, “Is swaddling safe for newborns?” It 100% is! Although, like anything with babies there are safe and unsafe ways to swaddle. Not following swaddling safety guidelines can cause your baby harm, even death.

You can easily reduce the risk of harm by following safe sleep practices and swaddling techniques. 

Here are the most important safe swaddling tips to remember:

Make it snug (but not too snug). To know whether or not you’ve swaddled your baby too tightly, try the “two-finger test.” This is when you attempt to fit two to three fingers between the swaddle blanket and your baby’s chest. If your fingers easily fit, you’re good! If you can’t fit your fingers, you need to loosen the swaddle.

• Keep the hip area loose. The top of the swaddle should be snug across your baby’s chest, but make sure the bottom is loose enough for your little one’s legs to stay bent and flared out. This promotes healthy hip development and decreases their chances of developing issues such as hip dysplasia.

Be sure to make sure the baby's not too hot. Swaddling in too many layers can lead to overheating. This increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). To avoid this, keep the room your baby sleeps in at a comfortable temperature (preferably between 68°-72° Fahrenheit) and avoid extra layers. For most babies, a onesie or cotton pajamas under a swaddle blanket are enough.

Never swaddle above the shoulders. Your baby’s neck and face should never be covered by the swaddle. In general, nothing should be in the crib that would obstruct your baby’s ability to breathe or constrict around their neck.

In addition to these, you need to make sure you are still following safe sleep practices set by the AAP. This includes:

• Always placing a baby on their back to sleep whether or not they’re swaddled

• Sleeping your baby in a bassinet or crib with a firm mattress and fitted sheets.

• Room share for the first 6 months to a year

• For the first 12 months, making sure the sleep area is clear of loose blankets and toys.

Here are some of the most common questions parents have about safe swaddling techniques:

are swaddle blankets safe?

Not just any blanket lying around should be used as a swaddle. A key way to practice safe swaddling is to make sure you’re using a proper blanket. You want to use a thin, breathable fabric like aden + anais’s cotton muslin swaddle. Cotton muslin blankets are an excellent choice because they are extremely breathable and help to prevent overheating. At the same time, they aren’t too firm and provide more stretch so your baby will be less confined. 

is swaddling with arms out safe?

You’ll want to pay attention to the baby arm position when swaddling, however, this is more for your baby’s comfort level than safety. Swaddling is not “one-size-fits-all”, and there are variations of safe swaddling techniques you can try. Some parents find their babies prefer the coziness of the blanket around their chest but prefer their arms free. 

Plus, there is no evidence to suggest there is an increased risk of SIDS when you swaddle your baby with their arms out. As long as all other safe sleep guidelines are practiced, it is a safe way to swaddle. 

If babies prefer their arms out, parents might consider a cotton muslin light sleep sack instead of a swaddle. 

is it safe to swaddle a baby that can rollover?

Once your baby starts to show signs of rolling over, your safe swaddling days are coming to an end. Safe swaddling after the baby starts rolling does not exist. This is because it is extremely dangerous for a baby to roll over while swaddled. According to AAP, a swaddled baby who rolls over onto their stomach is at a much higher risk of death.  

how long is swaddling safe?

When swaddling no longer becomes safe varies by baby. The primary indicator is your baby’s mobility. As soon as your little one starts to show signs of rolling over on their own, it’s time to stop swaddling immediately! For some babies, this can mean you have to stop swaddling as early as 2 months old. 

In general, most babies will be ready and able to transition out of the swaddle around 4 months old. At this time, their mobility is reaching the level where it is no longer safe. At that time, parents need to start transitioning their little ones out of the swaddle.