Surviving Parenthood

Swaddling Blankets

by Mother of two

For sleepless parents who are having trouble keeping their babies asleep for longer then 30 minute intervals at night, I have a recommendation.  Try swaddling.  Swaddling can really help to achieve a deeper and longer sleeping periods for your babies.  The theory behind it is that the swaddling helps babies sleep better by mimicking the cozy, tight and secure environment that they have grown accustomed to inside the mother’s womb (As a side observation, I think it prevents their hands from hitting their own face and waking them up.) Don’t know if the scientific explanation is true, but I can tell you from first hand experience that this really works.

I first learned about swaddling when I had my first baby. At first I feared that Little Lum Lum might be uncomfortable.  The whole idea seemed silly.  In retrospect, my only regret is that I did not start sooner. We survived on 1 to 2 hour sleep stretches at night, and patiently waited for our baby to improve on his own.  After six (6) weeks of struggling we finally opened up to the idea and immediately saw a dramatic improvement on that very first night.  Not only did we get a more restful nigh, but so did our son. (He seemed less grouchy somehow.)

By then our baby was already over 10 lbs and I could not find a light weight blanket that was large enough to properly swaddle him.  I had to resort to using a few hand me down blankets from my coworker who had acquired them from her relatives in Canada. (Who knows why, maybe they have bigger babies in Canada or something.  That seemed like the only place where I could find the larger baby swaddling blankets.)

Fortunately, his time around with my Little Wing Wing, I received a nice pack of muslin blankets from Aden & Anais as a gift and was really excited to test them out.  They are large and breathable and just perfect for swaddling, especially in the warmer seasons.  In colder temperature, you can double up the blankets or just lay down an extra blanket on top for warmth.  The muslin fabric does have some give that may take some getting used to in comparison to the more traditional flannel blankets.  I find that after a day of use, the blankets do become a bit stretched out in certain areas, which allow my Little Wing Wing to slip out of his little cocoon.  Thus I like to use a fresh new blanket daily to keep him nice and snug.  The blankets will return to their normal form after you wash them.

Hopefully this will help other new parents get a little more sleep at night.  It might take you a few tries for this to work, but you will be grateful that you did. Good Luck out there.

You can pick this up at Amazon for around $35-$45 depending on the pattern with free shipping.