If your baby seems irritable or she’s having a hard time sleeping, you may want to consider swaddling. After all, it just makes sense that your child would feel most comfortable in an environment similar to she felt while being cradled in the womb, right? How do you successfully swaddle your baby? What type of swaddles typically work best? And do all babies really need to be swaddled? Plus, what safety precautions should you take to make sure your baby is safe?
Swaddling Your Baby
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KRISTEN STRATTON: You brought your baby home and when you want to put it down for a snap, you try to swaddle him, just the way the nurse showed you. He keeps kicking his legs free and his hands always seem to find his face within minutes. Do you really need to swaddle your baby? Do all babies like to be swaddled? And how do you know if you’re swaddling your baby correctly? This is Newbies.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Welcome to Newbies. Newbies is your online, on-the-go support group, guiding new mothers through their baby’s first year. I’m your host, Kristen Stratton, a Certified Birth Doula, Postpartum Doula and owner of In Due Season Doula Services. If you haven’t already, be sure to visit our website at www.newmommymedia.com and subscribe to our weekly newsletter. You can also subscribe to our show through iTunes, so you automatically get new episodes when they’re released. Sunny’s here to tell us about ways you can participate in our new show.
SUNNY GAULT: Awesome. Thanks, Kristen. So, as Kristen mentioned, she mentioned iTunes and that’s a really great way for you guys to learn more about our shows. And another thing that I want to promote along with iTunes, a way that you guys can get involved and really help out Newbies is by leaving a review. So that’s the way iTunes works as far as people are being able to find other shows. A huge portion of that is a number of reviews a show has because theoretically, people would have to listen to the show in order to leave a review. So they view those shows as being more popular, more people should check them out.
So, if you have just a couple of seconds you can either do this through your iPhone app, if you, everyone’s got a podcast app on their iPhones, you can search through there. You can also go through iTunes if you have iTunes on your computer, and all you have to do is find our podcast and right underneath the logo for our podcast, there is an area where you can submit a review. And it’s just a couple of quick clicks.
We would love to know what you think about the show, we would read this. I get an update every time someone leaves us a review, and I really do take those to heart. So if there’s something you like about the show, this is a great way to post it. If there are areas we need improvement on, that’s fine to. I welcome all these reviews and you can also chat to us personally.
So if it’s something that’s more personal, that you just want to share with me, or if you’ve got a story, ideas, or something like that, you can email me through the website, so you have to go to www.newmommymedia.com, click on the contact link which is at the bottom of the page, and there is an email form there and that’s just a couple of ways you can get in touch with us.
KRISTEN STRATTON: All right. Let’s meet our panelists. Let’s start with Lindsey.
LINDSEY: My name is Lindsey and I am a mommy of two amazing daughters, Mia who is age four and my littlest one, Abigail who just turned eight months. Both of my girls were huge huge swaddle babies. They didn’t sleep without their swaddles, they cried when they got out of their swaddles, so I am a swaddle professional over here.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Awesome. All right. And Garrett.
GARRETT MASSIE: My name is Garrett Massie. I have three girls, age four and a half and two and a half-year-old twins and I have a fourth girl coming in June. I am a big lover of swaddling. It was one of the ways that I was able to bond with the girls and when my wife was in bed and needed a rest, it gave me the opportunity to go and be part of the whole process. So, I’m owner of Cosy babe, I actually manufacture swaddles to my size and design and I love the challenge of a baby who breaks out of swaddles. That’s my passion in life, is to find babies that I’m told they don’t like swaddling and I swaddle them.
SUNNY GAULT: And to fix the problem. That’s awesome. We’ll make sure to include a link to Garrett’s website on our New Mommy Media page for the episode page for this episode.
MAGGIE JENNINGS: So, I’m Maggie Jennings and I’m the owner of Belly Laughs Birth Services and I am the mother of four lovely children, ages one and a half up to ten, one boy and three girls.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Welcome to the show.
SUNNY GAULT: All right. So before we kick off our conversations today on Swaddling I wanted to bring up a headline that I found. And I love positive stories and this is one of the stories that were originally just really devastating news to a family and it turned out to have a very positive outcome. So I’d like to share this type of story.
So the headline for this is: seven-month-old baby receives a donor heart and escapes death with moments to spare. And I know that sounds really dramatic, but I mean that’s literally what happened here. So, basically, there was a little boy. His name is Lincoln and he is from Alaska. And at 20 weeks pregnant his mom found out that he had a congenital heart defect. And the family living in Alaska, the doctors determined they didn’t have enough resources to be able to deliver this baby properly and to be able to take care of him properly.
So the baby was actually born in Portland, Oregon. And I believe the mom flew out there early, I don’t think dad was there for the birth simply because they also have a daughter that they needed to take care of and the daughter is in school.
So obviously that’s already a difficult situation, mom and dad are separated for the birth, but so they knew that there are going to be some problems. The thing that really caught my attention with this was the photo. The mom took this photo of her baby’s hand right before the surgery took place because this baby went into heart failure five different times after birth, you know the time at a very short period of time and the doctors determined immediately that this baby needed a different heart.
So the mom took this photo and it just broke my heart because I think she’s holding his hand and the hand is just, it’s completely discolored, it’s gray, it looks almost lifeless. And that’s what really caught my eye with this whole article. My heart is just breaking, you know, just thinking about what that mom is feeling at that moment. So the good news is that obviously they did find a heart and baby Lincoln is doing very well. It was a surgery that was like down to the wire, like literally the baby could not go into another heart failure or the baby was going to pass. There was no other option.
And then the mom after the surgery took another photo of the baby’s hand and it’s the bright healthy, pink color and I don’t know, just really warmed my heart. And I know that this is a tough decision, a lot of couples, unfortunately, have to make. When they get the news, like in this case the mom was 20 weeks pregnant and she knew that her baby was going to have some issues and I just wanted to share this as a sign that babies can be so strong, you know, in this kind of situations, something that seemed perhaps with the parents like “oh, my Gosh, this is just going to end up” probably, they took a chance and they bet on the doctors and just had faith that their baby was going to be healed.
And the baby was healed. And I just love stories like that. So, just wondering if I can get your thoughts on it. If you guys want to see the photo online and stuff, we’ll make sure we post it to our Facebook page. Kristen, what do you think about this?
KRISTEN STRATTON: I’m choking back the tears. I know, it’s sad.
SUNNY GAULT: But happy at the same time. Right?
KRISTEN STRATTON: It is. And I was just thinking to myself, you know, that it’s really bittersweet when you hear stories like this because you know how amazing it is that that child was able to live, but you also know that that means another baby died. So it is bittersweet, but I mean what a miracle, what a blessing to that family to be able to find the resources, find the right doctor and then get a donor heart. And I just really hope that everything continues to go off for this baby throughout his life.
SUNNY GAULT: I know.
GARRETT MASSIE: How terrifying for the family. And I mean the baby doesn’t know what’s going on and you can kind of empathize with them, especially for those of us in the twin world, where, you know, we had to go to the NICU and there was uncertainty and you just have to rely on the doctors and really put your faith in them and…So, what an awesome outcome in this situation.
SUNNY GAULT: Awesome. Lindsey, any thoughts?
LINDSEY: Again, like everybody else was saying. What a touching story. It’s heart-breaking. I can’t even imagine having to be in that situation, but at the same time, really on either side to be, in the situation on either side. But what a beautiful outcome, too. It’s just, yeah.
GARRETT MASSIE: I think there’s also so much about kids, like when you bring your first baby home you’re so worried about everything that you’re doing, but kids are so resilient and I mean there’s something like this, he needed a transplant, but it just goes a show, they really are miracles and they’re fighters and it’s cool to see something like this.
SUNNY GAULT: Absolutely. Well, guys, thanks for sharing your opinion. We’ll go ahead and post this on our Facebook page. You guys can take a look at the photos and look at the article for yourself.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Today on Newbies we’re discussing how and when to swaddle your baby. Our expert Maggie Jennings is a DONA-certified birth doula, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Certified Lactation Counselor, Evidence-Based Birth Instructor and CertifiedHappiest Baby Educator on the Block Educator. Thanks for joining us, Maggie and welcome to the show.
MAGGIE JENNINGS: Thank you.
SUNNY GAULT: Wow, I was a little intimidated greeting that intro with all your credentials.
MAGGIE JENNINGS: That was a really long list.
SUNNY GAULT: Well you should be proud of it. Okay. So, Maggie, what is swaddling and why is it used?
MAGGIE JENNINGS: Swaddling is tightly wrapping little babies up, so they feel nice and safe and secure. When they’re first born, they come out of the womb where they’re folded really close and tightly in the womb and so that transition from in the womb to the outside is a big one. And so when we are able to swaddle them and keep them close and tight, that tends to just help them feel happier and then they cry less which is always a good idea for new parents to have babies crying less.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah. And when do most babies prefer to be swaddled?
MAGGIE JENNINGS: They’re going to prefer the most in the three months after baby is born. One of the things that Doctor Harvey Karp talks about with His Happiest Baby on the Block is the fourth trimester. The fourth trimester is that three months after baby is born. Well we’re really trying to replicate the womb as much as possible and that’s what is going to make that transition the easiest for baby.
So we’re going to see that babies like it the best in these first few weeks after baby is born, the first month and it’s going to start lessening over that three month period. Some of them will like swaddling for three to four months and some of them are going to be done after a month and a half, which is going to be from baby to baby. Some children do like to be swaddled for longer than that, but as far as the real function of it, it’s really the first three months.
KRISTEN STRATTON: And how do parents learn how to swaddle?
MAGGIE JENNINGS: There are a lot of varieties there. Taking a newborn care class prenatally is a great way to learn how to swaddle, just you have some hands on practice before baby actually arrives. If nothing else, the nurses are going to show parents how to swaddle in the hospital or the birth center wherever they would like to learn. There are also a million YouTube channels where you can see first-hand how to swaddle. Also, that’s a great resource for new parents especially because they can just keep refreshing and replaying that little video.
KRISTEN STRATTON: And parents, do you remember the first time you tried to swaddle your baby and how did it go? Let’s start with Garrett.
GARRETT MASSIE: Yeah. I do remember. I was trying to think back and all the classes that I’ve been to and my brother-in-law showed me with my little niece, but that was probably years before, four or five years prior, and so what I did is I just asked each nurse to show me their method and then towards the end of it there were things that I liked from one person to the other.
So I kind of started to combine some of the best practices and the first few swaddles are . . . it’s basically just a big one, but doesn’t even turn up the way that you think it should or you wanted to and the baby seemed to like it and I was ready to get more practice, it gets more snug in all the right places. So, just kind of a trial and error, you’ve got to practice it, but if you don’t practice then you won’t get great at it.
KRISTEN STRATTON: How was that for you, Lindsey, how was your first attempt at swaddling?
LINDSEY: Well, I actually was fortunate enough to have two years of experience of it because I was actually postpartum, a nursery nurse for two years before I had my children. So once I had my babies it was very familiar to me, but at the same time, it was actually completely different, because swaddling your own children versus swaddling your patients, for me it was so sweet and it was so different.
But it was fun to also teach my husband my ways or the ways that I swaddled versus the ways that the nurses would come in and try to help us and actually he hadn’t done specifically that he interrupts, coming up with, so yeah, it was really fun to kind of see all the differences and different ways of how people swaddle.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Yeah. I kind of felt the same way. I had all these nieces and I had babysat and I was a nanny and I knew everything about kids when I had my first child. You’re a perfect parent until you become a parent. Right? And I remember trying to swaddle that first night home we had just gotten home the hospital and the nurse just did everything at the time so, you know, I didn’t even have to try it, but I totally knew how to swaddle.
I could not do anything. I mean this kid had arms all over her head, she was kicking her feet out. I’m like there’s no way this kid . . . like this developmentally advanced that she knows how to intentionally get out of it, but it felt like she was and it was just a disaster. So I think in combination with just an experience doing under the pressure of sleep deprivation and just having to constantly do it in the middle of the night, just makes it that much more difficult. So that was my first attempt at expert swaddling as a first-time mom.
GARRETT MASSIE: My favourite thing right here from my friends is they say my baby doesn’t like to be swaddled when it’s a brand-new baby and that’s kind of like my ears broke up and I just ran to them like I’m coming over, I’m going to show you how to do this, because so many times people think that just because they’re not getting it right the first few times and their hands are coming out and they kind of start to give up and the baby learns to be without it.
If you can get into the practice and habit of doing it when it’s time to sleep is going to be cozy and restful and get it done right, then the baby will love it and you’ll get more rest, better rest for longer, employing this practice. But a lot of times if people aren’t good at it, then they give up and they’re like oh, my baby just sleeps fine without it, but their baby sleeps like one hour a night and they’re just dealing with a lot of sleep issues.
SUNNY GAULT: You know, to Garrett’s point about being able to sleep better, that was really really important to me when I had twins because I was pumping throughout the night and when they were first born they were preemies and so they couldn’t latch properly so I was like pumping every three hours.
So I really valued my sleep at night, and I could get my sleep, I really valued my sleep and my twins were the only babies I swaddled. So my older boys I never swaddled them. And that was pretty well. So I think that’s why I never really felt like I had to swaddle, but with my twins I was thinking “babies, you need to sleep as long as possible and I don’t want one baby waking up the other baby”. And so it worked out really well for me, but I have the experience of not swaddling and swaddling and I can definitely say that the twins slept longer because they were swaddled.
KRISTEN STRATTON: So Maggie, what about skin-to-skin, when is swaddling the appropriate thing to do?
MAGGIE JENNINGS: On the first few weeks, skin-to-skin is the most important thing to do. Babies down, you’re putting baby down to rest whatever, then swaddling can help them sleep longer like you guys were just talking about. It’s definitely valuable in that regard for helping parents get a little bit longer nap, be able to take a shower without having the baby crying, but when parents are awake, when mom is awake in particular, having babies skin-to-skin is going to be great for breastfeeding. In particular, that’s going to help mom’s hormones stabilize, so help baby be a lot happier in general.
Babies are born needing their parents. They need that warmth and swaddling is going to help them feel tight and secure, but if they are lying on their belly and parents’ chest, they’re also going to feel really secure that way. So I never put swaddling before skin-to-skin especially in that first month or so.
Dad’s can be doing skin-to-skin too. I was going to plug that, but it’s really important for dad to do skin-to-skin as well because then baby gets to know dad’s smell and he’s going to be able to help comfort baby as they get older as well. So I say you know, mom, feed babies, their belly is nice and full. And then dad take over, weep off that shirt, stick baby on your chest. In that way they’re full and they’re warm and they love you so much.
GARRETT MASSIE: And dads, be careful with that man skipping, don’t do a [inaudible]. You have the baby like at least let it grow for a couple of weeks or so.
SUNNY GAULT: Don’t scratch your babies.
GARRETT MASSIE: Yeah. Skin-to-skin is awesome, it makes you feel so good and you know, you have baby lying right on top of you and I remember being in the hospital and having my first laying straight on me and it’s just such a cool feeling and the babies, they do, they love it and need it.
Just one other thing I see, you knowI’m no like certified expert, but when you get in the habit of having your baby fall asleep on you and then you could, you don’t transition that into sleeping in the crib or in the nursery, then you know, it’s six months down the road or you are down the road, and then before you know it your kid’s sleeping with you and they’re five years old and that’s all I wanted to throw it out there. And I’m not naming new names.
SUNNY GAULT: Garrett.
GARRETT MASSIE: I hope they are not listening right now.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Yeah. I think that a lot of the times dads say “oh, I can’t really do anything, all I do is change diapers so you know because she’s breastfeeding, what can I do to help?” And I think Maggie makes a great point about how important bonding is when you can do skin-to-skin with your baby, that’s a great way to help mom because then she can go to take a shower or she can go to take a nap or eat something.
That’s the best time for dad to bond with baby but also to be helpful to mom. So, dads, you guys are really important, our partner you’re really important to helping mom.
MAGGIE JENNINGS: I have the cutest picture from when my first daughter was born and it’s from the hospital, and it’s of my daughter and my husband. And the nurse, this is something I’ve never seen before; the nurse had taken my baby and told my husband “pull your shirt down a little bit”.
And she shut the baby inside of his shirt and put the baby on his chest then her little head’s like kicking out and it was just the cutest thing, I’ve never seen before, because it was like a little mama King Rue with his old Joey and it was so cute but we have the picture still framed in the house. It’s just darling.
GARRETT MASSIE: Yeah. Don’t miss the opportunity to do skin-to-skin. It’s such a cool experience.
KRISTEN STRATTON: So, Maggie, at what developmental stage should parents consider discontinuing swaddling?
MAGGIE JENNINGS: Well, usually when the startle reflex, the moral reflexes start sort of going away, at that point swaddling isn’t as necessary. Part of the swaddling, you know, you lay your baby down on their back, they’ll sort of fly their arms out and that’s we’re trying to minimize because it makes them cry.
So, usually around the end of the third month, fourth month, the end of that fourth trimester, that’s going to be a good time for them to start weaning off a bit, so to speak. And some babies will like it longer and so a good way to sort of test it is to maybe swaddle them with one arm out. And if they’re able to stay resting nicely and contentedly, then it might be time to, maybe we don’t need to swaddle anymore.
If they’re fitting an arm around and really just not able to calm down, then you might want to try it for a few more weeks. The other one, the developmental stage would be when they’re rolling over. If they are able to roll over in the swaddled blanket, then we don’t really want them doing that either because it’s hard to roll back, you know, so let us put them to sleep on their back, swaddled up and then this is what you think so the marks that you’re looking for.
GARRETT MASSIE: Yeah, for me it was when they start to consistently break their arms out. The first, it just so happened to be around like the three and a half, four-month mark, when we started to swaddle with the arms out and then for the twins it was about the same, like towards the third month that we were swaddling their arms out. But, I mean, every baby seems to be different, you know whatever works for that baby, but for me, it was that they were consistently starting to break out, and they were just sleeping with their arms out. It wasn’t like they were waking themselves up, so there was no reason to be re-swaddled at that point.
KRISTEN STRATTON: When we come back we will continue our discussion about the types of swaddling and Maggie will explain why it is important to do it correctly. We will be right back.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Welcome back to the show. We’re talking with Certified Happiest Baby on the Block educator, Maggie Jennings. Maggie, how many types of swaddles are there and how can parents learn which one is right for their baby?
MAGGIE JENNINGS: You know, there might be an infinite number of swaddles out there, where is the actual swaddled baby. I’m not sure. There are different ways to, where you put the arms, you put them straight down, either across the body, do you wrap the legs up, do you have them sort of hanging loose. There are lots of different ways to actually swaddle.
I think that the best way to figure out which one is the right one for our own baby is to try them out. Is this one helping my baby stay calm? Is this one not working at all? And then going from there. The Happiest Baby on the Block in our class is we teach the dudu swaddle, which is DUDU down up down up. And that’s the one that I’m the most comfortable teaching, I found it to be very useful, helps keep the babies nice and tight and secure. But then again there are any number of swaddles out there.
GARRETT MASSIE: Yeah, and for me, I like the square swaddles and others. There are a lot of different types of zipper bags and stretchy material, things that you can kind of put them in and I just like the square blanket because in it . . . the square swaddle, they are so universal, you can lay them down, can use it for a changing mat and you can use them for breastfeeding, as a cover-up or for spit up or for keeping them warm in a stroller and then also for swaddles.
I found that the ones that are out there are so big that I was sewing, I was cutting mine and sewing them in order to do my method which is the square, I start with a square and fold it down. And if you want to see my method, you can go to the www.cosybabe.com and there is a video and a tutorial on how to do it.
But I found that I was doing that so much, manipulating the blankets that I say “hey, I’m just going to start making these myself” so that’s how the business got started and I really like using the blankets and I tried the zipper bags before falling in love with swaddles and they just didn’t seem to work as well for me.
SUNNY GAULT: So, when I swaddled my twins, I’m not a big confident swaddle, swaddler I guess, I got the pre-folded ones where there’s Velcro and I was just kind of like roll them up and tuck this in and wrap this over and there’s the Velcro. Because I just, again I just really wasn’t confident in my own abilities and I really only swaddled them at night time, so only a time a day and so half the time I was half awake because like I said every three hours I was getting up to pump and so it was kind of crazy and I was kind of sleep deprived.
So I know that worked really well for me. The downside of that for me is that those are very specific sizes. Right? So I felt like I kept graduating, my babies were growing kind of quick and so I kind of had to graduate to the next size. And then I was trying to sell the ones that were smaller and so I feel that was kind of a downside of it but if someone wanted something really kind of quick and you’re not all that confident in your abilities, it worked for me for a short period of time.
KRISTEN STRATTON: And Maggie, are there certain proper types of swaddling which parents should be aware of?
MAGGIE JENNINGS: Yeah, there are a couple of things that can be an issue. One is, you know, hip dysplasia, so we want the legs to be able to move, to bend up and across each other. That’s how they’re going to be in the womb, so we don’t want them to be forced, to be straightening out. So, when babies are swaddled, if their legs are really straight, like how we used to see in more historical like papoose in the board swaddling in that kind of situation.
Those kinds of things can lead to a hip dysplasia. So we want to make sure that the legs are loose, that’s not too tight around their hips, one of the things that we’re looking at. Another thing that’s important is making sure that we’re swaddling correctly. Because if the blanket is too loose, the baby can get out of it and lose the blanket in the bed and that has been shown that, you know, would not be a good idea because of the suffocation hazards and things like that. So making sure it’s tight and nice and snug is the really important stuff as well.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Panellists, what kind of swaddle did your child prefer?
LINDSEY: For me, kind of like Garrett, my children really prefer the blankets versus any of the swaddlers or the zip sacks or any of those things that they have out there these days. So we would just stick with the traditional three by three blankets and that’s they grew right. It’s challenging to find four by four. That’s the method that we used and the tighter for us the better. And that baby would be crying, and the second we would swaddle it, it was the instant comfort and just sleep. It was beautiful. It was a beautiful thing for our family.
GARRETT MASSIE: Yeah, the square swaddle blanket was a go-to for us for a lot of different reasons I already mentioned, but it was just nice to not have to have so many extra things to consider when putting the baby to sleep, so we had the same experience. You get to a point where the baby knows that it’s going to be comfortable in there and it’s safe and secure but it’s kind of like a learning process, that’s an awesome thing about babies, is that from the moment they’re born, they’re learning and we’re training them.
If you train them to be comfortable in the swaddle and it’s the swaddle but it’s also your rocking them, you're shushing them, your padding them, they have full tummy and then all those thoughts and happy feelings are associated with the swaddle. And that’s what I loved about it. It was being able to put them in there and instantly they would be really happy, but if you don’t train your baby to like it, then you know, it’s not going to be like instant every time from the very beginning it’s you have to teach them to love it.
MAGGIE JENNINGS: Exactly.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Maggie, are there some babies who just don’t want to be swaddled?
MAGGIE JENNINGS: Of course. I mean you always are going to have babies that don’t like certain things and when we’re looking at different kinds of things to do, I mean we’re looking at the majority. And so the majority of babies are going to like to be swaddled, they’re going to want that feeling of security, of being tightly wrapped up. But some babies just don't really like it, there aren’t really any contrary indications, any reasons that babies shouldn’t be swaddled, like the things at the top of my head, but if your baby sleeps fine without being swaddled, then they definitely don’t have to be.
There is no reason to definitely do it. But if you try swaddling and your baby doesn’t calm down normally and you’re trying swaddling and the baby isn’t really liking it, a lot of times it’s because they're either not tight enough or their arms aren’t down at all or sometimes the blanket is touching their cheek. You know, it’s just stimulating their rooting reflex, they want to eat all the time.
So a lot of times that just it’s not swaddling quite right. And that’s the baby doesn’t like it or you’re actually not swaddling correctly. Let’s just try to look at and make sure that you’ve got a really nice and tight security, arms are down and aren’t getting out and that’s not touching them basically.
GARRETT MASSIE: For me, as a swaddle nut, I’m going to say that there’s no baby that doesn’t want to be swaddled and I won’t take it politically correct, but I’m going to say if you have a baby who doesn’t like to be swaddled, call me, text me, Skype me, I will help you.
Babies just, they were sitting in the womb for as long as they were saying “I hate this. This is horrible”. And that’s what I try to recreate with this swaddle, is the consistent cozy feeling when it’s time for them to relax and rest and nap. And if you are consistent with it, then your baby will like it.
As long as you’re doing it properly, just like she said, if it’s loose and if you’re too afraid to make it snug around their arms, which is the biggest thing when they get their arms up in their face, so waking themselves up then you know, yeah, your baby is not going to enjoy it because it’s not being done right. So watch the videos that are out there and check out my website for it but there’s going to be a link for it . . . yeah, I’ll say it, all babies love it.
MAGGIE JENNINGS: Right. If I could just add one more thing, you guys. It’s something that I always was questioning myself about and timing with my children is just to remember that every baby is so different and that’s what’s key here. My first baby was swaddled until she was eight months old and my second baby was only swaddled until she was four months old. So, there’s not right or wrong time when to stop the swaddling. And I always question myself if this was going on too long or if this was not short enough. Like you guys said, if the baby’s sleeping fine without it, go ahead and let it go.
KRISTEN STRATTON: I do have kind of a unique story about this. I think swaddling is very important, but I also have a child who has special needs and in particular, has sensory issues and he hated swaddling. And by the time I had my third child I considered myself a pretty professional swaddler, but I just, not to contradict Garrett, as I definitely think that it has a lot of value.
But I do also want to encourage the moms who have a feeling that something is off to trust their mother’s intuition because I always had that nagging feeling that you know “this is kind of unusual” and not to put fear into the hearts of any of the moms out there because most babies are just fine. But in my mother’s intuition, I did have a feeling that something was off and it turned out to be a sensory issue diagnosed later in life.
So, I look back and I’m like “ah, maybe that’s why he hated the swaddle”. So that’s just kind of a unique tale from my household.
MAGGIE JENNINGS: And sometimes a lot of babies don’t like to be swaddled. I’ve noticed they’re not into it. Another thing that I was going to touch on is that there are different kinds of swaddle products out there and one of them is called the Swaddle Up. Some babies like come out, and their arms are up by their head, they’re always up there and so putting the arms down sometimes they’re not comfortable.
Swaddle Up blanket actually lets their arms be up by their ears and it zips up that they can feel secure, but for some babies, it just helps them being a little more comfortable and they are able to sleep longer when the other swaddle, the regular, so typical swaddling methods aren’t working as well. So there are a lot of different options out there, but yeah, generally babies, pretty much all babies will like to be swaddled, will like that feeling of security.
KRISTEN STRATTON: Thank you so much, Maggie and our wonderful panelists for joining us today in our discussion about when and how to swaddle your baby. And for our Newbies club members, our conversation will continue after the end of the show, as Maggie will share about the Happiest Baby on the Block technique and how swaddling is involved. For more information about the Newbies Club, please visit our website at www.newmommymedia.com.
SUNNY GAULT: All right. So before we’re going to wrap up our show today, we have a “Baby Oops”. And I love Baby Oops because there’s a chance for our listeners to share their funny stories, things that have happened within that first year of carrying for your baby. So it could be something funny you did, as a new parent, or it could be something funny your child did.
In this case, Lauren sent us this quick little email and it is Laura that did something kind of funny. And I’m sure this is something which was not necessarily funny at the time but afterward, we can laugh about it. Right? So, Laura says;
“When I brought my daughter home, I felt like super mom. I did everything and even enjoyed entertaining all the relatives that came over. Wow! That is a super mom. Amazingly that lasted about two weeks. Then one night my little girl woke up hungry and I remember that I got her from the crib, changed her diaper, warmed the bottle and rocked her. I rocked her and I rocked her, but I couldn’t figure out why she was still crying. I just rocked her. Eventually, she cried herself back to sleep, I put her back in the crib, while snuggling more, probably because she was swaddled. Well, my husband came out to check on me like an hour later, and there was no baby, a full bottle, sound asleep all around rocking myself in the chair. When he asked me what I was doing, I had no idea. Needless to say I forgot to feed her. I slept for really long time after that and didn’t play super mom anymore either”.
So I’m guessing she’s just imagined all this happening. She was dreaming that she was feeding her baby and that’s what happens with sleep deprivation. You know, Lindsey and I can talk about this sleep deprivation and making silly mistakes as the result of just not getting enough sleep. Right, Lindsey?
KRISTEN STRATTON: Even as a postpartum doula.
SUNNY GAULT: She did; that mamma needed some help. Even if it was from the husband a little bit. So anyway . . . Laura, thanks so much for sending this in. We love this kind of stories and if anyone listening, if you guys have a story that you would like us to read on the show, you can submit it to us in a couple of different ways.
You can go to our website at www.newmommymedia.com, you can send us an email from there. But the best way, I think for you guys, is to send us your stories is through voice mail. And you can do it now all through the website, which is nice. You don’t even have to pick up your phone anymore. So again, go to the website, click on that. There’s like a little banner on the side of all the New Mommy Media pages and it says send voicemail.
If you click on that, you can just use the microphone on your computer and send it in that way. And then we’ll put it in a future episode and you’ll become Internet famous. So, again, Laura thanks for sending it in. This was awesome.
KRISTEN STRATTON: That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Newbies.
Don’t forget to check out our sister show:
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• Parent Savers for moms and dads with infants and toddlers
• The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed and
• Twin Talks for parents with multiples.
Thanks for listening to Newbies. Your go-to source for new moms and new babies.
This has been a New Mommy Media production. The information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. While such information and materials are believed to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, medical advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified healthcare provider.
SUNNY GAULT: How would you like to have your own show on the New Mommy Media Network? We are expanding our line-up and looking for great content. If you are a business, or organization interested in learning more about our co-branded podcast, visit our website at www.NewMommyMedia.com.
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