I recently had the chance to catch up with Tamara from Pea Wee Baby to ask her about the ins and outs of swaddling.She had some great insight and advice! Thanks Tamara!
Me: What are the benefits of swaddling?
Tamara: Swaddling has several benefits.
- keeps them warm
- helps them sleep longer
- provides relief from colic and fussiness
- helps baby sleep on his back, which reduces the risk of SIDS
- keeps the startle reflex in check. babies that sleep on their backs
tend to startle themselves awake.
- it's soothing and reminds them of the closeness, comfort and warmth of
Me: When would you swaddle?
Tamara: It all depends on the baby. Personally, I swaddled my two youngest at the
hospital and for probably their first few days. I didnt swaddle either of
them much until around the age of 5-6 weeks old when their startle reflexes
really kicked in. At that point they had to be swaddled to stay asleep for
more than a few minutes at a time. I would swaddle for naps and nighttime.
I continued to swaddle them for naps and bedtime until they were old
enough that I began to worry they might roll over while swaddled.
I'd also swaddle any time they seemed especially fussy. A crying baby
with arms flailing can be calmed by wrapping them up and holding them
Me: How do you swaddle?
Tamara: Again, it depends on the baby. Some are perfectly content wrapped up in a
blanket. Some are little houdini's that can break out a traditional
swaddle in 2 seconds flat. The preferred position according to Dr. Harvey
Karp in "Happiest Baby on the Block" is to have their arms at their sides.
If you watch the nurses in the hospital, you'll see them put baby on the
blanket, pull the arm down to the side, wrap that half of the body and tuck
the blanket around the back. Then the pull the next arm down to the side
and wrap the rest of the blanket around the entire body. This method works
great until baby can get their arm bent and their hand up near their face.
At that point it becomes a wrestling match with the blanket, trying to get
that arm out and that's when the grunting and fussing starts.
Me: How does your product work?
Tamara: My products work by wrapping baby's arms to keep them at their sides. I
use a knit fabric, which stretches, so their arms aren't completely
immobilized. They can move their arms, but they aren't able to get that
elbow bent all the way to a 90 degree angle, which would allow them to
break out of the top. I have three different designs. One is an accessory
piece makes any ready-made swaddle or just an ordinary receiving blanket a
bust-proof swaddle. Another is designed so that baby can be safely buckled
into a swing or bouncy seat while swaddled. It would also work perfectly
with your sleep positioner! The last one is like a traditional ready-made
swaddle, but it's design makes the leg pouch is impossible to kick out of.