Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Art of Swaddling

One of my favorite gifts to give to first-time moms is a swaddle blanket. When my son was first home from the hospital, in those early weeks that seemed to go on forever, it was our one salvation. It’s a simple invention, nothing more than a blanket with positioned Velcro closures, but as any new mom will tell you, anything that keeps your baby happy—and sleeping—is worth its weight in gold.

There’s something about being wrapped up tightly that sooths newborns—they’re still not used to this big, wide world and all the room they have. And swaddling helps reduce the startle reflex, which is often a culprit in waking newborns.

Our choice was the Swaddle Me blanket in microfleece, but today, there are plenty of options, depending on the time of year your baby is born and your own sense of fashion. One of my favorite new choices is the super-soft bamboo option like Eazz Wrap or Beba Bean, both of which are environmentally friendly and available in a variety of colors. Halo, the creator of the its much-loved Sleepsack, (the only product that carries the gold seals from First Candle/SIDS Alliance), now offers a swaddle option, the Sleepsack Swaddler.

For parents with a strong fashion sense, the Swaddle Designs Ultimate Swaddle Blanket is available in hip designs like Mod Circles, Fresh Dots, or Dots and Hearts. And for those with a sense of humor—and boy, will it help, as you embark on the crazy ride of parenthood—Sozo always comes through. They’ve introduced their first Swaddle Set, complete with a coordinating bumblebee cap.

And sure, you could always go the low-tech route and struggle with trying to get a receiving blanket to fold perfectly into the swaddle wrap technique that the labor and delivery nurses at the hospital make look so easy, but trust me, at 3 a.m., you’ll be glad you made a small investment in an easy-to-use-even-when-you’re-sleep-deprived swaddle blanket, no matter what the print or material.


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