A New Dad’s Guide to Swaddle Blankets
Why do you need a new dad’s guide to swaddle blankets? Babies sleep the same way Jorge Masvidal fights: it’s absolute chaos most of the time. While your newborn (hopefully) doesn’t deliver flying knees at night, you should know how to keep them calm.
That’s where swaddle blankets come in. Designed to keep babies warm and serene throughout the night, they can be the key to getting a good night’s sleep with a newborn. For those who don’t know, a swaddle blanket wraps around the baby’s body to help the baby catch z’s.
If you didn’t get one at the shower, a swaddle blanket should be one of the first purchases you make when preparing for a baby. Of course, we might be a little biased, but we don’t sell anything we don’t think you should have. We make swaddle blankets that remind you of your hoop dreams, and allow you to keep having them.
Why Use A Swaddle Blanket
Swaddling has been around since before we had plumbing. It’s an actually ancient practice that continued into the modern era because it helps babies settle in and get restful sleep. The basic idea is that the cozy warmth that the blanket provides makes sleep better for both the baby and the parent.
The reason that babies wake up so many times during the night is their startle reflex. Basically, as babies fidget and move around during the night they start to jerk their arms and legs. When they do this, they often end up shocking themselves - and then they wake up, and then they cry, and then you wake up, and then the night sucks.
Swaddling a baby puts just enough pressure on a baby that it stops them from startling themselves awake. I’m sure you can imagine how wonderful this is, but let me explain anyway. A swaddled baby sleeps longer, doesn’t wake up with random scratches and bruises, and cries less during the night.
Obviously, a swaddle blanket will help to keep your newborn warm, too. By covering the entire body, a swaddle blanket maintains all of the body heat that’s released during the night. While this can make the baby too warm on some nights, a well-designed blanket can prevent this.
You can swaddle a baby without a designated swaddle blanket, but swaddling is difficult to get right. And you shouldn’t be swaddling with just any random blanket. There are a lot of factors that go into making a blanket good (and healthy) for swaddling.
What to Look for in Swaddle Blankets
The first thing that you need to look for when buying a swaddle blanket is what type of swaddle you’re buying. Swaddles are usually broken down into blankets and wraps. Blankets aren’t shaped but might have other design properties that make them good for swaddling.
Wraps are shaped specifically to be a swaddle, and have fastening tools to make it easier to get the swaddle right. Typically, wraps are the way to go when you’re looking specifically for a swaddle. Keep blankets around when you’re on the go, though, in case you need to improvise.
You need to consider the fabric that the blanket is made out of. Microfleece can be great during the winter because it’s warm and dries easily but can overheat quickly. Bamboo has become common and is soft and breathable, but has shrinkage issues. Polyester is durable and warm, but many parents choose to avoid man-made fabrics. We use 100% cotton because it’s soft, breathable, and durable.
The final thing to consider is the fastening that your swaddle wrap uses. Zippers can make the fastening process simple, but can also be irritating to the baby. Velcro is one of the more common fastening types because it’s simple and easy, but can wake up your baby when you take it off. We get around this by using two tabs, significantly reducing the noise. We also include a bottom zipper that allows you to change your little one’s diaper without removing them from their swaddle.
Ties can also be great as they allow you to adjust the fastening easily. However, these can be difficult if your baby is squirmy. But if you don’t mind wrestling your baby a little bit they can be good.
Swaddle Blanket Tips for New Dad’s
For new dad’s, swaddle blankets can be a godsend. If you, your wife, and your baby want good, uninterrupted sleep, they’re an absolute must. There are a few things to be careful of, though.
Swaddles are perfect for newborns 0-4 months. Once a baby begins to roll over on their bellies, swaddles should not be used. It can be easy for a baby in a swaddle to overheat or become uncomfortable. To prevent this, make sure that you check your babies temperature, keep the room temperature in check, and give them just a little room to flex.
And if you’re a new dad looking for a swaddle blanket that’s perfect for you and your baby, check out our products. We want to make sure your newest draft picks stay serene.