The Improvised Swaddle.

by heirtoblair on December 6, 2012

Confession: I didn’t know much about swaddling babies until I had one. I saw the swaddles in the baby store that were pre-made with Velcro and designs & registered for a few. I knew babies liked to be swaddled for warmth & security & I also knew that loose blankets weren’t an option because of SIDS. I didn’t put much thought into it – I just figured that they were something everyone put on the registry.

Then Harrison was born and the first time I held him, he was wrapped like a baby burrito in the generic hospital baby blanket with a little cap & squinty eyes. Later that day, the nurse showed us how to swaddle him with a blanket, no Velcro or snaps needed. We practiced & practiced & eventually got it right. But my little boy had reflux & wanted to be held constantly & was born in cold weather. So we modified the swaddle a bit to fit his needs. We used mostly flannel blankets (but for the next baby, I’m splurging on muslin!).

First step is to do the basic swaddle with a flannel or muslin blanket. Make sure it’s good & tight. Then take a thicker blanket & fold it in half. Wrap it snug around baby’s middle & legs. Make sure it is super-snug. I don’t know why it worked for Harry, but my guess is that it a) kept him warmer & b) the snug fit created the illusion that he was being held. Maybe it even helped calm his reflux by creating pressure on his belly? I don’t know, but he would instantly calm much easier when he was swaddled this way.

george1 1024x764 The Improvised Swaddle.

Another swaddling tip? The Double Swaddle. Do the basic swaddle with a thinner blanket. Then do a second swaddle with a heavier, warmer blanket. I am partial to those big fluffy ones sold in Target. That, of course, is completely up to your comfort level. We only used this with naps but we also were not worried about SIDS. But it was awesome on those cold winter days when he was just a few weeks old.

george2 1024x764 The Improvised Swaddle.

Did you improvise with the swaddle at all?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Alyssa December 6, 2012 at 4:28 am

You don’t know swaddling till you’ve tried the escape proof swaddled. YouTube it. You’ll <3 it.


Alyssa December 6, 2012 at 4:28 am

Swaddle. Not swaddled


Erin December 6, 2012 at 9:50 am

We swaddled using flannel blankets with Wesley, but I splurged on the Aden + Anais swaddling blankets with Liam – they ROCK! I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE how huge they are – even now that Liam’s 15 months old, they are longer than he is! Both mine were escape artists, and disliked swaddling unless they could have an arm free to flail. I didn’t find out about the Escape Proof Swaddle until they were both too big to use it…LOL.


Ruthie December 6, 2012 at 10:46 am

Miracle Blanket for night. Muslin for day. Both must have registry items.


Kelli G December 6, 2012 at 11:35 am

My oldest is just a few days younger than Harrison & we rocked the flannel swaddle when he was born. I just didn’t know muslin existed. When my twins were born (22 months later), we had moved from Michigan to Florida and I was in search of a less toasty swaddling option. That’s when I found aden + anais & Jesus God, does muslin rock my socks. And they still love their muslin blankies now at 15 months, even though they’re long past the swaddling stage.


Nicole December 9, 2012 at 12:52 am

Ditto the Miracle Blanket. Saved my sanity and was the only way Riley would sleep. He finally started breaking out of the Miracle Blanket swaddle around 5 months. I’ll buy one for any baby shower I go to.


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