When you become a new parent, one of the things that you will likely learn or be told you should learn is how to swaddle. Swaddling is a technique that is used to wrap up your baby while she is sleeping. The idea behind it is that you wrap her nice and snug so that it mimics the same snugness she had while in your uterus. And of course, it has the added bonus of keeping her warm, and so it’s kind of like a wrap and a blanket at the same time. While to a grown adult it may seem tight and uncomfortable, or even like a stray jacket, for a newborn baby, it is very comforting and helps them sleep better.
Apparently though, it is not a technique that was always used. In fact, my mom looks at the photos of our baby while swaddled and insists that it is too tight and that it will suffocate her to death. So, this is not a technique that has been used across generations. Our baby loves being swaddled, and she sleeps the best when she is swaddled. We know this because during the daytime when she has had longer blocks of being awake, we try to have her sleep without being swaddled, yet she is distracted. But as soon as we swaddle her, she gets to sleep faster and longer. And as you might know, Newborn babies need a lot of sleep, like somewhere between 15 to 17 hours per day. That basically means that the other times that they are awake, they need to eat, be burped, bathed, have their diapers changed, and have a very tiny bit of stimulation from us adults.
Anyway, Swaddled babies just look super cute. They are essentially like little burritos with their hands and arms tight against their body and their legs all nice and wrapped up. There really could not be any cuter way of photographing your newborn baby.
There are many techniques on how to swaddle your baby, and most require you to have a swaddle blanket that is laid out in the shape of a diamond with the pointed part closest to you. You then fold the top part of the diamond just a tad so that it forms a triangle, and then you wrap your baby. But unfortunately, while I practiced this technique on my Pooh bear stuffed animal before our baby arrived, I realized that it was not snug enough for a real tiny human and she would constantly get loose. But thankfully, our Night Nurse has a great technique that starts with the swaddle blanket folded in half into a triangle shape that has kept our baby comfortable and snug. We have both practiced this a number of times, and now I am pretty comfortable doing it myself and making sure that baby is nice and tight and won’t break out. Chris is still not super comfortable with it at this point and still relies on me to do this. While there are shortcut auto-swaddles that you can buy that we also have a few of, honestly, I get satisfaction out of knowing that I am swaddling my baby with an old-fashioned technique. And it just looks cuter. and, if you can maximize the cuteness of your newborn, then why not?