Having trouble getting your little bundle of joy to settle? Swaddling could be the answer. Check out our expert tips and the latest mum-tested swaddle blankets and wraps
SleepEssentials Swaddle blanket by JustEssentials
We liked the look and feel of this pretty double-layered, cotton swaddle wrap, and the design makes it an attractive addition to any newborn layette. However, the thickness means the blanket is more seasonally suited to UAE winter rather than summer. As it’s specially shaped, it’s easy to wrap up bubba snuggly, but the swaddle also has a short shelf life as it can’t really be used as a regular blanket once they get too big for it. We found the SleepEssentials washed well (no bobbling at all) but we weren’t overly impressed with the post-wash softness.
Dhs136, available at JustKidding
The Cocooi is made from natural merino wool, which is one of the latest über fabrics being used for baby products. It’s very expensive compared to other wraps, but the look and feel is excellent. it also washes a treat and if you’re planning to use it for more than one tot, the price is less daunting. Apparently, merino wool is great in hot or cool climates, is breathable and hypoallergenic too. We really liked the fact that the swaddle is so stretchy, because it meant we could wrap up baby firmly, knowing that comfort wasn’t compromised. The Cocooi can swaddle in several different ways too (hands in/hands out/lower body only) and there is a handy cut-out in the back which means bubs can enjoy the comfort of being swaddled in their car seat too.
Big thumbs up. Dhs280, available at bubsboutique.com
Kushies organic swaddle blanket
When we first got this out of the packet, it felt deliciously soft and fluffy, so we expected great things. The blanket is shaped and easy to wrap around a newborn, plus, we liked the little hood design. However, after one wash using a babycare cycle with non bio detergents and softener, the swaddle blanket was soft and fluffy no longer. In fact, it felt downright rough and crispy, plus the brushed cotton had gone all bobbly. It’s also slightly on the small side, so you probably wouldn’t get months of wear from it as bubba would get too big. Back to the drawing board please Kushies.
Dhs100, available at JustKidding
aden + anais Swaddle Lange
A large square of cotton muslin that apparently gets softer the more you wash it, after a couple of wash cycles in our machine, we didn’t notice any difference to the texture, but no softness was lost by the washing process. With a slight stretch, and plenty of volume, we found this an excellent choice. Not only is it light and very breathable, but because it’s a basic square blanket shape, we ended up using it in all sorts of ways other than swaddling bubba; from lining her carseat, to covering the buggy in the sunshine, as an impromptu changing mat and even mopping up milk spills. Good value for money and longevity too, it’s an excellent all-round buy. Dhs175 (for a pack of two), JustKidding, BubsBoutique.com, Babysouk.com, thebabyboutique.com
All wrapped up
Maternity nurse to the stars and grandmother, Rachel Waddilove, shares her top swaddling tips with Time Out Kids.
Swaddling really enables small babies to sleep for longer periods as they feel secure and safe. Babies who are swaddled and settled on their side to sleep will usually sleep better than a baby who is not swaddled and is laid on his back with his arms free to wave about.
What’s the best method?
Fold the blanket in half to make a triangle. Lay your baby on his or her back in the middle with the point of the triangle under his feet, making sure that his head is above the top of the blanket. If you are swaddling with both arms down, place arms by their side and, wrap one side of the triangle over his body and tuck it underneath your baby. Wrap the other side of the triangle over the first triangle and tuck it under his body. I often tuck one arm down and leave one hand up so that baby can suck on his or her fingers. If your baby is very unsettled, swaddling with both arms down can have a more calming effect.
How tight is too tight?
It is important not to swaddle baby so tightly that he or she is uncomfortable. Your baby should feel safe and secure, but must not be constricted in any way either. It’s important not to bind their hip area tightly as this can cause discomfort and even hip dysplasia. Use a shawl, a cotton sheet, a cellular blanket or a purpose-designed swaddle blanket. Something slightly stretchy works well. For Dubai temperatures you may need only a sheet, but if you are in air conditioning then a shawl or blanket works very well.
How long should you swaddle?
When baby is about three months old, he or she will probably not need to be swaddled. At this stage, babies tend to prefer to have their limbs freer and you can move them into a baby sleeping bag instead.