To Swaddle or Not to Swaddle

By Guest Blogger Shannon Ford

My girlfriend is pregnant with her first child and just asked me about my opinion of swaddling.  She is due in a few months and was told that swaddling is no longer taught in birthing classes offered at the hospital.

I was enrolled in the classes; however, my son decided to arrive early.  I had Luke on Sunday, and I was scheduled to begin the classes the following Monday.  Needless to say, my money was refunded, and I never had the class.

I had friends on both ends of the spectrum of swaddling opinions.  My girlfriend with two children had sworn by this method in order for her babies to sleep.  Another friend had her first child and swore the baby hated being swaddled, and in addition, she thought it was cruel.  I really had no opinion.  I think I lived in that new mom fantasy world of believing that my baby would sleep regardless of the method I used.  HA!

Luke was in NICU for ten days.  He was swaddled on a daily basis, and those amazing nurses were my educator of the swaddling technique.  Once we were home for a few days with Luke, we decided not to swaddle because we thought he wanted more freedom.  He would drift off to sleep and his arms would begin to flail; he would undoubtedly knock himself awake.  Back to swaddling – it was a lifesaver.  I even loved the swaddling sleep sacks when he was big enough to fit into one.

Luke was also so small that I did not have any special swaddling blankets in the beginning.  I just used the hospital blankets and receiving blankets.  He was born in the winter and was accustomed to the warm temperatures of NICU, so we would actually layer blankets for him to be swaddled.

Once he gained weight, my personal favorite swaddling blanket was the Halo SleepSack.  I even used the sleep sacks without swaddling through the winter and spring to keep him warmer when sleeping at night.  I loved those!  So many different fabrics and patterns.

In the end, I was a big fan of swaddling.  Did you have any experience with swaddling that you would like to share with our moms-to-be?


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