Importance of a Tight Swaddle
Swaddling is not only a comfort to your little one, but it can also aid in safe sleeping—as long as proper swaddling techniques are used. One of the most important steps in using a swaddle blanket like The Ollie with your baby is ensuring that the swaddle is tight.
First, let’s review the benefits of swaddling:
- Improved sleep for baby and for parents
- Decreases the startle reflex, in turn increasing REM sleep
- Reduces colic and fussiness
- Prevents over-stimulation and helps your little one feel comforted
- Helps infants remain on their backs during sleep
So, why is a tight swaddle so important?
Safe Sleep Guidelines – If you’ve done any research on swaddling, you’ve probably read a lot about the Safe Sleep Guidelines. These guidelines were created by the American Association of Pediatrics to help parents understand how they can help keep their infants protected from the risk of SIDS.
A tight swaddle first and foremost helps your little one to stay positioned on his back. Safe Sleep Guidelines recommend ONLY back sleeping for your little one until he is able to roll over on his own. Even then, you should always place him to sleep on his back to begin with. If he rolls to his side or stomach on his own, it’s OK to leave him as long as there are no blankets or toys covering his face.
Safe Sleep Guidelines also state that there should be NO blankets, bumper pads or toys in the crib. This is another reason that a tight swaddle is a key meeting these guidelines. If your swaddle blanket is loose, it is considered a blanket in the crib. Babies can be little Houdinis at wiggling out of a swaddle, and this can put them at risk for SIDS. A tight swaddle will stay in place, providing many benefits without additional risks.
It’s important to keep in mind that swaddling should be stopped once your baby can roll over on his own.
Comfort and Security – The main reason for swaddling is to mimic the warmth and comfort of the womb. If a swaddle is loose, it is not providing this security to your little one to begin with and puts your little one at risk. Like we said above, a loose swaddle can be considered a blanket in the crib, which isn’t safe for you baby.
Swaddling doesn’t just help with sleep. An appropriately tight swaddle will help to calm your little one, meaning he will sleep better at night and be alert during the day. Isn’t it true that when you get a good night’s sleep, you have a much better day? The same goes for your baby. A good night’s sleep will help your little one learn more when he’s awake.
How do I know if I have my swaddle blanket tight enough or too tight?
A good rule to follow is that your swaddle should be tight enough that you can still slide your hand in between the swaddle blanket and your little one’s chest. What’s wonderful about The Ollie is that our patented material and Velcro strips provide enough stretch that your little one can move but still remain secure within the swaddle without it becoming loose. As always, we are here to be of support to you. Please contact us anytime Care@theollieworld.com.