Safe Swaddling Techniques
Even though there are how-to videos, FAQs and other swaddle-related blog topics on our site, I’d like to walk step-by-step through swaddling your little one with the Ollie. In each step we will highlight the techniques that ensure the Ollie swaddle is meeting safe sleep guidelines for your little one.
First, spread the Ollie out and ensure it is smoothed. You’ll notice some indentations in the middle at the top that serve as a guide for where to lay your baby. These indentations also keep the fabric of the Ollie from bunching up around your little one’s neck and face.
When you lay your baby on the swaddle, make sure she is positioned with the tops of her shoulders above the line of the fabric. It can be very tempting to swaddle your baby with the fabric higher up because it seems warm, comforting and snuggly but it’s not safe. Having fabric of any kind against your little one’s face increases the risk for suffocation. Remember, it’s the tightness of the swaddle that soothes your little one.
Next, fold the first side of the Ollie across your little one’s torso. We suggest positioning her arms either down by her sides or across her torso. Depending on her size, there may be enough fabric to tuck behind her back. Be sure to pull the fabric taut across her body and rest assured that the fabric of the Ollie was specially designed with a stretch that will allow enough give that she can move without breaking free.
Then, fold over the second side. Again, be sure to pull the fabric tight around your little one. Since this is how you fasten the Ollie, be sure that you’re aligning the Velcro to secure the swaddle. Not sure how tight is too tight? Our rule of thumb is that you should be able to slide your hand between the Ollie and your little one’s chest comfortably but without any extra “give” in the fabric.
Finally, secure the elastic loop at the bottom of the Ollie. It should be right below your baby’s feet. Since the Ollie is designed to fit babies of all shapes and sizes, there may be extra fabric below the band—and that’s fine. Securing the band ensures that the fabric doesn’t rise and end up around your little one’s face during sleep.
But safe swaddling techniques don’t end once the Ollie is secured! We have a few more tips for ensuring your little one’s safety while swaddled. Always lay your little one to sleep on her back. Always. Swaddling is a tool that should be used in moderation. Since swaddling assists your little one in learning to self soothe, leave her unswaddled some during the day as she dozes so she can put those self-soothing skills to work.
Think of swaddling in terms of “all things in moderation.” Avoid swaddling your baby too frequently during the day and opt instead for activities like tummy time that help promote physical development.
When the time comes for your little one to begin sleeping without the swaddle, don’t think of loosening the swaddle as a way to begin that adjustment. A loose swaddle goes against the safe sleep guidelines. Instead, help your little one adjust by first swaddling with one arm out, then both arms out and finally removing the swaddle completely. Remember that we are always here to be of support to you. Please contact us anytime Care@theollieworld.com.