WHEN DO I NEED THEM? From birth.
WHAT ARE THEY? Squares of fabric (typically measuring 120 x 120cm) that are used to wrap your baby in the first few months after birth so they feel secure whilst sleeping, the same way they did whilst in the womb.
WHY DO I NEED THEM? Swaddling is an ancient technique of wrapping your baby tightly to make her feel secure, as it mimics the closeness your baby felt in utero. Recommended by many midwives as a way of comforting newborns in the early days, it is generally advised to only swaddle for the first few months. Nonetheless, always be guided by your own baby: some like the feeling of closeness, while others will wriggle more and prefer to have their arms free.
FEATURES TO CONSIDER Swaddle wraps are designed to make your baby feel snug and secure, rather than to keep her warm, so choose a lightweight breathable fabric. There are hundreds of options to choose from made from muslin, linen, bamboo… You may also want to opt for organic fabrics that use only natural dyes.
Despite having a limited lifespan as a swaddle, the generous size of most muslins these days gives it multiple uses: as a lightweight sheet/cover for your baby in hot weather, as a buggy or cot sunshade, as a breastfeeding cover or as a changing table cover, or for winding and spills
WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS? There are lots of designs to choose from: royal favourite (as worn by Prince George, no less) Aden+Anais has an extensive collection of gorgeous designs in cotton and bamboo, while Mini Boden has supersize muslins in a range of fun prints including cute animals and a London design. We particularly love the scrumptious colours of WeeGoAmigo‘s Coloured Muslins from The Little Linen Company (pictured above). You can also buy shaped swaddle blankets, which make for quick easy swaddling – though it’s fun to master the art of wrapping your baby like a little burrito! But do note that swaddling is only suitable for newborns; from around six weeks, your baby will benefit more from freedom of movement.
SEE THE FULL ‘NEW BABY CHECKLIST’ FEATURE HERE for all those other baby essentials…