Swaddle Blankets: What's the Best Material?
So you already spent hours researching products, connecting with other mommas to make sure you got all the essentials covered on your registry. You ask any mom, swaddle blankets would definitely be one of the first items mentioned.
First of all, let's get this question out of the way, do all newborn babies have to be swaddled, and, if so, why?
The answer is no, even though swaddling continues to be a common practice when it comes to newborn care. The reason for that is a number of observed benefits of swaddling, including:
- Calming and soothing effect due to resemblance of the mother's womb
- Reduced startle reflex, resulting in better and longer sleep with fewer interruptions
- Less excessive crying noted in newborns under 7 weeks of age
With that said, the same study also highlights the risks associated with swaddling, which parents should be aware of. The risk appears to be the highest when a swaddled baby is placed on the belly or side, which further highlights the importance of always placing babies to sleep on their backs, to help prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Proper swaddling techniques should always be used, making sure swaddling blankets don't come undone or loose and ensuring babies can bend their legs up and out at the hips for proper hip development.
Now that we got pros and cons of swaddling out of the way, let's focus on the swaddles themselves. With so many options in the marketplace, including different fabric types, it can be quite a choice for new mommas. To help simplify your selection process, here's our bottom line recommendation based on research and experience.
Our #1 choice - organic muslin cotton swaddles. Why? Muslin cotton is incredibly lightweight, making it highly breathable, which is what you want for an infant to ensure proper temperature regulation and prevent overheating. It's very soft and gets even softer with every wash. Organic cotton is always what we recommend the most, whenever possible, to help reduce kids' exposure to harmful chemicals as well as reduce environmental impact. We believe buying organic is even more important for infants and little kids, as they are especially susceptible to negative effects of chemically treated materials (to learn more about regular vs organic cotton, check out this article).
The above are the reasons behind offering exclusively organic muslin cotton swaddles on our site. They are multi-functional too: great as stroller blankets, nursing covers, lightweight cover blanket and more. No need to buy separate function specific items. Buying less is good for your wallet and good for our planet as well. As usual, we advocate for investing into fewer high quality functional items, vs more sub-par ones.
We would love to hear other moms' experiences with swaddling and swaddle blankets. Feel free to post any questions or suggestions in the comments section below.