An Easier Way to Swaddle, What Works with our Baby Escape Artist

 Brooks Kooiman Stuckey (2 Weeks Old)

Brooks Kooiman Stuckey (2 Weeks Old)

An easier way to swaddle. Doesn't that have a nice ring to it!?! This post should hopefully help you find the best way to swaddle your baby. I think I have seriously discovered the secret to swaddling a baby in a way that is easy for parents, won't wake up the baby, won't scare the baby, and won't allow the baby to wiggle out!

When my baby boy, Brooks was born I had stocked up on about a dozen muslin wraps I planned to use for swaddling. While in hospital, my husband and I tried the swaddle method we had learned in our parenting classes. After Brooks wiggled out, we had a midwife show us another method. Well, we quickly realized we had an escape artist on our hands. Brooks would wiggle his way out every time. Because of all the SIDS warnings from our instructor and all the baby literature we had been reading in the months leading up to his birth, we thought we better find another way. As new parents of course we were concerned he could wiggle out, kick up the muslin, and God forbid something horrible happen. It wasn't an unhealthy fear, but something we thought we had better sort out. Along with the safety hazards, I also realized every time I would take Brooks out of the swaddle to change his diaper, I would end up waking him, by having to move him around so much as wrapping him in. Some of these small failures may have been because I was new at swaddling, but I just thought, there has to be an easier way.

 Brooks could always wiggle out of these muslin wraps!

Brooks could always wiggle out of these muslin wraps!

 Anna Kooiman, Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia, Emma Wand Photography

Anna Kooiman, Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia, Emma Wand Photography

I tried another method which involves a velcro swaddle. Although it kept Brooks nice and snug and he was unable to wiggle out, any time I would undo the velcro, he would get quite a fright from the loud noise. 

Finally... a break came that would help all three of us get some extra shut eye! Some Aussie friends of my hubby's gave us what they called a summer, newborn, sleep suit. They swore by it, so we thought we would give it a try. It was dummy proof! We would just put our newborn in the suit, and zip him in! Brooks slept very well in it. His little arms were up by his face rather than in a straight jacket at his sides. He was able to soothe himself by still sucking on his hands, albeit through the light fabric.

anna kooiman baby

The sleepy suit as we now call it is called Swaddle Up by Love to Dream. We loved it instantaneously and haven't looked back since. As the weather turned a little cooler and Brooks grew, we moved up to a size medium and a thicker fabric. He just started rolling a couple weeks ago so we are now using a version that allows the wings to zip off, allowing his arms to move freely. We initially just unzipped one side so he could get used to the new sleepy suit. He now has both arms free and is certainly sleeping like a baby! There is also a twin zip feature that allows caretakers to unzip the sleepy suit from the top to get bubby out, or from the bottom up to change his/her diaper while minimizing disturbances in position. 

I can't recommend these enough! The only downside I can see is the price tag. It will run you about $60 a pop! But I have to say, it has been a lifesaver for me. I can easily see why it won the award of Most Popular Swaddle award last year from the Mother and Baby Awards in Australia.

Below you will find a Q and A about swaddling methods with the founder of Love to Dream, Hana-Lia Krawchuk.

ANNA: What is the purpose of swaddling and how soon should it begin?

love to dream

HANA: Over the centuries mothers swaddled their babies to promote better sleep or to assist in settling, due to the fact that it mimics the position and snugness that babies felt whilst still in the womb. Various medical studies into the effects of swaddling have been performed in the past few years. Swaddling should begin as soon as baby is born, to ensure they feel snug and safe from day one, to encourage a peaceful sleep routine.

ANNA: What are the advantages of swaddling in general?

HANA: Various medical studies have shown that swaddled babies sleep better, swaddling may help reduce the risk of SIDS, that there are health benefits of swaddling in premature babies and swaddled babies learn to self-soothe better and faster.

ANNA: What are the disadvantages to traditional swaddling?

HANA: Traditional swaddling or wrapping using a blanket or muslin wrap can be difficult for new parents, especially at night when you’re feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. Add to that the fact that babies naturally want to have their hands up close to their face to self-soothe, and you have a little escape artist on your hands! For the simplest way to swaddle, try a Swaddle UP by Love To Dream. The innovative swaddle that also allows your baby to sleep in their natural position with arms UP. Arms UP means your baby is not deprived of access to their hands for self-soothing, which can also help them sleep longer. The genius twin zipper also allows for easy nappy/diaper changes without having to completely unswaddle your baby.

ANNA: Why did the founders of Love to Dream decide to design the Swaddle Up?

HANA: In 2008, Hana gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Elijah. Like many new parents Hana and her husband faced significant challenges in getting their newborn son to sleep. Challenges that lead to 18 months of sleepless nights, & hundreds of dollars spent on products that promised to restore the family’s sleep and NOTHING worked. Trial-and-error and mother’s intuition lead Hana to her first real glimpse of a solution: Elijah seemed to sleep better with his arms UP, rather than wrapped against his body as she, like most new mothers, had been taught to do.

ANNA: Are there different Swaddle Up sizes for different ages?

HANA: Yes! Designed for use from birth to around 4 months, the unique arms UP design of our Swaddle UP™ allows your baby to calm quickly for a longer, better quality sleep. When baby starts to roll, usually at around 4 months old, Giving up the Swaddle UP™ can be a challenging process for your baby, and you. The Swaddle UP 50/50™ is designed to resolve this transition with a unique zip-off wing feature to help preserve your baby's safe sleep routine. Once your child is a little older or is ready to sleep “unswaddled”, or “independently”, you may worry that your child is too hot or cold at. Our functional Sleep Suits and Sleep Bags are designed to enable increased air flow & better temperature regulation, in a range of TOG (weight) fabrics. 

ANNA: What about rolling? When is it time to have a baby’s arms free?

HANA: When you baby starts to roll, it is unsafe to keep them swaddled. Transitioning from swaddling to arms-free sleep is easy with the Swaddle UP 50/50™. Just zip off one wing allowing one arm to be free and the other swaddled. A few nights later, simply zip off the other wing allowing both arms to be free - avoiding any disruption to their sleep routine.

ANNA: Is there anything else you would like to add?

 

HANA: Parents should remember that each baby is different and that above all, you should always trust your instinct!

 

 

Hana-Lia Krawchuk, founder of Love To Dream™ & the inventor of the Newborn to Toddler Sleep system™, knows that necessity really is the mother of invention.

Love To Dream™ is a real Australian success story. The journey began in 2008 when Hana gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Elijah. Like many new parents Hana & her husband faced significant challenges in getting their newborn son to sleep. Challenges that lead to 18 months of sleepless nights, & hundreds of dollars spent on products that promised to restore the family’s sleep. Nothing worked. Trial-and-error & a mother’s intuition lead Hana to her first real glimpse of a solution: Elijah seemed to sleep better with his arms UP, rather than wrapped against his body as she, like most new mothers, had been taught to do. Reading & research seemed to confirm it - medical science suggests that babies really can sleep better if they have access to their hands for self-soothing.

Using her skills as an experienced fashion designer, Hana spent many hours, days & weeks refining, simplifying, sampling & resampling the very first version of the signature Swaddle UP™. By the following year, Swaddle UP™ hit the stores of Sydney. Two weeks later it had sold out.  The Love To Dream™ story had begun.

Since then, millions of parents across the world have come to learn that Love To Dream™ products really work! In 2017, from a field of 2000 Australian businesses, Love To Dream™ was honored as a top 20 Winner of the Westpac Businesses of Tomorrow Award. The award recognizes the top 20 companies that are shaping Australia’s future through leadership and innovation.