Posted in Baby sleep, Blog, Caring for your baby, Mother, Rebecca

Double swaddle

It doesn’t matter where your baby was born, hospital or home birth, America or Japan, everyone knows the value of the swaddle. Swaddling wraps the baby tight in a blanket holding their arms close and snug to their sides making them feel safe and secure, much like they were in the womb.

Swaddling is the first “S” in Harvey Karp’s 5 S’s of how to soothe a fussy baby. He writes about it in his book, “The Happiest Baby on the Block”. It’s a good read.

I learned how to swaddle in the hospital before I came home with the baby. They used these thin blankets and most of the time, used 2. I thought I had it down. But after I came home, I realized my blankets were so much smaller than theirs. I really had trouble doing their technique with the ones I had. Often times, I used 2 blankets and he would still find a way out with his arms. I’m sure every Mom can relate.

Then I thought maybe he didn’t like swaddling because he was always trying to get his arms free. I was going weekly to the First Weeks class taught by Ann Keppler, co-author of “Pregnancy Childbirth and the Newborn.” It was here that I asked about swaddling. She said that many moms think their babies don’t like to be swaddled because they always get their arms free. And sometimes are fussy when you are doing it. She then showed the whole class how to do a “double swaddle“. I had never seen that before and was mesmerized.

First of all, you have to use a bigger blanket, a much bigger blanket. A few Moms in my class recommended these Muslin cotton blankets by Adan & Anais. You can buy them at Birth and Beyond in Madison Park. They are 44×44 and a light cotton. I went immediately and bought a 4 pack. (They also work well for a light blanket in the summer and I use them to cover up while nursing.)

With this technique, it is holding the arms down twice, and also keeps the legs free. It also puts blanket between the legs which results in splaying the hips out more. Some awareness has been raised recently about the concerns of swaddling affecting baby’s hip development. The NY Times wrote an article about it in 2008 called, “The Right Way to Swaddle.”

I went home that day and immediately used the double swaddle technique. My son started sleeping longer stretches during the night and I also swaddled him for naps. For months after starting this swaddling technique, he took 3 hours naps in the afternoon. We used this swaddle technique until he was 9 months old. He truly loved being swaddled. Sometimes he would be screaming and after I got him swaddled, he would calm down instantly and even smile. For the winter time, I swaddled him in one muslin blanket and then put him in a sleep sack. This worked wonderful!

Here is a link to a You Tube video on how to do the double swaddle.

You can always give it a try and go back to the swaddle you were previously using. I think everyone I know was using this double swaddle in the first weeks and months. It is almost a miracle how well it works.

If you have any questions or other tips on swaddling, please feel free to leave a comment. Happy Swaddling.

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  1. I found your blog on google. I’m trying to create my own blog post about double-swaddling because it’s been so helpful to longer stretches of sleeping in our house. I’ve never seen this version, though. Neat!

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