Many parents find that careful swaddling of a newborn baby can work wonders – by calming, reducing crying and helping baby to sleep. But if you are anything like The Hubster and me, the whole ‘swaddling with a blanket’ thing seemed much easier in the pre-baby parenting class than when baby finally came along. How did they make it look so easy? Do I fold here, or here?!
Thankfully, there are now many products on the market that make safely swaddling a newborn easy as pie – we tried a few, but the HALO SleepSack Swaddle was easily the best of these products that we used.
Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links, however all opinions are my own.
Before we continue with my review, a little bit about swaddling…
A little bit about swaddling…
Like many practices involving babies, swaddling has its fans and its critics. I read information from the American Academy of Pediatrics (US) and the National Childbirth Trust (UK) to inform this article.
This from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
“New parents often learn how to swaddle their infant from the nurses in the hospital. A blanket wrapped snuggly around your baby’s body can resemble the mother’s womb and help soothe your newborn baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that when done correctly, swaddling can be an effective technique to help calm infants and promote sleep.”
So swaddling, when done safely and correctly is very effective at calming newborn babies. They are, after all, swaddled soon after birth, in order to recreate the cosy environment of the womb. Swaddling helps to calm babies, aiding sleep and prevents them from startling themselves awake with their arms.
It is however, important to know how to swaddle correctly in order to ensure that there is no risk to baby. Criticisms of swaddling generally concern incorrect swaddling. The NCT explains that you must ensure that the swaddle is not too thick (to avoid overheating) and is not too loose or too tight. You must make sure that baby’s hips and legs can move freely and always place baby to sleep on her back. The AAP also recommends that swaddling is not carried out past the age of 2 months, so that there is no risk of baby rolling onto her tummy whilst swaddled.
Like everything else in parenting – whether to swaddle, or not to swaddle really comes down to personal choice. Personally, we found swaddling Little M as a newborn immensely helpful in calming him and helping him to sleep. Those first couple of weeks with a new baby are difficult – looking after a baby who is getting used to being in the world and unsure how to soothe themselves. Swaddling was one of the tools we had to soothe him – but we couldn’t have done it so easily and with such peace of mind, without the HALO SleepSack Swaddle…
REVIEW: HALO Sleepsack Swaddle
The HALO Sleepsack Swaddle is essentially a sleep sack (wearable blanket) that also swaddles your baby.
You put baby inside the sleep sack – with arms through the arm holes and feet tucked inside, then zip up. You then use the two ‘wings’ to swaddle baby’s arms, using the velcro to fasten shut – the left ‘wing’ goes over baby’s right arm and torso and tucks under the left arm, then the right ‘wing’ goes over baby’s left arm and torso and fastens shut with velcro. HALO says that the wrap must be “snug, below chin and in line with baby’s shoulders.”
You can also choose to swaddle under one, or both arms, if baby prefers – or if you are ready to transition to a regular sleep sack. Here’s more on safe swaddling from HALO.
Why we love this swaddle…
- It makes safe swaddling idiot proof for tired parents. A few seconds is really all the time you will want to invest in swaddling at 2AM. The swaddle is quick and easy to use – you can (literally) do it in your sleep.
- It’s safe. I felt reassured using the swaddle, knowing that there were no loose blankets that could come undone.
- Baby’s hips and legs can move freely. Since baby is in a sleep sack and just the arms are swaddled, there is no danger of the swaddle being too tight around baby’s hips or legs.
- Come in a range of materials – including 100 percent cotton and micro-fleece. Useful, as you can choose the most appropriate for your climate or house temperature. Also a nice range of colors and designs.
- Option to swaddle with arms in or out. Love this about the swaddle, as it makes it very versatile. Little M loved being swaddled at first, but after only a couple of weeks preferred his arms out. The HALO swaddle gave us the option of wrapping the folds under his arms, to create a regular sleep sack, that still gave the feeling of cosy secureness.
- Easily unzips at the bottom, for quick diaper/nappy changes. A useful feature, as saves having to take baby out of the sleep sack every time .
- Good quality and washes well. But just remember to fasten shut the velcro bits before washing!
- Inexpensive. As baby products go these are fairly affordable, especially compared with some other ‘swaddle blankets’ on the market. Just as well really as you’ll probably want a couple.
Overall, the HALO SleepSack Swaddle is a great option for any of you who would like to swaddle your newborn both easily and safely.
Here’s a pic of Little M at a couple of weeks old, with the HALO swaddle wrapped under his arms (and also sporting some lovely boxing gloves… I mean scratch mittens). Hard to believe this picture was taken 2 years ago… (sigh) Best of luck all those of you with new babies on the way soon…
Are you planning to swaddle your baby? Let us know how you get on.
Have you used the HALO Sleepsack Swaddle or did you use a different swaddle blanket? Any tips to add for newbie mamas?
Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links, however all opinions are entirely my own.
Disclaimer: Tips are intended to provide general help, but do not replace the advice of your medical professional.