If you’re wondering, both sleepsacks and swaddles are safe for babies. However, which one to use is totally up to your little one. You won’t know the answer to this until you’re able to bring baby home from the hospital. After a few nights at home, you’ll be able to tell if your baby is a swaddle type or if it’s best to use a sleepsack as an alternative. How will you be able to tell? Even though your baby isn’t able to tell you, he’ll be able to let you know by his actions. Here are a few signs to look out for to let you which one your baby will get the best night’s rest.
It’s always best to start with a swaddle since your healthcare providers will be swaddling baby as soon as you deliver for the remainder of the nights you’ll be spending at the hospital together. Once you bring baby home, you’ll want to try a week of swaddling. If you notice that your little one is waking up constantly trying to break out of his swaddle, it’s time to look at other alternatives. Believe it or not, not all babies love being swaddled. Although it’s supposed to keep them nice, tight, and warm as they were in the womb, some babies are ready to stretch out now that they have the extra room.
Another alternative to this is to try to do a half swaddle. A half swaddle consists of leaving baby’s arms out by swaddling only up to their armpits. Doing it this way allows for baby to be able to move his arms and hands as he pleases during bedtime. Before you try a half swaddle, be sure that it’s not the actual swaddle material that your baby doesn’t like. For example, he may not like the stiff material it’s made out of. In that case, try a stretchier, softer type of swaddle. If you notice he’s still trying to fight it, it may be that you’re not swaddling tight enough. An example of this would be those velcro swaddles. If this is the case, you may want to ditch the velcro and go back to the swaddle blanket.
If you have tried all of this and still get the same reaction, then it’s time to look into sleep sacks.
A baby sleep sack is a wonderful substitute for a baby swaddle. Sleep sacks are meant to keep babies safe during sleep by allowing plenty of wiggle room for both their legs and arms while having a layer on them to keep them warm while they sleep. If you’re swaddling and notice that your baby is trying to roll over in his sleep, you should stop swaddling immediately to avoid SIDS. You’ll usually be able to notice this around two to four months old.
Once your baby outgrows their swaddle stage, you’ll want to upgrade to a sleepsack for safety precautions as should never use a blanket in your baby’s crib or any other loose articles that can cause suffocation. When you reach this stage you can also upgrade the use of your swaddles by using them as nursing covers if you’re still breastfeeding in case you feel as if you didn’t get enough use out of them (especially if your baby preferred a sleep sack over the swaddle from the very beginning).
Whether your baby prefers a swaddle or a sleepsack be sure to dress them appropriately. Be mindful of that extra layer so if it’s warmer you’ll want to dress baby with a light layer. Spunky Stork’s organic baby clothes has different options to dress baby according to the temperature. If it’s cool, keep in mind that baby will have their arms exposed if wearing a sleep sack to bed so you may want to dress them in a long-sleeve onesie.
Pay attention to your baby’s cues and you’ll both be able to find what works best for you both.