It can feel overwhelming how much you need to know from the first day the baby arrives. What is the perfect temperature for the baby? What should the baby wear under the swaddle?
A swaddle is simply a blanket, that adds a layer of protection and comfort for the baby to makes them feel safe and constrained. The restraint does not allow them to wake up from their startle reflex, which you’ll frequently see with newborns not used to being outside the womb. Underneath, you can use just a diaper if the temperature is hot, such as during summer. If it is wintertime, however, a soft onesie will do the job. Ultimately, what the baby should be wearing underneath mostly depends on the nursery’s room temperature, where the baby will sleep.
5 Factors to consider
1. Summer vs. Winter
It is a common thing that the baby is either overdressed or undressed. Many parents choose to put few clothes during the summer and layering the baby more than enough during the winter.
Overdressing the baby during winter is dangerous as with any other season. In severe cases can cause fever. It is normal to want your baby to be warm and protect it from the cold environment. However, a cotton onesie, or baby bodysuit with long sleeves, will be perfectly fine along with socks.
You can use a cotton blanket that is light on hot summer days and lets you feel the baby’s skin. If you want to put a clothing under the swaddle, go for a short-sleeved onesie. In case you are growing and you no longer swaddle, choose one-piece pajama with short sleeves.
When the temperature is changing day to day, the trick is to regularly touch your baby’s skin and make sure that it feels okay. During spring and fall, ensure you dress the baby in layers and take off of them when it gets warm.
2. Room temperature
The ultimate baby room temperature is 65 F. Make sure that you have an indoor thermometer that will keep you updated on the nursery’s room. This will let you know how to dress it and if it is too hot or cold.
You might think heat is required for the baby to feel good. However, too much heat is risky for its health. Sudden infant death syndrome from overheating the baby is a thing, and you have to avoid doing it.
3. The swaddle material
In summer and winter, choose natural fibers. Such natural fibers are cotton, cashmere, silk, linen, wool, and hemp. They are the right choice because they absorb moisture or sweat when it is hot outside. On the other hand, when the weather is cold, natural fibers effectively insulate and allow more comfortable layering.
4. Baby skin
The trick to understanding if the baby is fine with the room temperature is to check the skin in different places. If their little fingers are cold, you might need to give them some mittens. If they are too hot, take off a layer of clothing. The place that best tells you the baby’s temperature is the back of its neck.
5. The TOG rating of the swaddle
The TOG rating is a number often listed on swaddle packaging, that gives you information about the insulation and warmth that the garment or bedding retains. Put simply, a lower TOG rating means a lighter fabric. The higher the rating, the better insulated it is for retaining warmth. Awareness of TOG-rated fabrics are very important, as your baby cannot regulate their temperature like us adults.
What to use for swaddling the baby?
You have two options to swaddle the baby. One is to use a blanket, the other is to purchase fitted swaddle wrap.
- The swaddle blanket
Any breathable material or cotton of the blanket will help the air circulation and prevent increasing body heat. To become better at swaddling with a blanket, you need to practice it more.
The more you swaddle the baby, the more effective your technique will become. This is a challenge that many young parents face at the beginning. However, do not worry! You will get used to it and turn into a pro once you get the hang of it.
Never use a too tight or too loose blanket. Cotton or bamboo is some of the best fibers for swaddle blankets.
- The fitted swaddle wrap
There are hundreds of swaddle wraps out there. What you need to know in advance is to check the size and make sure it will fit your baby’s measurements. Depending on how big or small the swaddle wrap is, it will wiggle more or less.
Safety Tips for Swaddling
- Always check the temperature
As we mentioned above, overheating the baby is dangerous and can cause severe conditions. Ensure that the material is breathable before swaddling the baby with a blanket or wrap.
- The baby hips should be able to waggle
There is a risk of dysplasia if you swaddle the baby too tight. Always ensure the baby’s legs are free to shake and the hips to waggle. This is the safest way and the best position for the baby’s overall health while wrapped in a swaddle.
- Place the baby to sleep on the back
When the baby is swaddled, put him to sleep on its back. This will prevent it from turning over and end up in an uncomfortable and dangerous position. If the swaddling is done correctly, laying on the back will soothe and calm the baby.
See also: Review of The Nested Bean Sleep Sack
The baby is soothed when swaddling because it reminds it of the mother’s womb. This does help it to sleep better and feel more secure, as many people think. This is why providing the maximum comfort of your baby when swaddling is essential and will help to stay calmer.
Every baby individually prefers a specific temperature, same as with grown-ups. During every season and the changing of day and night, these preferences vary. With this article, we hope that you gained a better understanding of how to swaddle your baby correctly, offering it maximum comfort.