Confused? Swaddle, wrap or sleeping bag?

Confused? Swaddle, wrap or sleeping bag?

"I am a bit confused over Grobags (sleeping bags) and Swaddles for newborns. Do you swaddle or put your newborn in a Grobag? Is it just dependant on what newborn likes? Or do newborns not go into Grobags at all?"

So many of us can relate to this confusion when we're expecting our first child. When shopping for our first baby, the choice in stores is overwhelming and labelling is so confusing, i.e. colic, transition swaddle, TOG rating.

Sleeping bags

There is a minimum weight (typically 4kg) for using sleeping bags on newborns. The reason being, your baby's head should not be able to pass through the neck hole of the sleeping bag as they wriggle/move during their sleep. 

For some of the newborn babies, they might be too small to use a sleeping bag. Plus, their startle reflex can be very strong in the first few weeks and might require swaddling to help them feel calm and secure as though cocooned in their mother's womb.

For babies who start to show signs of rolling, a sleeping bag is a great option. A lot of babies find sleeping bags a great sleep cue and know it is bedtime when put into them.

You may get confused by the TOG rating of the sleeping bag. It comes in different weights like 0.5 tog, 1.0 tog, 2.5 tog. Basically the higher the TOG, the warmer the product. For winter, you will dress baby in 2.5 tog, and in summer you will use something more lightweight like 0.5 tog. But again, choosing the right TOG rating depends on the room temperature and you should always make your decision based on that. 

Swaddle or wrap? Are they different?

No. Essentially, both the terms swaddle and wrap are used to describe the practice of wrapping a baby in a cloth. 

There are different types of materials used to make a swaddle/wrap. Always choose natural fibres like organic cotton or bamboo for breathability, and avoid polyester for overheating. 

The traditional swaddling/wrapping method works best with babies with a strong startle reflex, because you can swaddle/wrap them snugly to provide comfort. This option is great for newborn babies until they show signs of rolling (around 3 - 4 months). Swaddling/wrapping must stop once the baby starts rolling because it is dangerous for swaddled babies to sleep face-down.

One tricky part about this method is that baby's hands tend to come undone when baby wriggles. And you need to re-swaddle/wrap them. 

Tip: For winter newborn babies, you can dress them in a singlet, onesie, followed by a swaddle/wrap. No hats should be used because newborn babies can't self-regulate their body temperature. Having a hat on may cause overheating, and when baby needs to cool down, they will need to able to lose the heat through their head. 

Hope this is helpful for all the new mamas. Happy shopping xx

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