An interview with the founder of Aden & Anais, Raegan Moya Jones on swaddling:
Why should I swaddle?
Swaddling’s ability to soothe and calm babies has been known to mothers around the world for countless generations.
How do I swaddle my baby correctly? Can I leave my baby’s arms free?
Lay the swaddle in a diamond shape and fold the top corner down to form a triangle. Place your baby in the center of the folded area with their head just above the fold of the swaddle. Ensure that your baby’s shoulders are still below the fold.
Place your baby’s right arm slightly bent at the elbow flat against their body. Take the left side of the swaddle and bring it across your baby’s chest. Ensure their arm is securely under the fabric. Tuck the edge of the swaddle under their body to ensure a secure swaddle.
Fold the bottom of the swaddle up & over your baby’s feet.
Finally, place your baby’s left arm slightly bent at the elbow against their body, take the right side of the swaddle & bring it across your baby’s chest. Tuck the excess fabric underneath your baby to secure the swaddle.
You can also see my demonstration on Parents TV.
Does my baby like being swaddled? She seems to squirm and fight it! Is swaddling good for my baby’s development?
Swaddling is said to be as familiar to babies as it is to their moms because it recreates the secure and cozy feeling of the womb — and using swaddles made of natural cotton muslin only enhances that blissful feeling. Muslin is a finely woven breathable fabric believed to have originated in Bangladesh during the Middle Ages. Its delicate, yet durable weave, makes the fabric stretchy, and therefore ideal for swaddling, as the natural give” allows the blanket to be tucked snuggly around a baby without being overly restrictive.
Will swaddling overheat my baby, and how can I tell?
The lightweight muslin permits air to circulate around the baby’s body, while still providing comfort and warmth without the worry that the baby may overheat in moderate weather. Cotton muslin is also a workhorse fabric, in that wraps woven from this natural fiber stands up to repeated washings only becoming softer and better with age.
How long should I swaddle for?
Typically, 4 months.
What are some of the health benefits of swaddling? I’ve read about the ‘Moro / Startle’ reflex?
In 2002, the medical journal Pediatrics published a study that explained why babies who are swaddled sleep more peacefully by preventing spontaneous movements (called reflex motion) from waking them up continually during the night. The same year, the Journal of Applied Physiology wrote that swaddled infants stay in REM sleep (the most restorative, deepest sleep) longer than those who were not. There is growing evidence every year that swaddling may indirectly help prevent SIDS, as well.
Tells us about your background, and how you came to found Aden & Anais?
In 2003, I was expecting my first baby while living in the United States, half a world away from my family, back home in Australia. Like all new mums to be, I was preparing for the baby’s arrival, and one of the must-have “things” that all Australian mums used on their babies were muslin wraps. I looked everywhere for them in the US and not only could I not find them, no one had any clue what I was talking about! I resorted to having my sister send me some from Australia. Upon their arrival it dawned on me that all Australian mums couldn’t have it wrong, and that if I introduced them to American mothers, I knew they would feel the same way. Before I could stop myself, I took a page from Plato’s Republic – inventing by way of necessity – and decided to take matters into my own hands. I co-founded Aden + Anais® and took my first pack of Aden + Anais® muslin wraps to market in the US in July 2006. Today, we can be found in twenty countries around the world and in many thousands of stores.
All of this information can be found in the book I wrote, Swaddle Love. You can listen to the Introduction and First Chapter on my website, Aden & Anais.