Q&A Forum



Can I please get some advice on the best swaddle to use on a newborn? I can see that the bonds wondercool are recommended but the one on the website doesn’t hold the baby’s arms close to their chest, but rather out. Is this ok for a newborn or is it safer to use a swaddle that keeps their arms close to their chest? The Love to Dream Newborn ones have the baby’s arms out by their side but seem restricted to a certain position. Are these safe?

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Posted a response on 31/3/21

Red Nose Education

Red Nose recommends using a light cotton or muslin wrap when swaddling a newborn.
Some babies don’t respond well to wrapping & parents may choose to use a sleeping bag, with arms out, from birth.
Red Nose has a number of Information Statements about wrapping/swaddling/Sleeping bags.

Here is some of the comments:
Use only lightweight wraps such as cotton or muslin (bunny rugs and blankets are not safe alternatives as they may cause overheating).

The wrap should be firm, to prevent loose wrapping becoming loose bedding.
However, the wrap should not be too tight and must allow for hip and chest wall movement.

Make sure that baby is not over dressed under the wrap. Use only a nappy and singlet in warmer weather and add a lightweight grow suit in cooler weather.

Modify the wrap to meet the baby’s developmental changes, e.g. arms free once ‘startle’ reflex begins to disappear which is usually around 3 months; (Moro or ‘startle’ reflex should have disappeared completely by 4-5 months).

Sleeping bags
An alternative to wrapping is to use a safe infant sleeping bag; one with a fitted neck and armholes that is the right size for the baby’s weight. Clothing can be layered underneath the sleeping bag according to climate conditions.

Swaddle/wrapping products - often called swaddle suits
The material of the wrap or swaddle should not cover the face or head, particular if baby sleeps with arms in different positions. If the item is too big for the baby, some zipped swaddle suits that enclose baby’s hands, have been shown to allow material to cover baby’s face and nose when baby raises their hands above their head during sleep. All sleeping attire designed to cover the baby’s shoulders should have separate neck and arm holes or should ensure that they do not allow the face covering if the baby was to move their arms in different positions.

Any product that is used as clothing on the baby or in the baby’s sleep environment should not restrict the movement of a baby who is able to roll. Wrapping should be discontinued as soon as the baby shows the first signs of being able to roll. Positioning aids that restrict movement of the baby are not recommended and have been associated with infant deaths.

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