Since we brought Ralph home from hospital we have swaddled him at night. This was mainly because he had a strong moro reflex and would startle himself every 5 minutes or so, waking himself up. When he was in NICU his reflex was so strong he accidently pulled out his feeding tube and cannula. We also put a nest in his crib as this is what he was used to in hospital but this still didn’t help with his startling.
When we first brought Ralph home we opted to use the Summer Infant Swaddle Pod, as it’s 2 way zipper made night time nappy changes easier, than a traditional blanket swaddle. The lycra cotton mix is super soft and comfortable and stretched over his little body perfectly. The pod completely stopped Ralph startling himself and I honestly believe helped him sleep for longer stretches. It washed super well and could be tumbled dried. Perfect for making sure it’s washed and dried for the next night, after a 3am projectile vomit. I knew the pod could only be used up to 12lbs but when we brought Ralph home this seemed way off in the distance.
However, Ralph quickly weighed 12lbs and annoyingly the pods are not made in bigger sizes. I think this is mainly due to the risk of your baby rolling over in them and not being able to roll back. We decided to see if Ralph could sleep without the pod but this resulted in our worst nights sleep to date with him. Myself and my husband saw every hour on the clock and Ralph was starling himself every 5 minutes. The only way he would fall asleep was if we held his hands against his chest.
The next night we tried his Groswaddle by the Gro company, as this could be used up to 14lbs. Even though, he slept slightly better it wasn’t tight enough to stop the startling completely and he could wiggle his arms free. The swaddles are a lovely material but it’s super stretchy and there isn’t any velcro it came undone very easily. Also, no zipper means you have to take the whole swaddle off for nappy changes.
The next day I hit the shops and ran around, like the sleep deprived mum I was, on a mission to find a swaddle product for 3-6 months. I went to Mothercare, Smyths and Boots and had the same problem in each store, they only stocked swaddle products up to 3 months or 14lbs. Neary on the verge of tears and trying to psych myself up for another night of severely broken sleep, I decided to try TKMaxx. To my absolute delight they had a product called a Wiggle Blanket made by Summer Infant. The Wiggle Blanket claimed to be the traditional product for babies who have grown out of the Swaddle Pod. I have honestly never felt so relieved and over joyed and thought my problems had been solved.
Well not quite… The Wiggle Blanket is great if your baby doesn’t have a strong startle reflex and purely needs to transition from a pod due to comfort. Ralph didn’t startled himself as much but has nowhere near the same quality of sleep, as when he was in the pod. I love how the Wiggle Blanket encourages a transition and has a 2 way zipper I love so much. It also has sleeves so your baby won’t get cold and loads of leg room to prevent hip dysplasia. However, after 3 nights of trying, Ralph was still startling and not falling into a deep sleep.
So I hit the internet for a millionth time determined to find a swaddle pod for 3 months + and I found it on Amazon! It’s not a pod but a wrap and looks very similar, apart from there is more leg room. It is made by a company called Juicy Bumbles. Summer Infant do make a Swaddle Wrap but I could only find size 0-3 months. So far this product has been amazing and perfectly replaced the Swaddle Pods. The first night he did manage to wiggle free but the second night we wrapped him tighter and he slept 7am-7pm – WIN. As with the other products the material is super soft but not as stretchy as the GroSwaddles. However, despite following the washing instructions they have slightly changed colour and using a colour run sheet, they are now a light green rather than grey. Also the label says 4-6 months but the packaging say 3-6 months so this isn’t very clear.
So the winner for us is Juicy Bumbles Swaddle Wraps purchased from Amazon, which is bitter sweet as these were the swaddles which I got for free. Check out my blog post here to find out more. I would also recommend the Wiggle Blanket if your in need of a transitional product for Swaddle to a sleep suit. I will definitely be using the Wiggle Blanket once Ralph has outgrown his startle reflex. Realistically I would recommend a GroSwaddle for those first few weeks but due to the stretchy material once your baby starts getting stronger they might be able to wiggle free.
Let me know in the comments whether you used a traditional blanket or any swaddle products I would love to hear about your experiences.