Merino Kids: safe swaddling - unravelling the confusion
It’s challenging enough being a parent. There’s certainly no manual that comes with a wriggling infant, and we’re constantly faced with conflicting or confusing reports that have the potential to send us into a tailspin. The latest debate in the media around whether or not to swaddle a baby has highlighted just how easily a parent can be confused about just what to do.
Since its inception, Merino Kids, manufacturers of fine merino wraps and clothing, has worked with specialist input to develop products that promote comfort, safety and well-being. “Sleeping safely is a top priority and as such we regularly sense check our products with experts in child welfare and child health in both hemisphere’s to ensure that they meet very high standards,” says Amie Nilsson, founder of Merino Kids.
UK Professor Nicholas Clarke, whose research on the impact of incorrect swaddling on babies’ hips was featured in the New Zealand Herald, has evaluated the Merino Kids swaddle in the UK. He’s given it his tacit approval – primarily as it does exactly as he recommends, that is, “commercial products for swaddling should have a loose pouch or sack for the babies’ legs and feet, allowing plenty of hip movement.” He has also reviewed the Merino Kids swaddling video, which explains the use of the swaddle, and went so far as to share this with the International Hip Dysplasia Organisation.
When considering whether to swaddle your baby, the team at Merino Kids recommends the following approach:
- Look for a swaddle that is wide and loose around the hips and legs allowing plenty of room for babies to kick and move freely. Baby’s legs should be able to bend up and out at the hips. This position allows for natural development of the hip joints.
- Ensure that the fabric offers natural flexibility, for example, merino wool
- Safe swaddling is for babies at times of sleep or rest, day or night - but not for 24 hours a day, as babies need playtime to move and develop freely
- When traveling with your baby swaddled ensure the car seat straps are secured correctly and safely.
- Parents who wish to swaddle are encouraged to stop swaddling by the time your baby reaches 3 months old and move into a baby sleep bag they can wear, allowing them more freedom of movement.
“Safe swaddling is an age-old practice that promotes healthy sleep patterns in babies,” says Amie Nilsson. “As a mum of three, I can personally vouch for the positive effect that swaddling had on my children, enabling them to relax, and help create their own natural sleep pattern in their first few months.”