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For newborns, we highly recommend swaddling while in the Kanoe. Swaddling is soothing to babies because it simulates the feeling of being in the womb. While swaddled in the Kanoe, your baby will feel warm, secure, and comforted. We also suggest using baby sleeping bags, especially after the first 3 to 4 months. They can be enormously helpful with getting babies (and even toddlers) to sleep through the night, since there are no blankets and sheets to get tangled up in or create a suffocation risk.
As with any crib or bassinet, we do not recommend placing any lose padding whatsoever around your baby while she or he is in the Kanoe. Padding is unnecessary and only creates a suffocation hazard. Instead, swaddle your baby with a cozy, temperature-appropriate blanket or sleeping bag and place a little bonnet on his or her head. If your baby spits up a lot, you can place a burping cloth in the Kanoe so that you don’t have to launder it every day.
“Swaddling”, also known as “tight wrapping”, is an age-old technique used to make a baby feel safe and secure. Swaddling involves securely wrapping a baby from shoulders to feet with a small blanket. Swaddling works best for babies that are newborn until they are approximately 4 months of age.
Benefits of swaddling:
Swaddling is a great way to calm and soothe a fussy infant.
Swaddling lowers the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Swaddling makes a baby feel secure and comforted, similar to how she or he felt while in the womb. Studies have shown that babies 1 to 4 months of age sleep better when swaddled.
During the first few days after birth, swaddling helps a baby stay warm while sleeping, until his or her inner thermostat kicks in.
Swaddling helps babies sleep on their backs.
Babies have very little control over their muscle movements and often suddenly wake themselves up. Swaddling lessens sudden arm and leg movements that tend to wake babies, thereby improving a baby’s quality of sleep.
Swaddling keeps a baby’s face uncovered, thus reducing the risk of suffocation.
Swaddling prevents a baby from getting into a dangerous or uncomfortable position.
Swaddling can help a baby focus on breast or bottle feeding by keeping little hands out of the way.
A swaddled baby is easy to carry and hold.
How to safely and effectively swaddle your baby:
Place a blanket diagonally on a bed or other clean, safe surface.
Fold the top corner down, creating a straight edge at the top of the blanket.
Place your baby on the blanket so that the top edge is beneath the baby’s neck.
Fold the right corner of the blanket across the front of the baby so that it holds the baby’s arm against the side of his or her body, and wrap it around so that it is underneath the left side of the baby.
Fold the bottom of the blanket up to just under your baby’s chin. You may need to fold it back down a little so it doesn’t bunch up near your baby’s face.
Place your baby’s other arm at his or her side and wrap the left corner of the blanket snugly across the front of the baby to the opposite side.
Cover the remaining blanket beneath your baby to keep it from coming undone.
Check the swaddling. The blanket should always feel snug but not tight.
Make sure that your baby is comfortable and that his or her circulation is not compromised. Ask a nurse, physician, or midwife to demonstrate the correct technique for swaddling your baby if you are unsure of how to do it.