8 Myths and Facts about Swaddling

8 Myths and Facts about Swaddling

By Kathryn Trudeau


What’s more picture-perfect than a peaceful baby snoozing in a swaddle? As a parent to a newborn, you’ll quickly learn the art of the swaddle. Swaddling your baby comforts your baby and helps your little one sleep easily. Because the first few months of your baby’s life involve a lot of sleeping, it’s important to make sure your swaddling game is on point. Part of learning how to swaddle your baby is separating the swaddle myths from the facts.


Below, we debunk eight common misconceptions about swaddling.

Myth #1: Babies Need Their Hands Free So They Can Self-Soothe

Fact: Babies don’t need their hands free in order to self-soothe. In fact, if a baby’s arms and hands are free, it can have the opposite effect because of the moro reflex. Dubbed the startle reflex, this reflex can startle a baby awake as they splay their arms out in front of them. This reflex develops in utero and disappears around 3-6 months of age. Swaddling a baby can help keep your baby sleeping sans interruptions from the moro reflex.


If your baby’s hands are free, it’s possible to accidentally scratch his or her face, which would definitely impede any self-soothing. 

Myth #2: Babies Get Too Hot If They’re Swaddled

Fact: Swaddling alone doesn’t cause overheating. Each baby regulates body heat differently, and if you live in a hotter climate, there’s no need to put pajamas under the swaddle. Some babies simply wear their diapers under the swaddle. You can also control your baby’s comfort by adjusting the thermostat to keep the nursery at a comfortable temperature. Experts suggest that babies sleep best at between 68–72˚F. 

Myth #3: Swaddlings Is Uncomfortable

Fact: Swaddling is comfortable. Newborns still long for the cozy feeling of being in the womb, and swaddling mimics that sensation of being in a tight, cozy space. If a baby seems to struggle or resist the swaddle at first, it doesn’t mean that swaddling is uncomfortable. Your baby may simply just not know what’s happening, but many parents find that babies calm down quickly after starting to swaddle.



Myth #4: Swaddling Prevents Exploration

Fact: Swaddling doesn’t stop your baby’s development, learning, or ability to explore their environment. In fact, babies can be easily overwhelmed and overstimulated. Swaddling allows your baby to remain calm, while still soaking up the sounds, sights, and stimuli in your environment. 

Myth #5: Once Babies Get Used to Being Swaddled, They Won’t Be Able to Sleep Without It

Fact: All babies outgrow their swaddle. As your baby develops, he or she may eventually rely on other things to help him or her fall asleep.

Myth #6: Any Type of Blanket Will Work as a Swaddle

Fact: While it’s true that you can use any breathable fabric (like a receiving blanket) as a swaddle, some options simply work better than others. A safe, effective swaddle will ensure a snug, comfortable fit without letting your baby’s hands escape.

The Zippy Swaddle allows you to swaddle without the fuss of wrapping blankets in the middle of the time. The two velcro flaps make securing your baby a cinch. The added zipper makes it easier to change diapers without having to unswaddle your baby first.

Learn Why It’s Important to Choose the Best Transition Swaddle for Your Baby

Myth #7: Swaddling Is an Outdated Ancient Practice

Fact: Yes, swaddling is an ancient practice, but it’s not outdated. Anthropologists found evidence that swaddling has been a parenting stable for thousands of years, with possible origins in Central Asia in 4000 BC. Swaddling is an effective parenting tool that parents across the globe continue to use. Current research shows that swaddled babies develop emotionally faster than babies who were never swaddled as an infant.



Myth #8: Swaddling Doesn’t Provide Any Benefits (Besides Stopping the Moro Reflex)

Fact: Swaddling provides many benefits beyond restful sleep. Swaddling can:

  • Help keep babies sleeping on their backs
  • Promotes better sleep, which promotes better REM cycles
  • Help parents get more sleep (better baby sleep = better parental sleep)
  • Reduces colic and fussiness
  • Helps babies regulate their body temperature
  • Promotes better breastfeeding (by keeping baby calmer)
  • Supports healthy hip development


Questions about swaddling or using the Zippy Swaddle? Don't hesitate to reach out to our customer support team at support@sleepingbaby.com if you have any questions or concerns!

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