What your granny might tell you about swaddling – and why to ignore her!

Grannies tend to think they know it all.  They’ve been there, done that.  And when it comes to swaddling they might have some opinions that are positively ancient.   If there are any concerns about swaddling, I hope I can dispel them here.


Myth 1. Babies don’t like it….

… but they did in the womb! You might find that your baby fusses when being put down in a swaddle. Not surprising really, they’ve just been cuddling you, or having a lovely feed.  Anything other than this will provoke a grumble or a splutter but this is a reaction to being moved away from you, rather than a reaction to the swaddle.  “It makes sense that babies would enjoy being wrapped gently so they feel secure like they did in the womb.” NCT.org.uk

Myth 2. Swaddling damages your baby’s hips

The pre-made swaddles that I recommend are fully designed to be safe for hips.  It is important that the babies can flop their legs down into a natural frog-like position and as long as they can do that, you’ll be fine. Wrapping babies in a blanket that is too tight may restrict leg movement and this is not advised – your Granny would be right about that.  But this shouldn’t prevent swaddling, as long as it is done correctly. 

“There are many ways to swaddle babies by using blankets or commercial products designed for swaddling.” International Hip Dysplasia Institute 

Myth 3. Swaddled babies are more likely to suffocate

You should never put anything over your baby’s head, nor swaddle above the shoulders. This is one of the biggest reasons I recommend the Sleepea Swaddle. It is carefully designed so this doesn’t happen and is fitted and zipped so even the wriggliest baby can’t get tangled up. It is very secure, unlike a blanket swaddle that can easily come loose and be moved about by baby.

Myth 4. Swaddled babies will overheat

Our recommended Sleepea Swaddle has been carefully designed to prevent overheating.  Made of light cotton, there are also breathable mesh sections so it is perfect teamed with a simple sleep suit or pajamas. Nothing else is needed.  


Myth 5. They like their arms up rather than tucked into the swaddle

Babies don’t know they have hands at this stage, instead what they do know is what makes them feel the most secure!  In fact the startle reflex is a major reason babies wake up during the night, often hitting themselves in the face as they fidget.  Keeping their arms down in the swaddle makes for a calmer and more successful nights’ sleep.  It also helps with the Moro Reflex which is a reflex that makes them feel like they are falling.

​© 2020 by Diana Baker Photography,

Please don't use these images anywhere without permission as they are wonderful little people with bright futures.

If you would like to use them, please contact us first to find out how to do it the right way. Click here to read our Privacy Policy and Disclaimer of Warranties