New parents have a million and ten questions about their newborn baby and a lot of them have to do with sleep. Because sleep is crucial to your newborn’s growth in so many ways, knowing not just when to let them sleep, but how and where, can take a minute to figure out. Sleep plays an important role in brain development, regulating their emotions, and learning, in general, so it’s important to establish a routine around sleep fairly soon. That’s where swaddling comes in. Swaddling means wrapping up baby in a breathable, lightweight blanket and into a tight little baby bundle so that they feel calm and get better quality sleep. But this creates even more questions like should I swaddle my newborn during the day and if so, then how long to swaddle newborn during the day and when it comes to naps, even more Q’s arise like, should I swaddle baby for naps? Keep reading as we break down swaddling, naps, and more, below!
Can you swaddle a newborn during the day?
When it comes to newborn sleep and swaddling, yes, swaddle for every sleep, that means naps, too. This will help your baby stay calmer and ideally, sleep better. Most newborns will sleep between 12-20 hours in a 24-hour period. Swaddling reminds baby of life in the womb and helps them transition to life outside of the womb. Swaddling also helps with the Morro reflex – when their little legs and arms stretch due to noise, “startling” them awake.
Why is swaddling great for daytime naps?
If you’re wondering should you swaddle newborn for naps, the answer is yes! Swaddling is encouraged for all sleep because it lets baby know that when they’re swaddled, it’s time to get some Zzz’s. Swaddling encourages better sleep for baby, too, especially in those early newborn days and nights!
How long should baby daytime naps be?
Every baby is different which means their sleep schedules are, too. Babies will sleep anywhere from 12-20 hours in a 24-hour period in those early days and weeks. Some will sleep for 20-minute stretches, others may sleep for 2 hours. Make sure to discuss with your pediatrician if you feel that baby isn’t getting enough sleep, or even too much.
Where should a newborn baby nap during the day?
Because those early days with your newborn can get confusing… daytime feels like nighttime and nighttime feels endless, it’s great to establish sleep routines early on – this can also help exhausted parents get the sleep that they need, too.
Baby should sleep in the same place for every sleep as that consistency makes it easier to get the kind of sleep they need. Swaddling is also the safest choice for baby as it helps regulate their body temperature, eliminating the need for extra blankets in their sleep space.
Remember the ABC’s of sleep when it comes to infant sleep, too:
- A – baby should always sleep Alone in their sleep space. This means no other people, AND nothing else in their crib or bassinet like extra bedding. This helps reduce the risks of SIDS.
- B – baby should always be on their Back – this can help eliminate the risk of suffocation and according to the American Academy of Pediatrics is the safest way for baby to sleep
- C - baby’s Crib (or other safe sleep space) with a firm, flat mattress with nothing else as a potential suffocation risk, is the safest way for baby to sleep
When should I stop swaddling my newborn during the day?
Once baby starts to roll over on her own – at around 2-4 months – they typically no longer like the swaddle as it may restrict their movement. By then, they need all of their senses to take in the world around them, and using their hands and feet are essential to their brain development.
At around this time, it’s a good time to transition to a sleep sack. Like swaddling, a sleep sack is a wearable blanket that helps to regulate body temperature and eliminates the need for any extra blankets in the crib. Of course, every baby is different and hits the rolling over milestone at different times, so don’t worry if your baby is late to it, or perhaps even ahead of schedule.
What else should newborns wear to daytime naps?
While every baby is different, most babies seem comfortable in just a short sleeve onesie underneath their swaddle but it really depends on the outside temperature. Check the TOG rating on your baby’s swaddle to have a better sense of what they should wear underneath. A high TOG rating (let’s say 3.5) means it can be used for cold weather and cool nights, while a low TOG rating (around 0.2) means it is best used in warmer temperatures. Another suggestion is to dress baby in one extra layer of clothing that you may be comfortable in.
Can you swaddle a baby too much?
If you’re asking yourself should i swaddle my newborn all day the answer is no. That’s because all babies need time outside of the swaddle to stretch, move and take in the world around them with all of their senses available. Once sleep schedules are established, most babies will do well with time outside of the swaddle.
What kind of swaddle is best for newborn babies?
With so many products available for baby, there is no shortage of styles, designs and options when it comes to swaddle blankets. As for what’s the best kind of swaddle, defaulting to what’s easy tends to be a game changer.
The Dreamland Baby Weighted Sleep Swaddle has a built-in swaddle which most parents find ideal. Even better, when baby outgrows the swaddle at a few months old, you can use it as a sleep sack, with all of the same benefits. The gentle weight of this product features evenly distributed weight that goes from your baby's shoulders to toes. This naturally reduces stress and increases relaxation which helps your baby feel calm, fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer – sort of like a hug.