Welcome baby with a beautiful, soft blanket made just for newborns. There
is nothing that can help a baby feel more secure and relaxed than being swaddled in a warm receiving blanket.
Receiving blankets come in a variety of materials, textures, colors, and prints. The size of receiving blankets varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some blankets are 30 x 40, large enough to cover a toddler while others may be only 30 x 34. It's only a few inches but it can make a big difference. You can choose from lightweight brushed cotton for summer to cozy cotton fleece or a boxed thermal weave for the winter months. A new favorite is the cotton jersey knit receiving blanket. which is buttery soft.
Some receiving blankets are designed with a hood attached at one corner of the blanket. This is similar to the way a baby bath towel is designed. Using a hooded receiving blanket helps to keep your baby extra warm because the hood reduces the amount of body heat lost through your baby's head. This style of blanket would be the best choice when you take baby out on a crisp morning to run errands or head to the grocery store.
Receiving blankets are very comforting for your little one and they're just the right size to use to swaddle your baby. Swaddling is a way to snugly wrap a baby in a blanket for warmth and security. It will also keep babies from being disturbed by their startle reflex. Swaddling can also serve as a way to help keep your baby warm and toasty for the first few days of life until the body's internal thermostat fine tunes itself. Most important, swaddling can help a baby calm down.
Most likely you'll be given a lesson in this ancient mothering skill before you the leave the hospital. Try swaddling your baby after you've made sure your baby isn't hungry, wet or tired. Swaddling can help settle a baby. Many times babies will become overstimulated and swaddling can help them cope by giving a baby the opportunity to feel something close and tight like the security felt in the womb.
Here are step-by-step instructions to swaddle your baby:
Lay a blanket on a flat surface and fold down the top right corner about 6 inches. Place your baby on his back with his head on the fold. Pull the corner near your baby's left hand across his body, and tuck the leading edge under his back on the right side under the arm. Pull the bottom corner up under your baby's chin. Bring the loose corner over your baby's right arm and tuck it under the back on his left side. Some babies prefer to have their arms free, so you may want to swaddle your baby under the arms so there is access to hands and fingers.
A baby should not be swaddled after they are one month old since it can interfere with mobility and development as your baby grows older. By this time, most babies are routinely kicking the covers off anyways.