Are muslin blankets too thin for the winter?

Source: Bestswaddleblanket.com

I’m a big fan of the muslin blankets because I live in a traditional warm area of the United States. But, with winter upon us the night temperature can easily drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. As a cautious parent, you are probably thinking a muslin swaddle blanket is not warm enough for your baby. You are probably right because muslin blankets are designed for hot and humid environments to help cool your baby.  Here are some things you can do to make sure your baby is adequately kept warm in their swaddle blanket –

  1. Turn on the room heater for the baby’s room and keep it nicely warmed around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Instead of using a single muslin swaddle blanket, I’ve seen parents use 2 muslin blankets at a time to further insulate their baby from the winter cold.  But you can always use more muslin blankets until the baby is warm enough.
  3. Mix and match a muslin swaddle blanket with another thicker cotton swaddle blanket or fleece swaddle blankets.
  4. Switch to the pouch swaddle blankets by SwaddleMe, Miracle Blanket, and Halo. These items are great because after I swaddle my baby in a muslin fabric, I can further cover them in one of these ouch swaddle blankets. It provides another layer that I don’t have to worry about my baby kicking off in the middle of the night.
  5. Go away from the swaddle blanket if your baby is old enough and start using sleepsacks to help keep them warm. There are plenty of thick and warm sacks from Halo or Merino Kids that are great and comfortable for any baby to sleep in.

 

During the winter, parents can sometime cover their babies with so much insulation that they can actually get too hot. Here are some signs you need to look for to make sure you are not overheating your baby.

 

  1. Check for redness in his face.
  2. Check for sweat on his forehead and hair.
  3. Check for wet and damp clothing that is un-related to a leaky diaper. Usually the spots that I look for is the back of the clothes around the shoulder area.
  4. Increase fussiness during the night because he or she is uncomfortable.

 

Muslin swaddle blankets are great for hot and humid days, but during this winter season, parents should look at alternatives for better options in keeping their little ones warm and comfortable during those cold nights.

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Benefit of Swaddling – Reason #1

Swaddle Baby

My son, Aaron, swaddle and sleeping in supine position

The benefits of swaddling has been time tested and recent studies by Dr. Rachel Moon at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC, found “parents who routinely used swaddling were more likely to find it effective and to place their infant supine when swaddled.” (1)

What does this mean?

The benefits of supine sleeping position are not much of a debate and have been the recommend position since 1992.  All pediatricians agree, infants need to sleep in the supine position to reduce the outcome of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).  A study by Skadberg, Morild, & Markestad in 1998 (2) shows how supine position can greatly reduce occurrence of SIDS. he supine position reduces SIDS because the possibility of their air ways (nose & mouth) being blocked is lowered.  The supine position reduces pressure (from the babies own weight) applied to the lungs of the baby to prevent choking.

Overall, supine position is the way parents need to put their baby to sleep.  One method to train infants to sleep in this position is by swaddling.  Thus, reason #1 to swaddle is to reduce the occurrence of SIDS by training your infant to sleep in the supine position.

Definitions:

Supine position – baby’s back is against the mattress (sleeps on the back)

Prone position – baby’s back is facing up away from the mattress (sleeps on the belly)

References:

(1) Swaddling: Will It Get Babies Onto Their Backs for Sleep?, R. Moon, etc, 2011

(2) Abandoning prone sleeping: Effect on the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, Skadberg, Morild, & Markestad, 1998