As a concerned parent, it is ok to worry about how to swaddle baby in summer. Of course, we all know swaddling helps babies sleep better.
This helps the baby to develop certain mental abilities and build on what they have learned while awake.
This is why parents and caregivers need to pay close attention to the sleeping patterns of their newborns.
And since babies are unable to control their body temperature and an overheated baby can result in a high risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), this is why you should dress the baby appropriately according to the temperature they’re sleeping in.
In this article, we discuss the topic of how to swaddle baby in summer, tips for swaddling your baby, and signs to look out for to know if your baby is overheating.
Swaddling A Baby, What Does It Mean?
Swaddling a baby simply means wrapping your baby to restrict the movement of the arms and legs. This is usually done with a blanket like the SwaddleMe or similar material to keep the baby wrapped securely.
Some parents found this technique a bit dangerous and uncomfortable. However, it is one of the safest positions for a newborn baby because it creates an environment with which the baby is familiar (similar to when he/she is in the womb) – hence, providing comfort to the newborn.
According to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), swaddling will help calm infants within a short time and make babies fall asleep easily when done appropriately using the right material.
What Age Is Right To Swaddle Baby?
The infant stage (usually between the first 3-5 months) is the best time to swaddle a baby. During this period, babies still have a clear memory of ‘lie’ in the womb – and everything else seems different to them.
What Age Is Right To Stop Swaddling Baby?
Regardless of your baby’s age, it’s best advised to stop swaddling a baby once you notice that your baby can roll over on his/her own.
It’s a risk hazard to swaddle a baby that can roll on his/her tummy because at that age babies are often unable to roll over onto their backs, which could lead to SIDs.
Read Also: Can I Put Swaddled Baby in Swing? Explained
Understanding Your Baby’s Body Temperature
Babies are unable to regulate their body temperature due to their immature body systems. At their age babies cannot shiver when cold and since they can’t remove layers of warmth, such as clothing and blankets, when they get hot.
That is why you must watch closely a host of factors to make sure that your baby is lying securely and comfortably. These factors include:
- Always check the baby’s natural temperature range.
- Always check the temperature of your baby’s environment.
- How many clothing layers is your baby wearing?
- What type of fabric are the clothes made of?
I’m confident if you keep these few factors in mind, you will be able to swaddle your baby safe during summer.
Read Also: Can you put a swaddled baby in a car seat while driving?
Is It Ok To Swaddle Baby In The Summer?
Yes, it’s completely Ok to swaddle a baby in summer. You just need to choose a light, breathable fabric to prevent your baby from overheating.
When swaddling babies in summer, try to reduce their clothing or change to a lighter fabric. Alternatively, you can swaddle your baby with a diaper on and without clothes.
How To Swaddle Baby In Summer: 5 Practical Tips
Here are some tips to keep in mind to enable you to swaddle your baby during the summer without risking overheating your newborn in the process.
1. Choose the Perfect Wrap
Swaddling help babies to relax and fall asleep easily, which helps them to cool down effectively.
When you decide on shopping for a baby’s summer swaddle, avoid buying swaddles that are made from synthetic fibers such as polyester and fleece.
These materials can cause overheating to your baby by trapping heat inside the swaddle.
Always choose a wrap (SwaddleMe) that is made of 100 percent cotton because it is light and breathable. Muslin is a type of cotton that is well known among parents for summertime swaddling.
Here is a short video showing you how to use SwaddleMe Wrap
Read Also: How Many Muslin Blankets Do I Need?
2. Check Your Baby’s Clothing
When swaddling your baby, what do they wear? What is their clothing made out of? During summer, make sure your baby’s clothing is light and he/she is dressed perfectly for the hot weather.
Your baby does not need more than one layer of clothes. Alternatively, you can swaddle your baby with a diaper on and without clothes.
It is also important to make sure your baby’s head isn’t covered by a hat or by the swaddling wrap when you’re swaddling in the summer. Heat energy emits through the head and keeping it uncovered will help your baby stay cool and comfortable.
3. Check Your Baby Environment
Always check your environment, your baby is not the only thing with the potential to overheat during the summer. Other things like your house, car and stroller all have the potential to overheat.
It is important to watch out for your baby’s room temperature in your baby’s room – babies are usually swaddled easily when they are put to sleep in their crib.
To effectively check your baby’s environment, you can use a digital thermometer or a baby monitor with a built-in room thermometer to check how hot your baby’s room becomes.
To also keep your baby’s room cool in the summer, try drawing the blinds or curtains during the day and put off the lights. Also, you can use a fan, placed safely at a distance where your baby hands can’t reach it.
If your baby’s environment is hot despite the use of a fan, then it is fine not to swaddle your baby. You can leave your baby with a diaper on and have him sleep on his back.
Remember, once the baby is mobile make sure to store fans away from them to prevent any harm.
4. Try Summer Swaddling Methods
There are a lot of swaddling methods out there, especially depending on what your baby needs and preferences on how you like to wrap the blanket.
Here are two different swaddling methods that are particularly effective during the summer.
The first method is allowing part of your baby’s body to remain uncovered. This method helps to keep your baby cool and allows their limbs have access to the cool air around them.
It also secures the upper body and keeps the blanket tight which helps prevent your baby from kicking off the blanket.
The second method is called the arms-only swaddle. This method is usually ideal for older or larger babies who are finding it difficult to sleep because their arm movements startle them awake.
5. Use a Powder
Using a baby-safe powder containing cornstarch is very effective in absorbing sweat and preventing rashes. During summer, there is usually a high chance of babies becoming toasty and warm.
Naturally, friction and sweat can lead to rashes in babies, especially in their joint areas. Simply apply the baby-safe powder to cool, dry skin before swaddling your baby.
Just pour the powder on your hands first, and then apply the powder to your baby caution because it can hurt their lungs when inhaled.
Read Also: How Many Swaddling Blankets Do I Need?
Is My Baby Overheating? Signs To Look Out For
One of the easiest ways to make sure your baby is swaddled safely during the summer is to monitor his/her temperature and watch for any signs of overheating such as.
- Hot Skin: Check your baby’s temperature by either feeling their ears and cheeks. If you notice they’re hot to the touch, your baby may be overheated.
- Redness of Skin: If you notice that your swaddled baby’s head and neck area are visibly growing red, it is could be a sign that the baby may be overheated.
- Sweat:If your notice that your baby is sweating, that means they’re too warm. If you are worried they may have gotten too warm, try and unswaddle them to feel cool.
- Irregular breathing:Monitor how fast your baby’s breathing is. If you notice that your baby breathing fast or shallow breathing it could be a sign of overheating.
- Room temperature:Subjecting a swaddled baby in a room that is hotter than 70 degrees Fahrenheit could cause them to overheat
Remember, to trust your instincts! When you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to unswaddle your baby and monitor them.
Read Also: Baby Shopping List For First Time Moms
Cooling Your Baby Down – Effective Ways To Do It
If your baby has become overheated, don’t panic. Here are effective ways you can safely cool your baby down after swaddling:
- Adjust or remove your baby from the swaddle if you notice your baby is getting overheated. If needed, remove their clothing too.
- Turn down the heat by carefully turning on a fan or air conditioning the environment to make the baby feel cool.
- Make your baby cool by using a soft washcloth, gently lukewarm water that is not cold directly to their skin. This helps regulate your baby’s temperature
- If your baby’s temperature is extremely hot or if they may have been hot for quite a long time, offer them a rehydration fluid such as Pedialyte or breastfeed or offer them baby formula. This will help regulate their temperature.
Furthermore, if notice your baby vomiting or losing consciousness due to heat, do not hesitate to call emergency services, or go to the hospital immediately. This could be a sign of heatstroke which requires your baby to be assessed right away.
We hope the article has given an in-depth discussion to answer the question, how to swaddle baby in summer. Remember, the first instinct on how to keep your baby cool when swaddling may be to wrap him/her loosely in the swaddling blanket.
This approach is not advisable because it’s not safe, your baby could kick off the blanket or wrap if wrapped too loosely. Loose baby items in the crib, such as blankets, can cause the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
And if the blanket makes its way over your baby’s face or becomes constricted around his neck, it can cause health hazards to the baby. Always ensure you swaddle your baby tightly to avoid unforeseen risks.
If you’re still unsure about how to swaddle baby in summer correctly, don’t hesitate to your pediatrician. Nurses and doctors can instruct you on the best approach to take to swaddle your baby effectively during this period.