At this time of the year we always get lots of questions from mums-to-be who are unsure about whether to wrap, or swaddle, their new babies over the warmer months. And if they do, should they use merino? The advise we give every time, is ALWAYS wrap.
Up until about 3 to 4 months old, your baby cannot control their arms and legs so they will startle themselves awake with flailing arms and legs. Wrapping your baby will reduce this startle reflex and allow your baby to feel snug and secure when they go to sleep.
Although it does get hot over the summer months, merino is the perfect fabric to wrap your baby in because it will help regulate their temperature by drawing moisture away from the body. Merino has built-in stretch so, unlike cotton or muslin wraps, a merino wrap will move with your baby, but not loosen and create gaps for little arms and legs to get free. Always remember - Merino keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Summer time wrapping: If you use pure merino then you will only need a nappy and maybe a singlet or short sleeve body suit underneath. If you go with a 50/50 merino & cotton blend then overnight you may need to add an extra layer. If you are looking at 100% cotton wraps, these are best suited for temperatures around 23 degrees and above, so perfect for day-time sleeping.
Our Baby Caterpillar wraps are the most superior wraps on the market because we have eliminated all the guess work with our body pocket design. It really is fantastic and makes wrapping your baby a breeze, especially after those late night feeds! Our wraps are available in a range of beautiful colour and come complete with a beautiful matching knotted beanie.
Sometimes (especially during cooler months) your newborn baby' hands and/or feet can be cold to the touch. This is due to their immature blood circulation, and is considered ok, as long as their chest, tummy and back feel warm and comfortable to the touch. During the cooler months 100% merino mittens and booties are recommended for the first 3-5mths.
Wrap baby in a natural position, which is with his arms bent at the elbow, knees and hips bent. Knees should be in an abducted (apart) position. This allows for hip and knee movement which is important for proper joint development and growth. If baby’s hands are placed on chest, within reach of mouth, baby may self-soothe by sucking on hands and fingers. Infant researchers strongly recommend that babies always have access to the hands for self-consoling.
Wrap baby snugly, but not so tightly as to impede baby’s breathing. The wrap should be snug, but you should still be able to slide your hand between the blanket and your baby’s chest. It should feel snug, not loose.
Wrap securely. Tuck last corner in to secure wrap. Do not use loose blanket with unattended baby.
During the heart of winter you might put your baby in a singlet with a woolen or cotton bodysuit/vest over the top and a pair of comfortable PJ's or sleepsuit. Then your baby is ready for bed, just pop them in the winter weight bag and place in the cot.
At summertime you can place your baby to sleep in a nappy and cotton singlet. If the temperature drops you can add an extra layer, plus one of our summer lightweight sleeping bags. During the heart of summer you should be ok to just use a nappy and the sleeping bag. And remember to prevent overheating try and maintain an ideal room temp of 18 degrees C.
Your newborn baby will always be warmer when you wrap them, so you should be careful not to over bundle/wrap your baby. Overheating signs to be on the look out for include; sweating, damp hair, heat rash, and or rapid breathing . Dress your baby according to the temperature and adjust layers as the temperature changes. Newborn babies can not regulate their body temperature so parents have to keep baby safely warm. A good guild line is to dress our baby and toddler in ONE more layer of clothing than you are wearing to be comfortable in in the same environment.
Feeling cold is one of the most common reasons that parents sometimes overlook as a reason for baby waking during the night. As they sleep, their body temperature lowers and if they have kicked off their bedding, they wake up, waking up the household. Using a sleeping bag eliminates the need for extra covers, and your baby can move and kick their legs without feeling constrained. Make sure that the room in which your baby sleeps is not too warm - the ideal room temperature for a baby is 18 degrees C (65 º F).
With Baby Caterpillar sleeping bags you can select from either the heavy weight merino for winter or a lighter weight standard merino bag, which is better suited for all year round use. We also offer a 100% cotton summer weight sleeping bag for the really hot months. Our merino bags range from an extra fine 150grm merino for STD through to a soft 350grm winter weight.
NB: Our Standard weight bags are designed as an all year-round weight. If you are unable to maintain the ideal room temperature of approx 18 degrees C during some of the really warm summer nights, then it is advisable not to use your sleeping bag on these nights, or use our Summer cotton only sleeping bag. (for example on a night where you would only be in a sheet and singlet top PJ's - then that is all your baby should need as well). If you like to use the sleeping bag as a signal for sleep, then you can easily put baby to bed in the sleeping bag, and because they open up completely, you can simply take the sleeping bag off when they are asleep without disturbing baby.
I have used several different types of swaddles (or wraps as you call them) over the course of my 3 children, but I just had to email you and let you know that I love your one the most. It really is so easy to use and fits for much longer than the other merino ones I had. I have finished having children now, but I will be telling anyone who needs a swaddle for a baby to buy your ones.
Auckland, New Zealand
Thank you for my sleep. I LOVE YOU! I received one of your baby merino swaddles for a baby shower gift, and finally my beautiful baby girl slept through for more than 2 hours at night. I had always wrapped her, but she always managed to get her arms and legs out and then wake up. Having the pocket thing meant she could not get her legs and feet out, then I just had to wrap her arms, and she stayed like that all night long. I will be getting a sleeping bag very soon
Liz (& Isobel)
Ellerslie, New Zealand
Just wanted to say how awesome your sleeping bags are!!! Quality make and TOUGH! I purchased the twin pack (1 winter & 1 std weight) I was a bit dubious about spending so much but has been the best product I've bought for our little girl & worth every cent! so nice to know she's snug as in her bed .... Easy to wash too. Would recommend your products over and over again.... And great they are still made in nz!!! Thanks again
Auckland, New Zealand