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At this time of the year, we always get lots of questions from parents 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 advice we give every time is ALWAYS wrap.
Up until about 3 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.
Summertime wrapping: If you use merino then you will only need a nappy and maybe a singlet or short sleeve bodysuit underneath.
Our Baby Caterpillar wraps are the most superior wraps on the market because we have eliminated all the guesswork with our body pocket design. They really are 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 okay, as long as their chest, tummy and back feel warm and comfortable to the touch. During the cooler months, merino mittens and booties are recommended for the first 3-5mths.
Wrap baby in a natural position. This is usually with arms bent at the elbow and knees and hips bent. Knees should be in an abducted position (which is a frog-like 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, they may self-soothe by sucking on hands and fingers. There is Infant researcher that strongly recommend babies always have access to the hands for self-consoling.
Wrap baby snugly, but not so tightly as to impede baby’s breathing. The wings of our 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. Because the Baby Caterpillar wrap is a body pocket - you don't even need to worry if the body or feet are wraps to tight - they never will be.
Best practice is to always lay baby to sleep on there back on a firm flat mattress with a fitted sheet. There should be nothing else in the cot or sleeping area.
During the coldest of WInter nights you might put your baby in a singlet or onesie, then the pyjamas - these include nightgowns, pyjama sets, or sleepsuits. Then when your baby is ready for bed, just pop them in either our merino wrap or our winter weight sleeping bag and place on there back, in the cot.
At summertime, you can place your baby to sleep in a nappy and singlet. If the temperature drops you can add an extra layer or just the merino wrap and or sleeping bag. During the heart of Summer, you should be ok to just use a nappy and the wrap or 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 the same environment
In the cooler months, most homes with newborn babies heat the room to between 18-20 degrees. Ideally, you want to heat the room early before baby goes to bed, and then turn the heat off. Have the heater on a timer to activate again between 3-5am, when the room will be at the lowest temperature and bring the room back up to 18/20 degrees, so it is nice and cosy to wake to in the morning...hopefully around 7am!
My product came with a matching beanie, should I wear this for sleeping?
We love our matching beanies that come with our wraps and night-gowns, however, it is not recommend to use these for overnight sleeping as this may cause over-heating. These are perfect for wearing out and about in the stroller or park.
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 winter weight merino or the 3-season weight, which is better suited for all year round use.
Winter weight – Ideal for 18 degrees C and below
3-season weight – Ideal for 18 degrees C and above
NB: Our 3-season 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 a Summer cotton only sleeping bag. (for example on a night where you would only be in a sheet and singlet, 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.