When I was pregnant, I read the book The Happiest Baby on the Block. In my opinion, the author – pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp – made some excellent points about a newborn needing a "fourth trimester" after his or her birth. He offered that swaddling a wee one mimics the comfort & constriction of the womb, giving your newborn a sense of security and, in turn, he feels happy and calm. I discussed it with my husband & we decided that when we became parents, we'd let the baby take the lead on the swaddling issue.
After a month of being a mom, I can honestly report that Townes *loves* to be swaddled while he sleeps. During his first week of life, swaddling calmed him down during moments of over-stimulation (i.e. his arms flailing around) and now, at a month old, he prefers to have his body & legs swaddled up and his arms out.
Summer Infant shipped me a SwaddleMe (as shown in photos) to test out on Townes. What I really liked about this product was the fact that I could do both arms-in and arms-out swaddling, so it's grown with my baby's development and sleeping preferences.
The SwaddleMe has an adjustable flap/tabs with velcro, so it's easy for parents – who may be uncomfortable or uncertain about swaddling with just a blanket – to swaddle their little ones.
Also, if you swaddle in the baby's arms, the lower half is pouch-like. So it's painless to pop out the baby's legs and bum for those late-night diaper changes.
Townes sleeps soundly in his SwaddleMe, and the fabric has been the perfect weight to keep him warm (but not too warm) during this mild NYC winter. Our cotton SwaddleMe is a cute design and has held up in plenty of washings. My son is tall (long) for his age, so I'm not sure how long we'll be able to use it for (and, honestly, not sure how long we'll be swaddling anyways), but it's been great to have over the last month. A Summer Infant SwaddleMe only costs about $10 bucks, so I'd say, two thumbs up. Paired with the Happiest Baby on the Block book, the SwaddleMe would make a great baby shower gift.
Check out this video to learn more about the SwaddleMe product. Or if you just want to see cute babies all snug and swaddled like burritos.