I didn’t really know about swaddles the first time round when we had our daughter. I knew about swaddling, but I never really felt brave enough to try it and so we never purchased any swaddles. But muslins, muslins we had in abundance and I loved them all. So practical, so useful, we still to this day use them for the little lady. But second time round I have fallen in love with swaddles, and aden + anais ones in particular. aden + anais create some of the most beautifully soft, high quality, breathable and durable swaddles on the market and we have some absolutely gorgeous ones that I just love using every day. Not just for swaddling, which is amazing by the way, if you havent tried swaddling your little one definitely be brave and give it a go. You may just find that they love it. But swaddles are also super practical. Maybe even more so than muslins, because they are huge which means you can do so much more with them.
A few months ago I stumbled into a conversation on twitter where a few expectant mums were asking what muslins could be used for which inspired me to create this list. Here are 11 ways you can use a swaddle!
Swaddles are best used for swaddling, which you can do from newborn up to two – three months depending on the baby and how happy they are to continue to bed swaddled as they get older. We started swaddling from pretty much the day that the little guy was born and have continued to since. It’s really easy to do, although aden + anais have great step by step instructions on how to do it if you need help. We find that it helps our little one get off to sleep really quickly, although he seems to be waking up more to the world around him in the last week and has started to try to kick through the swaddle so I have a feeling that the swaddling may unfortunately not last much longer!
Swaddles make an excellent impromptu breastfeeding cover, and in fact I actually prefer to use this instead of an actual breastfeeding cover. Which I do by tying the two opposing corners together and then putting it round my neck to form a cover which I can then put baby under. Its quick, easy and perfectly discreet!
Swaddles make very useful burp clothes, just throw them over your shoulder and off you go. I, like most new parents have a habit of walking around with a swaddle hung over my should most of the time in case of any spit ups after feeding or burping. Whats great about using a swaddle over a muslin is that they are so much bigger so they give you better coverage and tend to last you longer which helps cut down on all the washing!
We have a little dribbler on our hands so I’ve been using our swaddles to mop up all his dribbles, which have been pretty unbelievable for a newborn. I cant help but think we may have an early teether on our hands! But as well as this, our swaddles will be really useful once we start weaning in four-ish months time. Not necessarily as replacements for bibs, but on those occasions where I havent got a bib to hand or they are dirty or I need one really quickly. Because they are so absorbent they’ll make fantastic impromptu bibs when we need them.
Before we had our aden + anais portable nappy mat I used to use our swaddles for nappy changes when we were out and about, or even at home. They’re great for putting over the baby changing units in shops and restaurants, and at home I’ve used them on the sofa or bed when I’ve been doing a quick nappy change.
I’ve always prefered to use our swaddles as blankets rather than actual blankets with both our babies. As sweet as some blankets look, I always worry about overheating so prefer to use swaddles which are much lighter. I usually fold them into two or four and then tuck them around the little one in the car seat or pushchair and have found them to provide just the right coverage for them.
Before we had our Aden + Anais pushchair canopy cover (which is amazing by the way) I used our swaddles to drap over the pushcair or car seat to block out the sun, wind or rain. They’re great because they are completely breathable and still let the air circulate, but they provide good protection from the harsh elements.
Play/tummy time blanket
Our little guy is now getting to the age where he can lay on a play mat and have some tummy time. We have a lovely playmat that we’ve dug out from the loft that the little lady used, but we can’t take our play mat with us everywhere, like when we go on holiday next week. So what I’ll be doing is using some of our swaddles when we’re abroad. It’ll be really easy to lie one down on the hotel bed or sun lounger and with a few little toys it’ll be perfect for some play time.
Swaddles make fantastic impromptu picnic blankets. I always have at least two swaddles in my changing bag and when we have in the past ended up having an unexpected picnic in the park or on the beach its been great to pull one of them out and use them as a picnic blanket. You can fit a few people on them comfortably and whats great is that you can just shake them off afterwards.
Our little ones havent really got attached to any particular things now or in the past, but I do know that your smell transfers to things that you wear and newborns in particular have a very sensitive sense of smell. With this in mind, I think our swaddles which I often have draped around me will act as a useful security blanket for the little one when we are on our flight. He will have to sleep in a bassinet, so putting one in with him I think will give him some comfort.
I love taking pictures of our little ones and have found that the gorgeous prints on our Aden + Anais swaddles make for fantastic backdrops. Again the large size of them means that you can fit baby on them comfortably and get a great shot with a pretty background.
Who would have thought swaddles could be used for so many things! They are definitely one of my all time favourite baby products for that reason. Plus they are so light and easy to carry around and with the aden + anais ones in particular, they get soften after each wash. So if you were wondering what swaddles can be used for hopefully I’ve given you some inspiration!
I have one beautiful aden + anais jungle jam easy swaddle to give away to one lucky reader. All you have to do to win it is add your entry to the Gleam competition below. I’d also love to hear what your favourite way is to use your swaddle, or whether there are any other uses for swaddles that you would add to this list?
Disclosure; This is a collaborative post, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.