The Art of the Baby Burrito.
So many cute patterns, and silky soft materials. It’s sensory heaven - but what does one do with a swaddle blanket anyway? New parents usually have quite a few gifted to them, (or that they buy for the adorable factor!) but you may not have thought of these alternative uses:
SWADDLE USE #1 - Baby Burrito
The most common use of swaddle blankets obviously is to *drumroll* swaddle a baby! Swaddling is a technique used by maternity nurses at birth, and by new parents for about 6 weeks postpartum. The traditional “swaddle” tightly tucks little arms and legs in next to the body for sweet, sound sleep. Why does it work? Well, newborns have something called the “Moro Reflex”, which is when the body startles at the feeling of falling. As adults, we sometimes experience this when we have a dream about falling and we wake up just as we start to fall. Infants of course, experience this because for the past 9 months they have been bundled up tight in a fetal position competing for space with mom’s internal organs. After they’re born, the feeling of being able to move freely is a foreign concept, lending the newborn brain into an instinctual protective reflex. I tend to think of this as the screen between levels in Super Mario 3 (aging myself here) where Mario falls into the next kingdom - it’s a freefall sensation of not having anything solid under you.
Once they’re a bit older, many parents still use the swaddle technique but with the arms free to allow some movement, but keep the safety of a tight blanket.
SWADDLE USE #2 - Under my Umbrella
You may have seen other parents using their Lulujo swaddle blankets as a protective canopy or umbrella cover in various situations. For one, sunshine and babies don’t mix - newborns can’t use sunscreen and their skin is too new to handle direct sun rays. A swaddle provides a cool shelter that keeps out some of those harmful rays. In a very light rain or fog/mist condition, the swaddle keeps babe warm and dry (although they’re not water resistant or waterproof! It’s just another layer)
The benefit to that shelter is that it protects a sleeping baby from being woken up by movement or change in lighting. I used to keep one in the cargo box of the stroller for that reason - easy coverage for a mid day nap!
Covering baby in the stroller or seat has another benefit too: it keeps their privacy, and keeps strange hands away from touching your little one. I can’t believe I’m even typing that, but it’s sadly a reality for pretty much all new parents. People, especially the older generation, can’t help themselves they want to “see the baby” - but especially right now in the midst of the CoVid pandemic, hands-off is the best approach. Most lookie-loos won’t move a blanket to see the child.
The privacy factor is also why the muslin swaddle blanket is a regular item in diaper bags and car trunks. Breastfeeding in public and feeling watched? Pop a swaddle blanket over your shoulder to create a privacy tent. (*note: I am of the opinion that a breastfeeding infant should be able to eat anywhere, any time, without having to be covered up) At the beach, and need a quick changing stall? Lulujo swaddles are large enough to be a curtain for a small child to change out of wet swimsuits. They also work well at the roadside when you have to stop for the 45608th potty break and are nowhere near a rest station.
SWADDLE USE #3 - Burp me baby, one more time
Before I worked as a nanny, I would never dream of using an adorable baby blanket like a dish cloth. But, 20 years later, and I completely understand the usefulness of a muslin swaddle to mop up the various liquids that come with tiny humans. Because they are nothing more than a thin layer of cotton or bamboo, swaddle blankets can double as an ideal towel for burping baby - protect your clothing and babies clothing with it. Wipe up spit up with a corner, or clear the buckets of drool off their chin. You can use it as an actual towel in an emergency too, they are fairly absorbent when folded. In a very extreme emergency, they can work as a diaper wipe or even a cloth diaper. (note my sad face, because that will be the day you have only your very favourite Lulujo swaddle with you and it will break your heart to use it for that reason!)
SWADDLE USE #4 - Lay me down, on a rosy swaddle
Once baby has outgrown the need to be swaddled, you can still use your Lulujo swaddles during sleep time. They make great bedsheets for bassinets, cribs, and playpens. You can put them on an adult mattress for an added protection too.
We talked above about using muslin swaddles for diaper changes - it’s usually a much happier situation to use your swaddle as an impromptu changing mat. I’ve draped them over the plastic “change stations” in public washrooms to add a protective barrier, and used them on the seat/trunk of a car for the same reason.
Of course, you probably put it in your bag because you were planning to use it during your lunchtime picnic in the park to sit on, or you might need a scarf under your jacket. It might be your childs absolute most favourite object and soothing item. I have several Lulujo swaddles around the shop here in use as table cloths, and I use one as a background for social media posts sometimes.
SWADDLE USE #5 - Hip, Hip, Hooray!
Unless you are a chiropractor or massage therapist, you probably don’t think much about ergonomics when it comes to baby. Baby wearing is super popular again (as it should be!) but it’s important to make sure they are properly supported when they’re being worn on you. The thigh to hip area should be roughly perpendicular to the lower leg and foot. If your carrier is too narrow in the crotch area, you can support baby’s legs using a muslin swaddle blanket under them, or wrapped around your waist. They kind of make an “M” or “W” shape when you do it properly, like they are sitting on a chair. Check out the video here that shows how to do this with an Ergo when you don't have the infant insert.
You can also use your Lulujo swaddle before baby even arrives! In late pregnancy, you can use your swaddle on your pregnant belly to support it, or have your partner sift your hips with it (see a video here!) both of which feel amazing when you hit about 37 weeks. You can also use them as a lever during labour/pushing that you pull on like a rope to help the pushing action.
So as you can see, the Lulujo muslin swaddle isn’t just for newborns and infants. I don’t even have tiny humans in my home, but I have a few of my favourite swaddles around because they’re just plain useful! There’s so many ways you can use this versatile product - they’re one of my absolute go-tos for baby shower gifts and mother blessings. I love using them with pregnant clients too!
We carry a variety of Lulujo swaddles, both cotton and bamboo.
Check out our selection online!