Why swaddle an infant?
According to leading pediatricians and baby sleep professionals, swaddling is the first step in keeping many newborn infants calm and happy. This can greatly reduce the amount of time your baby will spend crying, which will improve your quality of life as a new parent.
Pediatricians strongly advised to place infants to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of death from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). However, babies in this position are often afflicted with the startle (or Moro) reflex, in which their arms and legs pop up and jerk spasmodically. Naturally, this wakes them up or prevents them from falling asleep. Medical professionals recommend simulating a "fourth trimester" for infants, in which womb-like conditions are re-created, reducing the likelihood of the startle reflex.
Swaddling can be a very effective tool in this regard, as it makes the infant feel as if it is still being held tightly in its mother's body. This reduces crying and improves the quality of babies' sleep dramatically.
Through the reduction of crying and improvement of sleep, the stress you feel as a parent is dramatically lowered and this will enable you to parent more effectively. Being able to calm your infant child and stop them from crying builds confidence for new parents and Swaddle Strap® arms-only baby swaddle provides the easiest and most effective way to achieve this goal.
How long should I swaddle my baby?
Swaddling is a wonderful tool, but it can be tough to know when to stop swaddling. Leading pediatricians and baby sleep professionals say that the average age to wean from swaddling is around 3-6 months, then the Moro, or “startle” reflex, lessens. Many babies do benefit from the comfort of being swaddled longer than that. Once your baby has begun to roll, pediatricians advise to stop swaddling immediately.
How do I know my baby is ready to wean from the swaddle?
The only time you should stop swaddling abruptly is if there is a safety issue (e.g. rolling over from back to tummy). Pediatricians advise to stop swaddling immediately when baby can roll from back to stomach, to avoid the risk of suffocation. If rolling is not yet an issue for your baby, there can be other clues when it is time to begin the swaddle weaning process.
Sometimes you can tell it is time to wean from the swaddle if baby likes to self-soothe by sucking on their fingers or playing with their hair. Sometimes you can tell because being swaddled no longer soothes baby. If neither of these clues are present, and baby still does not roll, you can start to swaddle wean sometime between 4-6 months.
My baby really doesn’t like when I put a swaddle on, but can’t sleep without a swaddle... what can I do?
Have no fear! Most babies who need to be swaddled to sleep, do fight the process of being swaddled, but benefit from the swaddle. If your baby doesn’t calm right away after being swaddled, we recommend learning the baby calming process developed by Dr. Harvey Karp and available in his DVD and book called: The Happiest Baby on the Block.
Our daughter Eve, the inspiration for Swaddle Strap, absolutely would not sleep without being swaddled, in addition to most of the other tricks taught by Dr. Karp. I don’t know what we would have done without his 5-S’s!!! If you don’t already know them, check it out!!!
SWADDLE STRAP® FAQs
How do I know which size will fit my baby?
Swaddle Strap is adjustable and comes in two sizes, so there is definitely one that will be perfect for your baby! Choosing the correct size Swaddle Strap for your baby is about measuring chest circumference, not age or weight. Using a soft tape measure (or ribbon), please measure your baby’s chest below the armpits, around the widest part of the rib cage. Use the guide below to determine whether the small or large will be the best fit for your baby.
What if my baby is between two sizes?
If your baby’s chest circumference measures between the two sizes, we recommend the following:
- - if chest circumference is at least 16”, we recommend the large, as you will only need the one as baby grows.
- - if chest circumference is less than 16”, the small is the best fit for now (and the large will not fit yet). We recommend taking advantage of our bundle discount (LINK HERE TO SS PAGE) and purchasing both sizes, so you will be ready when it is time to move to the large.
My baby is really long. Will Swaddle Strap work for us?
Yes. The length of your baby doesn’t impact fit or effectivity of Swaddle Strap because it was purposefully designed not to enclose baby’s legs. Fit is based on chest circumference. If your baby’s chest circumference, measured below the arm pits at the widest part of the rib cage, is between 13.5-21 inches (34-52cm), there is a Swaddle Strap to fit! See sizing diagram here.
My baby can roll over. Is it safe to use Swaddle Strap?
Once baby can roll over from back to tummy pediatricians strongly advise not to swaddle baby with any swaddle product or blanket.
What do the pillows do? Why are they used?
As the Swaddle Strap arms-only baby swaddle was designed to be fast, easy, safe, and use the least amount of fabric possible, the pillows provide extra comfort and security to help keep baby cozy and prevent escapes.
Please note that when the pillows are used correctly, they provide comfy security for your baby. It is very important that both pillows be down as far as possible over baby’s arms, and not allowed to stick up or out under the strap, which may allow a space to form that can sometimes make it easier for baby to get an arm out.
Why isn’t the fabric stretchy?
We use a very soft, high-quality, 100% cotton, non-stretchy, woven fabric to make Swaddle Strap.
When designing Swaddle Strap, we tested a number of textiles, including stretchy knit fabrics. It turns out that unless we use a non-stretch fabric, our little Houdinis are able wriggle out in just a few seconds.
How can Swaddle Strap help me wean my baby from swaddling?
Swaddle Strap is a great tool for swaddle weaning! When you are ready to start weaning, simply begin the night (or nap) with baby in Swaddle Strap but leave one arm out. To do this, you close that strap without enclosing the arm. Once baby disturbs him or herself with that arm, then enclose it again. Leave the arm out a little longer each night until baby can sleep without that arm enclosed. Then do the same with the other arm, until voila—no more swaddle need!
Based on what we have heard from Anna & Eve parents, using this approach with Swaddle Strap, weaning takes around 3-5 weeks. It took exactly 4 weeks for us with little Eve.
How should I wash my Swaddle Strap®?
We always recommend washing anything that will touch baby’s skin before using for the first time. To wash, close hook & loop tabs with maximum contact before washing, which helps the Swaddle Strap keep its shape, prevents the collection of lint and fibers, and protects other garments in your load. Hand wash or machine wash cold on gentle cycle with like colors. For best care, wash Swaddle Strap inside a laundry-lingerie bag. If bleach is needed, use only non-chlorine bleach. Air dry flat or tumble dry low, remove promptly and lay flat. If desired, use a cool iron on fabric surfaces only. Do not iron directly on hook & loop, as it will melt.
The hook & loop isn’t holding closed as tightly as it used to - what can I do?
With standard, regular use, the hook & loop tabs may collect fuzz, hair and lint, which reduces the effectiveness of the tabs. To maintain the stickiness of the hook & loop, regularly remove debris with lint roller or sticky tape. If the edges of the straps are curling after washing, which is usually due to washing and/or drying on a hotter setting than recommended, we recommend carefully ironing the fabric surfaces only. Do not iron directly on hook & loop, as it will melt.
My baby is wriggling an arm out—how can I prevent this?
If your little Houdini manages to wriggle an arm out of the Swaddle Strap®, these troubleshooting tips will most likely do the trick!
- Make sure you have the correct size (see sizing FAQ).
- Either the inner or outer strap may be on too loose. Make straps a bit snugger.
- Check your placement of the pillows over baby’s arms, as they purposefully are sewn to “toggle”.
- Make sure that pillows are securely down over each arm with no space to move when outer strap is closed. Once closed, adjust by sliding a finger in under the outer strap and moving pillow down or open and redo.
- It is very important that both pillows be down as far as possible over baby’s arms—if they are not, a space may form that can make it easier for baby to get an arm out.
- Since all babies are different, you may need to try it higher or lower on the torso to find your baby’s Swaddle Strap “sweet spot”.
- For some babies, it works better to close the outer straps in a slight, upside-down “V” shape.
- We have heard from a few parents that their baby prefers to wear Swaddle Strap upside down! (The logo will be upside down when looking directly at your baby.)
- If none of the suggestions above do the trick: After you close the outer straps and makes sure the pillows are down as far as they can go over baby’s arms, carefully use a diaper pin on each side, through the outer strap and the pillow, to secure each pillow to the outer strap. If the baby still getting an arm out after this, please reach out and contact us.
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Does The LifeChanger hold as much stuff as a normal diaper bag?
Absolutely. In fact, it holds more supplies than most of the more popular diaper bags in the market, while boasting significantly more functionality. The LifeChanger has 4 mesh pouches inside that can hold: 8-12 disposable (or 4-5 cloth) diapers, wipes, change of clothes, burp clothes, creams and lotions. The outer pockets can hold wipes, snacks, bottles or sippy cups, a book or tablet, keys, money and more!
How does The LifeChanger save me money and space?
The LifeChanger eliminates the need for a home changing table. There is no need to buy another expensive item with a short lifespan. This also means that you no longer need duplicate sets of changing supplies for your home and diaper bag—keep The LifeChanger stocked, and when you are ready to go out with baby, simply FLIP in the supply pouches, ZIP up the bag and GO!
Further, if space is limited or you simply don’t want a changing table a permanent fixture in your home, forego a bulky changing table completely. The LifeChanger converts any stable, flat surface into a clean, comfortable, changing table, and neatly folds away when not in use.
Can I wear The LifeChanger as a backpack?
Yes! The LifeChanger comes with two removable, padded straps that allow you to wear as a backpack, shoulder bag or messenger bag. It also attaches to any stroller.
Does The LifeChanger fit on public changing stations?
It fits perfectly on standard public changing stations and provides the added bonus of not having to worry about laying baby on that hard surface of questionable cleanliness. Plus, all of your supplies are within reach and off the floor! No more jostling with your diaper bag while you dig for your supplies with one hand holding your wriggling baby with the other.
Can I use The LifeChanger on an airplane?
The LifeChanger is a game changer for flights with a baby. It stores easily under the seat in front of you, and opens across 2 laps for simple, sanitary diaper changes right in your airplane seat. It’s also a comfy, cozy place for baby to nap on the plane!
I use cloth diapers—will The LifeChanger hold what I need?
Yes! We used cloth diapers with Eve, and originally designed The LifeChanger with cloth diaper users in mind. There is space for 4-5 cloth diapers, diaper covers and your small dirty diaper bag. Plus, it will also hold your wipes and extra clothes, too.
How do I use The LifeChanger as a lap-top changing station?
Please follow these instructions and you will find that lap-top changes with The LifeChanger are a joy for you and comfortable for your baby!
1) Sit on a stable surface so that your legs form a right angle and are about shoulder width apart.
2) Place The LifeChanger on your lap and open by unzipping and undoing Velcro flaps on bottom of bag.
3) Lay The LifeChanger flat on your lap, with the pouches situated to the front and sides.
4) Always remove one of the shoulder straps and reattach to D-rings so that the strap is snug behind your back and attached on either side of you. (This helps prevent it from sliding off your lap.)
5) Flip the storage pouches open over the sides for easy acces to all of your supplies.
6) Always use the attached strap inside to secure baby!
How does it stay on my lap?
Always secure the waist strap, using the instructions included with your bag (and detailed here) (link to instructions above). Never stand while using The LifeChanger on your lap.
What are the dimensions of The LifeChanger?
Unopen: 14” wide (at the widest part) x 11” tall x 9” deep (at the widest part) Open: 30” long x 14” wide (at the widest part)
How do I wash The LifeChanger?
The soft pad inside (where most accidents might happen) is removable, machine washable, and made of 100% cotton with a soft poly stuffing. The rest of the bag can be spot cleaned by wiping with a damp cloth.