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baby in cocoon illustrating all there is about gentle swaddling

Gentle Swaddling

The perfect transition from life in utero to the outside world. 

Our cocoon is designed to help infants transition smoothly from the comfort of life in utero to the outside world. 

It leverages the principles of swaddling in a gentle way. 

It is available online in two forms: already hand-knitted by loving hands (mine - Julie's) and ready to use, or in a kit, with all you need, for you to knit with your loving hands in the BOUTIQUE.

What is swaddling?

Swaddling is essentially wrapping a baby in a garment.

 

Why swaddling?

Most American pediatricians recommend swaddling newborns. There are many benefits to swaddling when it is correctly done. You can learn this technique by watching videos, and most healthcare providers and pediatric healthcare personnel can also demonstrate and teach you.

For safety reasons, babies should always sleep on their backs (SIDS), and you should always follow the general expert recommendations and guidance, but also the ones specifically provided to you for your baby and their unique needs.

Here is a little overview of the benefits and the differences between the two approaches.

 

The benefits of swaddling, whether traditional or gentle, are the following:

  • The tight snug is mimicking the snug from the womb, the sensation of contact all around the baby’s body.

  • It will keep a baby warm.

  • It will keep a baby safe: sleeping on their back, no loose pieces or accessories that can be either a safety hazard, choking or respiratory.

  • Containing their arms and hands will prevent the startle reflex and the sudden awakening it causes (Moro reflex).

  • It helps with digestion and avoiding colic.

In general, the baby sleeps better, so grown-ups around do too, and good sleep is the foundation of a good mood, which leads to good days, and that’s a step forward to reaching the stage of total happiness. There will be more steps, but that’s a start.   

Why gently? And so, why THE cocoon?  

If we all need a little more kindness, softness, and tenderness, so do our babies… but concretely, let’s dig into the extra benefits of the gentle way. The world does not have to be a jungle all the time.

The gentle way, as you already guessed, is a little less tight and constraining. However, let’s not confuse gentle and loose, which could cause a safety hazard to make loose traditional swaddling. That’s why the cocoon was created.

  • Extended usage:

American pediatricians recommend swaddling (traditional) until a baby can roll over, which happens usually around 6 weeks, but it all depends on the baby’s motor development. When the baby can roll over, they will need their hands and arms to assist them with movements and positions. The gentle swaddling, in the cocoon, which gently contains the movements, while enabling access to the hands and arms can be used over several months.

Our standard-size cocoon is usable from birth until around 6 months old. Larger sizes can also be made for bigger or older children.

  • Flexed position:

This position in the cocoon provides key benefits compared to traditional swaddling. The shape of the cocoon enables both the flexed position while remaining on their back (safety, safety!)

The flexed position helps the baby with digestion. Digesting is a new process for the body that needs to mature into it and can cause some discomfort to the baby.  Helping them be positioned this way will facilitate the process and avoids colic.

By the way… even as grown-up people, what’s our natural move when suffering from stomach cramps? Ring a bell?

Though the position is naturally kept in the cocoon, it is not fully constrained, and the baby can also stretch their legs.

Being in flexion allows for a range of movement for the neck and head… that’s next in the motor developments.

  • Motor developments:

When gently swaddled, a baby has access to their hands which is their first body discovery. They also benefit from a range of neck and head rotation movements, which is critical for reinforcing their neck strength, developing their balance, and combined with the flexed position avoiding plagiocephaly (flat head).

  • Fiber and temperature:

Most swaddling garments are made of cotton or other synthetic fabric fibers. They all have their specific properties and will keep a baby warm.

Our cocoon, though, is gentle in the sense that we are using 100% Merino wool, a natural fiber, non-allergenic, not plushing, and very soft to any sensitive skin. It is also a natural thermo-regulator! Keeping warm is great, but a baby can also sweat and feel uncomfortable when too hot. Our cocoon is usable under any temperature and under any latitude, even tropical climate.

More on the Merino wool properties here.

 

The additional good-to-know: They are to the cocoon what the whipped cream and the cherry and the mini-cherry are to a dessert.

How to use the cocoon or not

You can feed a newborn (breastfeeding or bottle feeding), and if the baby falls asleep while eating, they are ready to be placed in their crib or bassinet... 

A baby can be placed in the cocoon on a floor mat for tummy time or other playtimes.

Make sure to secure all belts and security items in strollers, car seats, or any travel gear. The cocoon may not be used if it does not permit the safe transport of a child as per the manufacturer’s indications. If you want to cover a baby, a blanket is ideal (check out our matching blankets kits).

Do not use the cocoon to cover the head of a child, and do not place anything else (toy or other items) inside the cocoon with the baby.

 

The two methods of traditional swaddling and gentle might complement one another, and below are some ideas to combine them…

  • For the first few weeks, you might want to start with traditional swaddling as recommended by pediatricians and transition to the cocoon once traditional swaddling should be stopped. 

  • Combine both methods right at birth at different moments: swaddling for naps and “cocooning” while feeding or while the baby is in a bassinet for a stroll.

  • If some of your caregivers are uncomfortable with swaddling or not quite mastering the technique, using the cocoon can be an easier alternative.

 

There is no definitive answer. Caring for a baby is only about making babies and their team of loving grown-ups, parents, caregivers, relatives, or fans comfortable.

 

If you want to let us know about some other benefits you have noticed, or if you want to share any other kind of feedback, let us know: julie@brooknit-bonneterie.com

We are all ears!

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