Newborn Necessities - swaddling blankets make the cut

Newborn Necessities - swaddling blankets make the cut 1In our commercial culture, big companies often bully their way into our homes by implying that we need much more than we actually do to keep our baby comfortable and happy. But newborns really need so little.

My list of necessities (I realize everyone's list is a little different) includes:

  • Diapers and wipes
  • Burp cloths
  • A nose sucker thingamabob
  • Onesies and sleepers
  • A car seat
  • A stroller
  • A couple of swaddling blankets
  • A baby carrier (or two or three) and - the most important thing of all-
  • Love and attention.

That's about it. [Notice I left out a crib, but that's for another post...].

Anyway, swaddling blankets definitely made my list of necessities. When I think back on the sleepy, overwhelming, emotional, and magical moments of newborndom, I remember that swaddling was a huge lifesaver. We never had anything quite as fancy as the Loving Baby Swaddle Blanket (we used plain old receiving blankets), but - even so - being securely swaddled always seemed to calm our little "burrito."

Newborn Necessities - swaddling blankets make the cut 2Our daughter must not be the exception because plenty of sleep experts - including Harvey Karp, Elizabeth Pantley, and Bob Sears - recommend swaddling as a fantastic way to soothe newborns. In fact, swaddling is one of Harvey Karp's famous five "S"'s. [P.S.  If you want some super ideas to help your baby sleep longer, I highly recommend Dr. Karp's "Happiest Baby on the Block" DVD.]

I'm excited to try the Loving Baby Swaddle Blanket when we get pregnant with and have baby #2. After reading about the benefits of the blanket, I have a feeling that we'll use it all of the time.

P.S. If you need a refresher about how to swaddle, here's a one-minute video from YouTube.

While we're on the topic, what items made your "newborn necessity" list or - perhaps even more interesting - what common items didn't make your list?

WIN IT! One winner will receive a Loving Baby Swaddle Blanket in the color of his/her choice. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post prior to Friday, May 9 at midnight (don’t forget to follow the rules). The winner will be announced and contacted on Saturday, May 10. * Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address.

*UPDATE* The winner is #20 Teri Meairs. Congratulations!

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154 comments on “Newborn Necessities - swaddling blankets make the cut”

  1. Well...did you know that swaddling can increase the risk of hip dyplasia? I was just browsing the net looking for a picture of a "burrito" baby to include in my lecture (what not to do....) and I found you. Be very careful with that!

  2. Thanks for the tip; I had never even thought of swaddling our newborn! (The things we overlook as harried parents LOL)

  3. A blanket is a must.I sleep with a blanket
    wrapped around me at night.Its a security thing

  4. With my other children I had to just swaddle them with a blanket. This will make it much easier.

  5. I loved plain old cloth diapers. They do not fill up landfills and if organic and all cotton are good for the babies butt

  6. Swaddling is so comforting for the baby. After the shock of being removed from close quarters, the feeling of closeness has to feel absolutely wonderful to the newborn. I know swaddling was one of the key calming techniques we used with our children and will use with the new baby on the way as well.

  7. Th perfect gift from granmother. Many thanks and best of luck with many wished for Mother's Day!!!!!!

  8. Love and attention is first on my list. Swaddling blankets are great. I have a huge family and still have problems keeping the baby in the blanket.

  9. I like to have baby medicines available. I gift new parents with a newborn medicine "cabinet" with baby Tylenol, Motrin, gas drops, etc.

  10. I can't tell you what a difference the Miracle Blanket made with my last daughter. I've never heard of this brand of swaddling blanket, but I'd love to give it a try. I'm done with babies myself (?), so I'd be swaddling up my neighbor's newborn in a couple of months!

  11. They have these new chairs for babies out, (out in the last year or so) and its for babies who can just sit up, I can't remember the name but it almost looks like part of an egg carton, they are really snug & secure in it. I WiSH I had that chair for my first 3 babies. I should have invented it. (Nobody knows what the heck I'm talking about-its early...)

  12. When my children were babies, I placed them on their abdomens EVERY time they slept. I accept the research which is now available. I will try to become comfortable with that "only on the back" sleeping..but I will always worry that they might aspirate any liquid which they might spit up :-(

  13. I didn't swaddle my first baby but I did with my last and I can say that it has made a big difference! My baby sleeps so much better and seems more calm and happy!

  14. I found burping cloths to be absolutely indispensable to me. My kids were spitters really bad and I went through so many of those!

  15. I'd like to try this! What items didn't make me list is more like it. I'm not really one of those moms who have to have all the 'new things'. I get the basics and go with the flow of things. We don't have a crib (not on this list) because we co sleep, no diaper changer, never use it. Is that enough?? Hee, hee. =)

  16. I would love to win the mellow yellow mint blanket for my baby girl. She *needs* to be swaddled at night and I could really use it! Thanks for the entry!

  17. I didn't have a lot of things. I didn't even need most of the things I had. My daughter ended up sleeping in the bed with me, would never take a bottle or sippy cup or pacifier, refused to be swaddled, outgrew most clothes before wearing them and we never needed the nursing pillow. lots of t-shirts, diapers,a nasal aspirator,diapers and some kind of little seat will pretty much carry you through the first 6 months!

  18. You can get by without many of the so-called necessities, but it's nice to have plenty of blankets because they tend to need washing frequently (spit-up and other issues...)

  19. My daughter is 11 months old and doesn't want to be swaddled anymore, but I would love to win this for my friend who's due in July. Swaddling is fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone, the baby's a lot more relaxed and feels more secure.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  20. I had this bear shaped body sponge that I would lay my son on in the tub ( it was as big as a baby, of course). It kept him in place so I could wash him and not be afraid of him slipping out of my hands.

  21. Perfect present for a newborn AND the parents, the baby will be comforted and mom and dad can sleep a little...

  22. Yep, you listed all of the important necessities! I wish I had known all of those BEFORE I had a baby. :) Thanks for the giveaway.

  23. Great giveaway- I would love this for my best friend who's expecting twins after a very long wait for motherhood:)

  24. I've been through 2 babies and neither one has ever spent a single night in the expensive crib or bassinet that we have! LOL!
    Love swaddle blankies!!

  25. Oh gosh, I really need a new swaddling blanket. Our "work horse" miracle blanket has a big hole in it!

    Must Haves: Good Baby Carrier. I love my Ergo for bigger babies, my Kangaroo Korner Fleece pouch or a stretcy wrap for tiny babies and my ring sling for nursing.

    Don't Need: Crib! We spent a fortune on a crib for our oldest and after four kids no one has ever slept in it. :-) Cosleeping, swing sleeping and playpen sleeping because I'm too short to lay a sleeping baby in a crib without waking them!!

  26. I love swaddlers. I swaddled my first son until he was 6 months old and I really think it was what helped him sleep through the night. I'm currently swaddling my newborn son but he is starting to outgrow it so I could really use this one. I'd love a blue one for sure!

    I actually hate the baby fingernail clippers. I find it a lot harder to judge exactly where it will cut and getting close enough is hard. I prefer just standard adult sized myself. Works a lot easier.

  27. Really want to get one of these for baby due in October. I just saw the Karp DVD and believe we could have swaddled/calmed more the first time around and it would have been easier!

  28. calvin's a happiest baby on the block baby. we STILL swaddle him for sleep and he's 6 months-old. otherwise, he still gets restless and wakes more frequently (during naptime, he'll just roll around and play and then get frustrated). we'll get rid of the swaddle once he sleeps through the night (please be soon!!!) we may swaddle this boy until he's 12 (just kidding)

    list of MUST HAVEs: cloth wipes, cloth diapes, swaddles, nursing cover (we live with extended family), sling/baby bjorn, baby nail clippers, grapeseed oil/almond oil/apricot oil for baby's bum (way easier to wipe off meconium on the skin!!)

  29. I think the Loving Yellow Mellow mint swaddle. I also like the fact that these swaddles have no pockets, snaps, arm straps, buttons, zippers, or velcro. It helps ease those fears I have with some of the other products that do contain those.

  30. I'm due in October and I need a swaddling blanket! What a great giveaway! Thanks for offering this....

  31. one thing that definitely didn't make my list again was the grooming set. you basically get everything you need from the hospital.

  32. A swaddle blanket is a must have! With our first, we stopped swaddling for the first month and after a month of horrible sleep we watched the Dr. Karp video and went back to swaddling and we all got better sleep. Swaddling is wonderful! A baby carrier is another must have in my book. Other need things include: diapers/wipes, clothes, car seat and stroller.

    Things that I really didn't use were burp cloths (tended to use receiving blankets instead). Also, didn't have a specific changing area - so no changing table needed.

    Both of my kids ended up keeping their swaddle blankets as their blankets, so we need a new one for this little guy coming in just a little over 2 weeks. It'll be here before we know it!

  33. everyone told me I need a babywipe heater and bottle warmer. I never used either that was bought for me. to my list I would add lanoin nipple cream (if you nurse)

  34. Hmmm...the swing was pretty invaluable. What totally didn't work? Changing table! Who has time at 2 am to go to the other room and start changing a baby? Ha! We changed him on our bed and put a pad down. Now he is too mobile to lay on a changing table!

    I have a few of these and my baby is definitely too old at present so please don't enter me!

    : )

  35. My baby girl loves to be swaddled this and this blanket looks like one she would love. Thanks!

  36. Oh yes, swaddling blankets was number one! My boys loved them and so did I. I got more sleep because they got more sleep. I got more done because they were content. They really were happy babies in the swaddle wrap. They wore them so much that I had to toss the last one so I'd love to win another one for this new baby.

  37. Oh, so true about swaddling!! We called our two girls our "baby burritos", too! My youngest, especially loved to be swaddled! We, too, just used a receiving blanket, but I love that they are designing blankets just for swaddling now! My sister-in-law is due in September and this would be great for my new niece!!! Thanks for offering!
    ~Tanya
    the4moyers(at)msn(dot)com

  38. Your list sounds pretty much dead on with what I'd say too. :) My little (4.5 yr old) guy still sleeps with me.

  39. Would love to win this for my new granddaughter born 4/28/2008. Thanks for the contests.

  40. I've heard bottle warmers and crib bumpers are an unnecessary purchase. However, bouncy seats or activity mats, and a bumbo are 'must haves'.

  41. The swaddling blanket would be perfect for my young friend who is expecting her first child.

  42. The bouncy seat was a must have with our son. We tried everything with him; walking, bouncing, baby swing, rocking, the only thing that worked was putting him in the bouncy seat and lightly bouncing him. At night, swaddling blankets are a must as well. My sister in law is due in June and I've already bought a bouncy seat for her and plan on buying swaddling blankets too.

  43. I would say my boppy pillow has to be on the list of must have's. My neck felt so much better after using the pillow. I never could get the hang of how to do the swaddle would love to win a blanket to make it easier. thanks.

  44. A bassinet or cradle is a mus ton the list for baby. Earplugs for Mom (Dad shouldn't see this list)!

  45. Been many a year since I was a new mama but even back then we were taught to swaddle our babies from the get-go. I would love to win this for my newest great-grandgirl that is due in August.

  46. My list of newborn necessities is pretty similar to yours. We didn't use the nose sucker thing much for my daughter, but that may be because we're in a more humid climate. I will add that I couldn't have lived without a pair of infant nail clippers (man, those suckers grow fast) and an infant tub for bathing.

  47. The swaddling blankets are amazing! Especially for the baby is wants to be held allot!

  48. What's necessary is a warm loving home, to raise your little one. This blanket would be perfect. Thanks for the giveaway.

  49. We like the Mellow Yellow Mint. Lily will be here any minute..Erin is in labor...but not enough to go to the hospital! It is a nail-biting wait!

  50. I don't know what we will actually consider necessities once the little one arrives, but I think we have everything on your list!

  51. Our beautiful, tranquil, calming swing! It was completley worthless! I love, love, loved it! ....before baby came. Then, he decided it wasn't really all it was cracked up to be, wouldn't sleep in it, would chill in it for maybe 5 mins, then want to be held or put into his real bed. Our sensative little guy just didn't dig the contraption nearly as much as I hoped he would. It took me months to take it apart and put it away....I had such high hopes for my swing. sigh. Oh well. ...maybe the next baby will like it almost as much as I do :)
    Yes, swaddles were great too. Until Devin learned how to break out of them! ...we went against the flow and turned him into a paci-free tummy sleeper at 4 months. Worked wonders!! We were all finally sleeping!

  52. I bought Dr. Karp's Happiest Baby on the Block for my bestfriend who is due in July, I loved swaddling blankets with my children, so if I win I would give it to her, to use on the new baby Callie !

  53. We didn't need the crib until our daughter was almost 3 months old since she would only sleep with us or in the swing. Also, a swaddling blanket was a must. We used the Miracle Blanket, which was in fact a miracle. This one looks great too.

  54. I have so much to figure out! Sabrina was 7 months old when we got her so I am clueless about newborns. I don't know how to swaddle...I need to get myself to a library. But I am also of the school of thought that newborns don't need a lot of anything but love and attention.

  55. Swaddlers are great. I haven't ever had one with any of my kids, but I loved wrapping them myself. It helped sooo much.

    I never found a use for the nose sucky thingy, but, I know my father swore by it.
    I love co-sleepers though. I love to sleep with my babies but, after a little while, I worry about them getting too warm so I put them into the co-sleeper. It's great. I have my own bedspace, but I can pull them in with me whenever I want, and I can breastfeed them without having to get up. On those cold Colorado nights, I really don't wanna get out of bed!!

  56. I had to have a baby seat that I could sit on the bathroom floor so that I could get a quick shower!

  57. I loved Dr. Karp's Happiest Newborn book with our first baby! It really worked! I would love to try a swaddler blanket with our next one (due in Oct)! Some of my necessity items are similar, but I also have to have my breast pump and and these great pump sterilizer bags from Medela, I love them!!!

  58. I completly agree with your list, mostly the love & attention & the deletion of the "almighy crib". I would love that post. I like these swaddling blankets, the white is my fav. there is something about a newborn in clean, crisp white that i love.

    mcginnisfamily5(at)gmail(dot)com

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