10 ways to use — and reuse — swaddles

·4 min read
Courtesy of Lizzy Mathis
Courtesy of Lizzy Mathis

Lizzy Mathis is an In The Know by Yahoo parenting contributor. Check out her site, The Cool Mom Co., and follow her on TikTok and Instagram for more.

I have a confession. I assume it’s one that most new parents might have. I can’t imagine I’m alone on this. OK, here it goes: Before becoming a mom, I never knew how important one large piece of cloth — the swaddle — could actually be. 

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I mean, the swaddle quite literally became a lifeline for me in so many ways. I found myself constantly reaching for this thing that was essentially an oversized burping cloth. Who knew?! Well, I quickly realized, the swaddle is so much more than what meets the eye. There are so many uses that no one shared with me, which definitely changed my new parent perspective.

If you are a new parent, thank me later. And if you’ve been around this block once or twice, read on for a few uses that might be a little eye-opening to you, too — also, feel free to thank me later. 

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Courtesy of Lizzy Mathis
Courtesy of Lizzy Mathis

Here are 10 ways to use your baby’s swaddle:

  1. Nursing cover: Since swaddles are so big, they are the perfect nursing cover for breastfeeding when on the go, traveling or even at home when guests are over and you want to be more discreet.

  2. Burp cloth: Swaddles can come in super handy after a feeding, while you’re burping the baby, when you’d rather not get spit-up on your third T-shirt of the day.

  3. Tummy time blanket: Lay out the swaddle on a soft surface (like a rug or a play pad), and give your little one a space to work on those tiny muscles. It will be soft enough to keep them from being uncomfortable. 

  4. Changing table cover: Place over a changing table when changing diapers away from home. This has been a lifesaver for me at friends’ homes or while out shopping, at restaurants or traveling. I mean, you definitely want a barrier between the baby and any public surface.

  5. Stroller cover: When the little one falls asleep while you’re out running errands and you desperately don’t want the sun (or some overly friendly strangers) to wake them up, this is the perfect extra layer — it’s breathable, too.

  6. Swaddle: Ha, you thought I was going to forget this one! Of course, use it to swaddle your precious new baby. That’s what they’re meant for. I learned that the bigger the swaddle, the better. So go big or go home, lol!

  7. Photo shoot blanket: We live in a world of Instagram and camera phones. So naturally, you have to use it as a photo op! Especially swaddles like these. There are so many cute ones with great prints and quotes that will make it a photo-worthy moment!

  8. Art in the kids’ room: Cute printed swaddles are perfect over a crib or bed in your baby or big kid’s room. Since we live in California, I am so nervous about earthquakes and pictures falling off the walls. I love to use the wall space in their room for alternative artwork instead of heavy frames or shelving.

  9. Napping blanket: My kids loved to snuggle with their swaddle blanket. They held onto it like it was everything! Since they are so breathable and lightweight, they are the perfect nap time summer blankets when your baby gets old enough to have it while they sleep.

  10. A wrap or scarf: Yes, for you! I would be lying if I told you I haven’t used one of my kids’ super soft swaddles to cover my shoulders during a movie or as the evening got cooler near the beach! Don’t worry if you forget your sweater next time. Just grab your baby’s swaddle blanket. 

As a mom of three, I can honestly appreciate the many uses of the swaddle. Just remember, it’s not how many baby things you have — it’s how you choose to use them. Enjoy the moments. They really do go by so fast!

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If you enjoyed this story, check out what I wish I’d known as a first-time mom!

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