Friday, February 11, 2011

The Woombie – it’s like a big hug!

The Woombie Baby Swaddle. Click here to buy!
When I first heard about the Woombie and how it’s designed I was very excited. What a brilliant idea! It truly solves the typical swaddling dilemma of how to keep the swaddle secure, while at the same time creating that familiar, soothing feeling for the baby of being in the womb. Get it, Woombie?

A Washington University study has scientifically proven what parents have instinctively known for centuries; most infants sleep better when swaddled. They wake less frequently and sleep more soundly, aiding in important brain development. Think of sleep as nutrition for baby’s brain.

Coming from a strong background in infant mental health, my hesitation about some of the newer swaddles that pin the babies’ arms down at their sides is, that the ideal position for their limbs, not only for soothing but also for neurological organization and regulation, is to bring them into what we call their “midline.” Picture a baby in the fetal position or you in “child’s pose” at your yoga class. Bringing everything to the center helps what Dan Siegel, MD, author of “Parenting from the Inside Out, “ calls the middle prefrontal cortex of the brain to reach an optimal state of integration. From this state, your baby is better able to access moving to either sleep or a calm awake state. This is what we mean by “regulation.”

Additionally, pediatric orthopedists are more likely to support a swaddle in a natural position, with elbows bent, hips and knees flexed for proper joint development. This is the exact position the Woombie creates.

More reasons to love the Woombie:
  • Prevents startle reflex Promotes & enhances motor development by allowing baby to stretch and move their limbs
  • Prevents face scratching 
& keeps "busy" hands away from face & pacifier
  • No loose blankets to ride up and cause potential suffocation
  • Very easy to use & encourages back sleeping
  • No more worry of the swaddle coming undone, which can lead to potential blanket suffocation
  • May see a marked improvement in colic symptoms.
  • Prevents overheating, which has been linked to SIDS.
  • Adaptable for one or two arms or legs free swaddling, handy during transitioning (see photos below).
Important Safety Rule: An easy way to know when to immediately remove any type of swaddle is as soon as your baby can roll in either direction. Swaddling is a wonderful temporary way to help babies regulate and sleep better during the early months when we have to put them on their backs to sleep. Once they can roll, we want them to be able to roll in both directions at will. Our ultimate goal for them is to be free to move around the bed and find their preferred sleep position.

When my now 14 year old was a baby, all we had was flannel receiving blankets to swaddle. Once my son “broke out” of that, it was over. I wish I’d had the Woombie, a new and exciting addition to the Pump Station and Nurtury’s continual quest to bring you the best and the smartest products.

As a psychotherapist, infant sleep expert and leader of Mommy and Me classes here at the Pump Station, I would love to get your feedback and testimonials on the Woombie. This will in turn help other new moms navigate these challenging first months, especially, as we well know, around the issue of sleep!

You can contact Julie at


Mary said...

I've had a few friends who've tried the woombie and state they found their baby making coughing, gagging noises because a hand was stuck up in the neck. So they stopped using it.

Kristin said...

I really liked the idea so we ordered one. I was disappointed. She is still able to get her hands up to her mouth to suck, which leaves that area soaking wet and cold. I doubt she could get her arm or hand out the kneck opening as it is much too small. Maybe the previous poster's friends had their babies in too larg of Woombies.

Also, ours doesn't have the zipper to let the legs out, but I was thinking that would be really nice for diaper changes....

It probably would have been really nice when she was just a newborn, and had yet to find her hands to suck!

Prescott & Christina Littlefield said...

We love the Woombie! We used a Summer Infant Swaddlepod before the Woombie, and while it did help our daughter sleep better, the swaddle was light and our daughter could get her hands out of it. Now we use a Deluxe Woombie, which has a firmer swaddle, and she cannot get her hands out of it. We also love the convenience of the two-way zipper.

meales said...

oh, that is a great idea, it really can keep baby safe.

Theodora said...

I just tried the woombie. I've tried all kinds of swaddles since my 7 week old has a hard time sleeping on her back for some reason and I'm trying to get her comfortable doing that. At the moment she just wants to sleep on me on her tummy. I think it has to do with reflux. Anyway I think the woombie is a great idea but it seems that she prefers to have her hands by her side. Up across her chest she can still move them around and fuss and just gets worked up. When her arms are by her side shes happier So for my baby it wasn't a good buy.

Ally's Baby Wonders said...

Thank you for your post, and extra insights into swaddling. We agree the Woombie has some great advantages.