At max + moose, we know there’s nothing quite as precious as a sweet, sleeping baby. Their soft, warm breath, the rise and fall of their tiny chests, the peace of their quiet slumber. Perhaps best of all, a sleeping babe brings a much needed moment of rest for you.
A baby’s sleep can be influenced by a number of things. One of the more frustrating things is a startled wakeup caused by a newborn’s reflexes. The best way to avoid this is through swaddling, however, swaddling is only effective if the baby stays wrapped and is comfortable. To achieve this, we believe nothing beats natural fibers, specifically Pima cotton.
The Naturals: Muslin, Bamboo and Hemp
Although muslin is the most popular fabric for swaddles, it lacks stretch, a key ingredient for effective swaddling. Bamboo on the other hand, has more stretch than muslin, but given it is such a strong material, harsh chemicals are often used to soften the bamboo enough to be used for textiles. When bamboo is processed without harsh chemicals, it is generally very expensive. Hemp is another natural fiber that is occasionally used for baby products, but it can be quite coarse, especially when new, so not the best for a baby’s delicate and sensitive skin.
Synthetic fabrics like spandex can provide the right amount of stretch, but also expose your baby to harmful chemicals as the product degrades. Washing synthetics before use helps to reduce exposure to these chemicals (for your baby’s sake, always wash synthetics baby products before use!) but doesn’t get rid of them completely. Washing also pushes the chemicals into your water system. Your baby gets exposed to enough chemicals already through household dust, so spending hours wrapped in synthetic fabrics while sleeping should be avoided.
Pima cotton has the secret sauce for the perfect swaddle and is the best natural fiber for a multi-purpose baby blanket. Pima cotton is hypoallergenic and does a great job at regulating body temperature by being lightweight and breathable while also being warm and ultra-soft. It is also durable enough to withstand many washings and many diaper bags trips. One of the reasons it lasts so long is because it’s long silky fibers resist piling, fraying and tearing. As they say, the most sustainable item is the one that lasts and doesn’t need to be replaced. Most importantly, Pima cotton swaddles provide the perfect amount of stretch to stay wrapped around your baby throughout the night, keeping them snug and comfortable and giving you and your baby the rest you very much need. When manufactured in an ethical way using only non-toxic water-based dyes, it truly is a fabric perfectly tailored for baby swaddles.