What is Baby Swaddling?
After a newborn baby girl clothes and accessories has emerged from the womb the following weeks can feel very uncomfortable for the baby who is used to being a secure and warm environment they encountered while in the womb. Swaddling, or wrapping your baby in a blanket, can help him feel warm, secure and comfortable as he adjusts to his new environment. Many midwives advocate this practice and it is now often taught to new parents in hospital. Research has suggested that swaddling can help to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in young babies. Further research concluded that swaddled babies who use a swaddling blanket are not easily disturbed as they experience a deeper sleep than those simply placed under sheets or blankets.
Why Baby Swaddle?
A baby often has trouble sleeping because he’s easily startled by a loud noise or his own muscle movements wake him up (called ‘moro’ or ’startle’ reflex). If your baby has a startle reflex you can wrap him up in swaddling blanket to recreate the secure environment the baby enjoyed in the womb. You can also prevent a baby having startle or Moro reflexes by wrapping your baby up in a swaddle blanket which will restrict movement of their arms and legs and creates pressure against their skin making for a more peaceful night’s sleep. Some babies can feel uncomfortable for no apparent reason and a baby swaddling blanket can help to keep the baby calm and comfortable. Baby swaddling also helps keep a baby on their back as well as getting rid of unnecessary sheets which can cause SIDS.
Baby swaddling with a baby swaddle blanket can help reduce the amount of Colic which is crying more than three hours a day, three days a week for more than three weeks. Colick is known for keeping a newborn baby awake at night.
How to Swaddle a Baby?
To swaddle a baby, i recommend that you purchase a swaddling blanket which is perfect for the job. However you can make your own swaddling wrap using a light material which will not be too hot for the baby. I recommend that you use cotton.
Fold the corner of the sheet down slightly into a triangle shape.
Put your baby on the sheet so their neck is on the folded corner.
Pick up the left side of the sheet and tuck it under the right side of the baby.
Pick up the bottom corner and place it over the baby’s feet so it points upwards at the legs.
Pick up the right corner of the swaddler sheet and fold it over the baby so that it tucks under their left side.
Your baby should now be swaddled with only their neck and head showing.
Why use a Swaddling Blanket?
Using a swaddling a baby blanket will help keep a baby on their back and eliminate loose sheets and bedding which has been known to cause SIDS.
A swaddling blanket can provide an environment very similar to what the baby experienced in the mother’s womb. This in turn will keep the baby calm and comfortable and help to stop crying.
Swaddle blankets will also stop a baby being able to scratch their face.
A swaddle blanket keeps a baby in a good position while the baby is breastfeeding.
Using a swaddle wrap will maintain your baby’s body temperature.
Not to mention, you can get many beautiful swaddle designs for your baby.
Baby Swaddling Advice
Note that some babies do not like to be swaddled. If they don’t like it, stop it!
Baby wearing is the term given to carrying a baby. Using a baby carrier like a baby ring sling or baby papoose will keep your baby close to you and help them feel secure like swaddles.
Don’t swaddle a baby in an especially warm room because overheating is one of the factors that can cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
When to Stop Baby Swaddling?
It is recommended to stop swaddling your baby with swaddling blankets by three or four months of age. At this age the baby has climatized to living outside of the womb and no longer needs to swaddle. It is important that a baby over this age can move freely with no restrictions. A swaddled baby needs to develop their muscles which will help them crawl, stand and walk in the future.