Facts about swaddling your baby that all new moms need to know.
Many new moms are doubtful about swaddling and how they can use this age-old technique to soothe their newborn baby. There are various benefits and risks associated with swaddling that all new moms should know trying to swaddle their baby. We have put together some safety tips and facts about swaddling that you should know before your little bundle of joy arrives.
What is swaddling?
Swaddling is an old practice that many generations of mothers have used to help newborn babies fall asleep. It means wrapping your baby from shoulders to feet in a soft, breathable cloth-like a blanket or sheet to keep them cozy but not too tight. Do not cover the head and face of the baby in a swaddle. A good swaddle helps babies feel secure, snug, and comfortable as they were in the womb.
Benefits of swaddling
Swaddling a newborn every time they need to sleep may seem unnecessary, but there are many benefits to a baby swaddle. Here are some advantages of swaddling that you and your baby may experience.
Protects against startle reflex – Babies have a natural startle reflex that makes them suddenly jerk their limbs while they sleep. A baby swaddle protects the baby against the startle reflex and helps them sleep better.
Calms a colicky baby – Swaddling helps colicky babies to calm down and fall asleep.
Enables self-soothing – Swaddling reduces anxiety in babies by mimicking a mother’s touch and the feel of being in a womb. It also helps a baby learn to self-soothe as they grow.
Keeps baby’s hands secure – Babies tend to explore their face and body with their hands and may end up scratching themselves. A swaddle will keep their hands secure and prevent any scratches.
Helps the baby fall asleep – Swaddling can help your baby sleep better and longer. A soft swaddle wrap helps your little one stay calm and relaxed, and therefore sleep better.
Prevents SIDS – Physical causes of SIDS, including pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals, can be prevented by swaddling the baby.
Helps maintain the right sleep position – Swaddling a baby helps them stay on their back while sleeping.
How to swaddle my baby?
Swaddling your baby for the first time can be intimidating, but you will find it easy to swaddle your newborn if you follow the correct technique. Spread the swaddle blanket on a flat and soft surface, in a diamond shape. The bottom corner of the diamond should point towards you. Hold the top corner of the swaddling cloth and fold it towards the center to create a loose triangle shape. Place your baby on the swaddle wrap with their head and shoulders above the fold while their feet point towards you.
Arrange the baby’s right arm to their side. Pull the right side of the swaddling cloth over the baby’s right arm and body, then tuck it neatly under the baby as neatly as you can. Your baby’s left arm should be free at this point. Fold the bottom corner of the swaddle wrap upwards to cover the baby’s feet. If the cloth is too long, you can tuck the corner behind the baby’s shoulder. Pull the left side of the swaddling cloth up and over the baby’s left arm and across the body to complete the swaddle.
How long can I safely swaddle the baby?
Swaddling is advisable only for newborn babies. If your baby is growing up and trying to roll over or already rolling over, transition them away from swaddling. Usually, babies who are two or three months old begin trying to roll over. It is best to start phasing babies out from swaddling then.
Even though swaddling has various benefits, the choice is entirely up to the mother and the baby. If swaddling helps your baby sleep better, it will help you sleep better too! Choose what you find comfortable and sustainable to follow.
Neha Divan, a toddler-mom works as part of the content team at SuperBottoms, a baby product brand that develops innovative and sustainable products, like the No.1 best-selling reusable cloth diapers in India. She is passionate about empowering parents with her content to help make parenting a little easier and a lot more fun. She often writes from first-hand experience and has a knack for presenting her ideas clearly which lets her readers connect with her content. Art & craft are her things and she also loves coming up with fun and healthy recipes for kids.