Swaddling is an amazing technique for parents of newborns to achieve a smooth bedtime routine. According to statistics, 80% of parents found swaddling to be effective. Interestingly, people have been using this technique in different forms across the world since 4000 BC. Approximately 1 in 5 babies are swaddled in the first few weeks of birth. It reduces crying and stress and improves sleep. However, it is essential to follow safety tips before you swaddle your baby to promote healthy growth.
What is Swaddling?
It is a technique of wrapping your baby gently in a light, breathable blanket to comfort them. Swaddling helps them calm down and sleep well. It makes them feel secure just like in the mother’s womb.
Benefits of Swaddling Your Baby
- Helps little ones settle easily
- Improves sleep quality
- Encourages deep and long sleep
- Soothe crying babies
- Improves neuromuscular development
- Better muscle tone
- Relieves pain and discomfort
What are the Risks?
Early swaddling can affect babies from having skin-to-skin contact during feeding. However, there’s not enough research to prove the long-term negative effects of breastfeeding.
Some argue that babies should adapt to the new environment rather than giving them a ‘womb-like’ effect. Above all, some evidence suggests that swaddling your baby tightly might increase their chance of developing hip dysplasia. To avoid such conditions, it is important to allow enough space for the natural development of bones and joints.
Should You Swaddle Your Baby?
Experts say, yes! But it’s totally up to you to decide. It presents a low risk for babies if you follow safety guidelines. If you swaddle your baby, you should avoid front or side positions. You should always lay your baby on their back.
Here’s a List of Safety Tips to Follow When Swaddling Your Baby
You need to check the baby’s temperature regularly and wear suitable clothes for the weather.
Use Thin Cloth
Always swaddle your baby using a thin towel, cotton blanket, or muslin cloth. Do not layer your baby with too many clothes that can overheat them.
Do Not Swaddle Above Their Shoulder and Neck
Never swaddle their shoulder and neck because it can cause suffocation.
Avoid Heavy Blankets and Towels
Do not use heavy blankets to swaddle your baby as it can place too much pressure on the baby’s chest and lungs.
Do Not Make It Tight
Your baby’s leg should be able to fall into a natural frog-like position even after swaddling. Allow enough space for gentle movements.
Put Your Baby on Their Back
Never put the baby in face down position or side position. They should always rest on their back.
How Long Can You Swaddle Your Baby?
You can swaddle your baby when they are newborns and stop it when they start to roll over. Sometimes it can be as early as 2 months of age or above.
How to Swaddle Your Baby Perfectly?
- Step 1: Spread the cloth/blanket on a flat surface and fold one of the corners.
- Step 2: Lay the baby on his/her back with the head, neck, and shoulder above the folded corner.
- Step 3: Wrap the right corner of the blanket over your baby with arms facing down and tuck the blanket underneath.
- Step 4: Cover the baby’s feet with the bottom corner of the blanket.
- Step 5: Wrap the left corner of the blanket with arms facing down.
Swaddling offers a lot of benefits for newborns as it provides comfort and promotes better sleep. It is a simple trick to get your baby to sleep through the night. If you decide to swaddle your baby, learn it from professionals. Always talk to your baby’s healthcare provider to know the risks and benefits.