Warm, cozy and safe – a mother’s womb has the ideal conditions for a baby. Swaddling is an age-old technique used to mimic these ideal conditions.
In swaddling, a blanket is used to snugly wrap a newborn baby so that the baby gets a feel of warmth and security. Swaddling makes most newborns feel a sense of security because it mimics the pressure they would have felt in your uterus (womb).
Advantages of swaddling a baby or newborn:
Swaddling reproduces the snug and calming environment of the womb in contrast to the loud noisy bright world that is totally strange to a newborn baby. So many newborns enjoy being swaddled.
Advantages of swaddling a baby are listed below:
- Makes him feel more secure and safe
- Keeps baby warm
- Keeps your baby from being frightened by his own startle reflex
- Helps to soothe a crying baby
- Helps to settle down an over stimulated baby
- Helps the baby to sleep better
When to stop swaddling?
Swaddling works best when a baby is less than one month old. As the baby gets older and more mobile, swaddling should be stopped as it can interfere with the mobility and development.
You should stop swaddling when your baby is 2 months old or when the baby starts to roll over.
How to swaddle a baby using square blanket?
Raegan Moya-Jones, who is the author of Swaddle Love, says that a swaddle is as simple as three tucks and a fold.
Shown below are the step by step methods with photos to give you a perfect idea on how to swaddle a baby.
Place a lightweight blanket on a flat surface. Fold down the top corner of the blanket in the shape of a diamond.
Place your baby on his back in the center of the fold. Her head should be just above the fold and shoulders should be below the fold.
Slightly bent the baby’s right arm at the elbow and gently place it flat against her body. Pull the left corner of the blanket over his right arm and across his body. Then tuck it under his left arm. Roll him to your left to wrap the remaining fabric under his back.
Now hold your baby’s left arm down. Take the bottom corner of the blanket and pull it up over his left shoulder. Tuck the remaining material around his left arm. Leave enough room at the bottom of the blanket so that your baby can bend his legs up and out from his body once he is swaddled.
Now hold the loose right corner of the blanket straight out and pull it across your baby’s front. Gently roll him to your right so that you can wrap the corner all the way around his back.
Swaddling is done 🙂
Readymade Baby swaddles in the market:
Today specialized baby swaddles are available in the market. They are designed to make it easier to swaddle a baby than with a traditional square blanket.
These specialized baby swaddles are typically comfortable fabric blankets that have triangle, ‘T’ or ‘Y’ shape. They usually come with ‘wings’ that can be folded around the baby’s torso or down over the baby’s shoulders and around underneath the infant.
Some of these products have Velcro patches or other fasteners to ensure that the swaddle is in place and doesn’t unfasten easily. Some parents prefer a specialized swaddle, as they are relatively easy to use.
Most of the parents prefer a traditional large square receiving blanket or wrap as they can provide a tighter custom fit. Also the baby will not outgrow the blanket.
13 Things to keep in mind for safe swaddling:
If you choose to swaddle, be sure you know how to do it correctly and safely.
If done properly swaddling is safe and helps the newborns to get a feel of mother’s womb for the first few weeks of their life after birth.
1. Opt for light fabric and ideal size
Your baby’s swaddle blanket should be a light fabric (muslin cotton is ideal) and should be of a generous size. Avoid heavy and stiff blankets that can cause your baby to overheat or affect her natural breathing pattern.
2. No overheating
Adjust the layers of clothing under the swaddle according to temperature of the room to ensure your baby is snug but not too hot. Always check that the baby is not overheated.
3. No loose swaddle
A loose swaddle is considered ineffective and can even be dangerous if your baby comes unfasten and the fabric covers her face.
4. No tight swaddling
Make sure you don’t wrap your baby too tightly. If tightly wrapped, the circulation could be cut off or he may be suffocated.
5. Proper positioning of swaddle blanket
Make sure that the blanket used to swaddle is properly positioned on baby’s body so as to avoid the swaddle getting unfastened when the baby moves.
6. No covering of head or face
Make sure you don’t cover the head or face of your baby when you swaddle.
7. Adequate spacing required
If his legs are pressed together and straight down with no space for free movement of his hips and knees, he is more likely to develop problems with his hips (hip dysplasia).
Always be careful to leave enough room for the free movement of legs during swaddling.
8. No swaddling when baby starts rolling
Once the baby begins to roll to side or roll to tummy, it is no longer safe to swaddle your baby.
9. Stop swaddling when baby signals
When your baby begins to kick off the sheets and covers it shows that he doesn’t like to be bundled snugly. If your baby doesn’t feel comfortable being wrapped up, you can stop swaddling.
10. Beware of SIDS
Always place your baby on her back to sleep. Supine sleep lowers the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Swaddling can increases the risk of SIDS when babies sleep in the prone position.
11. NO night swaddling
I personally don’t recommend swaddling during night, as there is a chance of baby rolling over and ending up sleeping on his tummy.
12. No swaddling during fever or illnesses
Don’t swaddle the baby if he is sick and has a fever.
13. Keep an eye on the swaddled baby
A swaddled baby shouldn’t be left unattended. Keep checking the baby on a regular basis.
Hope you liked this article on how to swaddle a baby and its benefits.
Did you swaddle your baby in the initial days? Did you use a traditional swaddling or ready-made ones? Kindly share with me in comments.
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