Keep Your Baby Calm - Benefits of Swaddling
As new parents, you want the best for your child. You tend to practice everything that will help your baby stay calm so in return, you stay calm as well (and get a little sleep too!). Sleepless nights are part of parenthood, yet some things can be done to help babies sleep a little longer or be a little less fussy.
Swaddling is a practice that’s been around for generations. People have been wrapping their babies in a blanket or a sheet for many years now. In fact, it is a practice that almost all hospitals follow; the nurse will first wrap your baby completely and then hand him/her to you.
Ever wondered why? We are sure you must have questioned the experienced ones around you. They would have said swaddling is an ongoing practice that helps babies stay calmer and sleep better. Unsurprisingly, this is true and that’s why the practice still exists today.
This blog assures you why swaddling is the best for your baby especially if you are questioning ‘is swaddling safe?’. Although it is not necessary to swaddle, there are many benefits of swaddling a baby.
Benefits of Swaddling
Some new parents could be confused as to whether they should practice swaddling and wrapping their babies in a muslin cloth and could assume that leaving them open is a better option as it seems more relaxing. The truth is that apart from being a successful technique to calm a crying or anxious baby, swaddling does have some astounding advantages.
Here are some key benefits of swaddling a baby.
Babies sleep better when swaddledSwaddled babies are found to have a sound sleep for 3 to 4 hours intervals. Due to swaddling, the REM sleep increases in newborns which results in deeper sleep in infants. This helps your baby sleep better, and it prevents them from waking up frequently during naps. This is a great relief for parents as they can experience less fussy nights.
Swaddling helps feel cozy.Newborns are out from the warm, cozy environment of the womb and are always seeking their mother's touch and feel. You must have seen the babies waking up and crying the moment their mum puts them in a crib.
This is due to them wanting the warmth of their mother's body. With swaddling, there is a slight pressure created on the chest and tummy of the baby which mimics the human touch and feel. A swaddled baby tends to feel more secure and safe just like in the womb. The womb was their safe space; the swaddle just acts as a transition from womb to life outside.
Swaddling helps maintain temperature.Newborns feel the outside world as very cold and overly bright. It takes months for them to adjust to the sound and lights of the world. With a blanket wrapped around them, they will be warm and cozy. Also, a baby’s skin is super soft and thin which makes them feel cold. They also tend to startle themselves too. Swaddling will make them feel less anxious in an unknown world, keep them warm and prevent them from being too fussy.
Swaddling ensures a back sleeping position.One of the major reasons for SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) is when babies sleep on their tummy. Most of the time the babies won't calm down while sleeping on their back. Therefore, putting them on a tummy may soothe them for a while however it is very dangerous for prolonged periods. It may cause choking or suffocating incidents.
Thus, when you swaddle a baby the whole body is wrapped in a straight position to place your baby on their back. Swaddling will help your baby sleep on their back and stay in position throughout the night easily.
Swaddling helps with colicky babies.Colicky babies can make new parents extremely frustrated and worried. If your baby is colicky, then they won’t settle down easily, sleep or feed easily. If that is the case, then swaddling a newborn is the best tip. It is found that swaddling helps in soothing the excessive crying baby due to colic. The swaddle wraps around the stomach, putting some pressure and extra warmth that aids with gas and digestive problems that result in colic pain.
Preventing sudden wakeup due to newborn startle reflex.Due to the startle reflex which is a neurological response, the babies feel as if they are in a free fall. They have spontaneous hand and leg movements which cause them to wake up. With swaddling, this movement is restricted and they will sleep undisturbed without waking themselves up suddenly.
Babies are easy to handle when swaddledFor new moms, it can be difficult to hold their newborns as they have soft bones and very fragile bodies. It can also be difficult to breastfeed the baby properly when the baby is fussy since they wiggle around a lot. By swaddling in a burrito-like shape, carrying your baby and feeding them makes it easier for new parents. Swaddled babies are easier to handle too.
Swaddle them up
Newborns are very demanding and difficult to understand especially when you are first-time parents. They will need you all the time and you might get frustrated feeling like you have no time to yourself. However, they are new to this world which makes them feel anxious and insecure outside your womb as your womb was their safe space.
Therefore, swaddling will keep them feeling like they are still in a womb. How long to swaddle your baby totally depends on your baby’s development. Most babies are swaddled up to 3 months to 6 months for maximum comfort.
Make sure to use an appropriate muslin cloth, fleece, or swaddling blanket according to the weather. Ensure you swaddle correctly so that there is no pressure on the hip bone.
Hopefully, these swaddling tips help in soothing out your baby.