Swaddling young babies is one of the oldest practices when it comes to infant care. It’s commonly thought that swaddling can soothe your baby and in some cases this is true. Swaddling is thought to replicate the feeling of warmth and comfort the baby experiences in the womb or being held and the wrapping technique can be comforting for some children.
In this article we will discuss the benefits of swaddling and the situations when swaddling should be avoided. Plus, we will tell you the safest way to swaddle your baby and what babies can benefit the most from swaddling.
The benefits of swaddling
For parents who are looking for a better night’s sleep, swaddling can offer a plethora of benefits if done properly. Swaddling can help your little one make the transition from the womb to the outside world a little easier.
Some of the benefits of swaddling include:
- Sleeping for longer periods
- Helping your baby sleep on their back
- Preventing your baby from triggering their startle reflex
- Can increase breastfeeding success
- Keeps your baby warm
Swaddling can be particularly beneficial for babies with separation anxiety, children with colic, and babies who are prone to scratching their face.
As always, we encourage you to encourage you to do your own research and speak to your pediatrician if swaddling is a good option for your baby.
The risks of swaddling
When done correctly, swaddling should carry few risks. However, there are some things to consider should you choose to swaddle your baby.
For example, swaddling too tightly can increase the risk of hip dysplasia in babies making it extremely important to ensure that your wrap is snug but not too tight.
A swaddle can also make it difficult for your child to wake up or turn over if they do manage to flip over in the night which can both potentially increase the risk of SIDS. These are both things to discuss with your pediatrician. It is recommended to cease swaddling as soon as your child can flip themselves over.
How to swaddle
While the process of swaddling can seem daunting, it is simple once you have the process down.
Many pediatric nurses will show you how to swaddle your baby at the hospital but if you are still having trouble or need help learning, there are many resources to help you learn online!
Check out this video from UC San Diego on proper swaddling technique:
When swaddling your baby you will want to ensure that you don’t wrap your baby too tight and that the blanket you use is not too heavy or double wrapped.
About Sleep Shop
The Sleep Shop is led by Melissa, a mother of four, and is a member of the International Association of Professional Sleep Consultants.
We offer one-one-one unlimited consulting, sleep classes with our founder, phone consultations, 1-week jumpstarts, infant sleep guides, 2 weeks of consulting, toddler nap guides, toddler sleep guides, toddler total resets, and “the toddler tune-up”.
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