Importance Of Swaddling Babies & Ways To Do It

Dr Raju Gujarathi
Importance Of Swaddling Babies & Ways To Do It

Got a crying baby at home? Tried everything but without any luck? Maybe, swaddling your baby may just do the trick.

Disgruntled parents often complain how their little one does not sleep, and they have tried every possible thing written in the book without any result. A new study suggests that swaddling your baby can help your baby to sleep longer.


What does swaddling your baby mean?

Swaddling is a technique of wrapping your baby snuggly in a blanket to help him keep warm and secure. It also helps prevent the baby from getting disturbed by his own startle reflex and calms her/him down. Swaddling has been done for centuries by certain cultures and mothers from almost all countries use it to help their bundle of joy, literally, sleep better. You can use swaddling to help your baby sleep on the back better and prevent sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS. If your baby startles himself, swaddling him is a great idea.


Almost every hospital teaches a new mother to learn how to swaddle her baby. Swaddling can help your baby to settle down into an environment similar to the womb.

 

If you are planning to swaddle your baby, make sure you are doing it right. As the legs are together and straight when swaddles, it increases the chances of hip problems. And if the fabric becomes loose, it raises the risk of suffocation. To prevent your baby from hip troubles in the future, make sure that there is enough room for him to move the legs within the baby swaddle wrap.

 

What is the safest way to swaddle baby?

 



Follow these steps to swaddle your baby correctly:

  • Put the swaddle blanket like a diamond on the table or on the bed with about 6 inches folded down for the head, so that it forms a straight edge at the top of the diamond.
  • Place your baby on his back so that the top of the blanket is at shoulder level.
  • Take your baby’s left arm down. Pull the edge of the blanket on the left side over his arms and chest and tuck that edge into the right side under his back.
  • Next, pull your baby’s right arm down. Take the corner of the fabric near the right side over the arms and chest, and tuck the free edges under the left side.
  • Fold the bottom end of the fabric and tuck it loosely behind your baby ensuring that both legs are bent and hips are able to move about and that the legs can be apart if the child moves.

 

When to stop swaddling?

You should ideally stop swaddling once your baby is about a month old as it can interfere with his mobility and development. It is perfectly okay to swaddle during the night time if you find he sleeps better that way, but the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends to stop swaddling by 2 months or before he starts rolling over.

 

It is not a compulsion to have your baby swaddled.  If he/she is fine without it, you need not lose sleep over it.

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