With the controversy surrounding swaddling, we’ve decided to take a look at whether or not you should swaddle and how you can swaddle safely.
By Taryn Skinner
Does it work for you?
You finally get your newborn snuggly in a swaddle, but they keep crying. You have fed them, changed them, and made sure they are not too hot, but they still won’t calm down! Sometimes, babies just don’t like swaddles. Some babies are perfectly happy sleeping in just pajamas. If your baby prefers his freedom, then there is no reason to force swaddling. But, if your baby is like many others who need help sleeping and crave the comfort of a wrap, then you should absolutely swaddle your little one!
Benefits of Swaddling
If you’re considering swaddling, you should know the benefits
The Fourth Trimester
The practice of swaddling replicates the comfort of the womb, keeping baby snug and asleep. Many refer to the first three months of a baby’s life as the fourth trimester. In those first three months your baby would be much happier in the womb, and experts say replicating that environment can help newborn babies sleep.
Swaddling also helps with the Moro Reflex. The Moro Reflex is often referred to as the startle reflex. Babies will have this reflex from birth, and it will begin to settle down around 4 months of age. When a baby startles they often wake themselves up. Sometimes they even hit themselves in the face, occasionally scratching their delicate skin. By swaddling, you can curb this reflex while baby rests.
If you swaddle responsibly, you will be able to keep baby comfy while also keeping them safe. Putting loose blankets in your baby’s bed is dangerous, leading to an increased risk of SIDs. By keeping their bed empty and wrapping them snuggly in a swaddle, you can have the effect of a blanket without the risk.
If you do decide to swaddle, it is important to swaddle safely and responsibly!
Back is Best
Babies should always be put down on their back when it’s time for sleep. Some studies have shown that swaddling is dangerous for babies who are put down on their stomachs. Keep your little one safe and only put them down on their back, never their side or stomach. If your baby begins to roll over on his own, it’s time to consider an alternative to swaddling.
Don’t Swaddle Too Tight
Make sure you are not swaddling too tight on your baby’s hips, legs, or chest. Restricting a baby’s hips and legs can lead to developmental dysplasia of the hip which happens when an infant’s ball and socket does not form correctly. Also, if the chest is too tight it can cause baby to have difficulty breathing. A swaddle should be snug, but not too tight. Consider using a specialty swaddle composed of stretchy fabric. This will allow baby some movement, while not allowing them to break out.
You don’t need to stand over your baby the entire time they sleep, but make sure you keep an eye on them. If you choose to swaddle them traditionally, with a larger square blanket, there is the risk of them getting out of the swaddle. This will lead to the blanket being loose in their cot. If you see that your baby has broken out and the blanket is over their head or near their face, it is best to remove it. Even if you risk waking them, it is better to be safe than sorry!
Many people swaddle their babies, keeping them safe and comfortable. If you have a baby who likes to be wrapped up or who keeps waking themselves by accident, then swaddling is probably for you! Be sure to swaddle responsibly.
Lusso Babies carries specialty swaddles in size 0-3 months. They are made of breathable bamboo with a touch of spandex for a little stretch and feature velcro closures to keep baby secure.