Swaddling is an old treatment to ensure that the baby feels secure. But it is a highly misunderstood technique surrounding the new born. There are a whole load of concerns regarding swaddling such as whether it is the right technique, is it really good and many more.
So going forward we will discuss all these concerns and come to a conclusion that swaddling is in fact very beneficial and has very little risk involved. Swaddling commonly known as wrapping involves snuggling your baby in a cotton blanket to give it warmth and security.
It is basically to create the environment and surrounding that was present when the baby was inside the mother’s womb as well as to apply a little pressure around the body that the baby was experiencing previously. It would prove to be a very useful technique to calm and comfort the new born which has just entered into the world.
How To Swaddle The Baby
What you need to do first is to spread a soft cotton blanket on a flat surface and make a little fold at one of the corners. Next, the neck of the baby should rest on the fold and the face should face upwards from the sheet. Wrap the left corner of the blanket over the baby and nicely tuck it beneath the baby. Then bottom fold should cover his feet and nicely placed over the body. Finally, the right fold should fall in its place covering the entire body of baby except the face and the neck of the baby being exposed.
Keep Your Baby Cozy And Cuddle
To swaddle your baby is a very unique technique that requires a special skill. It is highly supportive when the baby is in a hyper exited state or in situations when in it is disturbed by its own reflexes. Swaddling ensures that the baby is kept warm and cozy till its internal thermostat starts operating.
Pros of Swaddling
Reduces Crying and Comforts The Baby
During the first few weeks of the new born say around the first to the seventh week, swaddling can be very effective. It is found to reduce the time that the baby spends on crying by pacifying and calming the baby. Medical research has confirmed this by conducting experiments. Some mothers were asked to swaddle the baby while an equal number of them were asked not to do so. The outcome of the experiment was found to be positive in case of swaddling. The babies were found to be at ease and comfort without much crying.
The main purpose of swaddling is to create an environment the baby had in the mother’s womb. Once it’s emerged into the world it experiences a whole new set of disturbances and noises. So by wrapping the baby and keeping it firm it prevents the baby from getting disturbed. Moreover, swaddling can keep the baby from making sudden movements. Hence, it will ensure that the baby doesn’t get surprised by the jerks and promotes sleep.
Swaddling Gives Comfort and Warmth
Once you have given birth to your baby its body temperature has to start adjusting in accordance with the surroundings. This would take some time and hence during the first few weeks, swaddling ensures that the temperature of the baby is warm just like what was present in the womb.
Swaddling prevents startle responses.Swaddling proves to be very beneficial when the baby is frustrated and irritated and starts kicking its legs. It usually gets startled due to such movements or also due to the noise. So you need to keep the baby firm and not allow him to move his hands and legs. This can be achieved by swaddling which will not allow any movement of your baby and hence calm him down.
Provides a Secure Feeling
Once the baby has entered into this world, it is forced to undergo a lot of body changes, sound changes, taste changes as well as sight changes .Due to this the baby may enter the hyper excited state and needs to be brought back to the normal state. So usually a cuddle or a swaddle will give your baby a sense of security which will keep him at peace.
Reduces The Probability of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
SIDS is the sudden death of babies that are less than one year of age and has unexplained reasons even after an autopsy is done. There are numerous causes for SIDS some of them being the environmental and behavioral influences that can cause ill health in the baby. Also sleep positions may also be one of the causes for SIDS to occur. Hence, by swaddling your baby you can ensure that the baby sleeps on their back which is a position that is known to prevent SIDS from occurring.
Prevents Accidental Suffocation
During their sleep, babies tend to pull things over their faces which can cause suffocation and hence death. So by swaddling them, you keep their hands and legs firm such that they are unable to move them and hence reduce the risk of accidental suffocation.
Cons of Swaddling
Swaddling May Lead To Overheating
Your baby may get overheated if it is covered with too many blankets. In case of warm weather ensure that you use a cotton sheet instead of a blanket. You need not dress the baby except for the diaper during the warm season. And an important point to be kept in mind is that never cover the head of the baby with anything when he is asleep even during winter season.
Swaddling can lead to hip disorders
Hip dysplasia or otherwise known as dislocated hip is the most popular complaint from babies who are swaddled. In this case, the main problem lies in the fact that many mothers are unaware of the proper technique to swaddle the baby. You should keep one thing in mind before swaddling. You should wrap the hands firmly but should ensure that the baby can move its legs with flexibility. If the legs are held firmly then it can be the root cause of this disorder.
Swaddling In A Way Can Restrict The Baby’s Movement
Wrapping the baby restricts its movements thereby interfering with its muscle and skill development. This can also lead to immobility in the baby. And your baby may also get irritated because he is unable to perform any new things that he is eager to try such as rolling or sitting.
Well now knowing the pros and cons of swaddling you are the best judge to decide if you would like to swaddle your baby or not. But one question that is unanswered would be the time to stop swaddling.
You will have to stop swaddling when the baby is almost a month’s old since after this is would certainly affect his movements. You can also visibly see it from the fact that your baby expresses his disinterest by kicking off the sheets. So you need to respond to his action by not swaddling and it implies that your baby no longer needs the cuddly snugly secure feeling.