Have you just come out of the hospital to deliver your baby? Are you wondering how your baby will adapt to the new environment and how to keep them warm during sleep time?
Swaddling your baby helps to create a soothing womb experience that calms them during sleep.
But new mommies might be asking, how do I swaddle my baby correctly? Stay tuned and learn all about swaddling from its benefits and doing it properly step by step!
Benefits of swaddling
First, swaddling is a technique in which parents wrap up their babies in a swaddle blanket to soothe them. There are several benefits of swaddling your baby, including;
- Keeping them warm when asleep
- Proving a sense of safety and security by mimicking the snug womb environment
- Reduces the startle reflex, which wakes the baby while asleep
- Swaddling keeps your baby comfortable during uncomfortable times, such as when on vacation.
- It keeps your baby calm even when the baby has colic.
When to swaddle your baby
New mommies can swaddle their babies during a nap, night sleep or when they need a soothing touch due to colic. It helps to keep your baby secure, calm and warm for better rest. Do not swaddle your baby during breastfeeding time as they may fall asleep and fail to feed well.
How to swaddle a baby step-by-step
- Spread the swaddle out flat on a changing bed, table or floor and fold over one of its corners.
- Lay your baby facing up on the blanket and position the head on the folded corner.
- Wrap the right corner over the baby and tuck the end of the swaddle underneath them. Their right arm should be straight down by their side.
- Bring the bottom corner of the blanket up over his feet.
- Wrap the left corner over your baby (with their left arm straight down by their side), exposing their head and neck.
- Lastly, ensure that you haven’t wrapped your baby in the blanket too tightly. Your baby should be in a position to move their lower body freely. Wrapping your baby too tightly in a swaddle can cause hip dislocation or dysplasia.
New mommies are an encouragement to swaddle their babies during their first couple of months. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mommies stop swaddling their babies once they can rollover. This is likely to happen when the baby turns two months.
Position of the arms
You might be asking yourself, as a new mommy, where should be your baby’s arms positioned when swaddled. When swaddling your baby, please place both arms straight down by their sides. Do not cross them over their chest or sticking up out of the blanket.
Is swaddling safe for babies?
Swaddling your baby is safe as long as you use the right techniques. It is said that swaddling helps to prevent the likelihood of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Since newborns are prone to startle reflexes, using the proper swaddling techniques provides a safe environment during their sleep and nap time.
What kind of swaddle should I use for my baby?
There are a variety of swaddles in the market. Besides, they are made of different materials, including cotton, linen, muslin or cotton blend. When choosing a swaddle for your baby, go for a breathable fabric to prevent overheating, especially during warm nights. Also, a soft, comfortable swaddle will be good for your baby.
Is it not OK not to swaddle my baby?
Swaddling your baby is not a requirement, necessity or recommendation. It is up to you, mommy, to swaddle your baby or not. Also, you can get guidance from your baby’s healthcare provider.