When babies are born, they can feel uneasy. Since they are used to the warm and tight womb of their mother, it is hard for them to sleep and be comfortable in their new environment. Some parents turn to swaddling to add to their baby’s comfort. As new parents, you probably are asking why swaddle a baby? This is for the little ones to relax and get to sleep easily. Swaddles help baby’s transition from womb to the bigger world.
What is a Swaddle
A swaddle is an equipment used by parents to wrap the baby for them to sleep comfortably. This item makes them feel like they are in the womb. Baby wrapping or swaddling traces back from the late 1900s, where it is considered one of the ways to prevent SIDS or the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Why swaddle a baby? The method is considered a substitute to tummy sleeping for newborns. Tummy sleeping became a thing since many believe that the babies are supposedly weaned gradually from the warmth inside a mother’s womb. By wrapping the baby, they want to preserve the newborn’s body warmth while trying to expose him to the outside environment since the head is not included in the wrap.
How to Swaddle the Baby
To wrap or swaddle a baby, you will need a square or a rectangular cut blanket. Usually, these blankets are available in the baby section of different malls and markets. You can even produce one by cutting used clothing to form a square or triangle. There are also ready-made swaddles available so you can just put it on them to keep them warm. But if you want to stick with the simpler ones, you can follow the below step on swaddling using the fiber you just cut.
- Spread the cloth on a flat surface with a corner folded into a triangle.
- Place the head of the baby on the folded area.
- Get one of the edges while straightening the baby’s arm and cross it to the other side. This must be tight so that the baby can still move but disable them from overextending their limbs when the reflex is triggered.
- Perform the same steps with the other arm.
- You will have to fold the cloth or blanket up, and then secure the legs.
- The legs must not be as tight as the arms. Hips of the baby should be able to move freely.
Parents usually give the babies pacifiers during sleeping hours while in swaddles. The swaddle will help the baby feel relaxed and have a sound sleep.
Purpose of Swaddling
Why swaddle a baby, and why is the method beneficial? Keeping the baby wrapped has been considered very helpful by most parents. Not only because it replicates the mother’s womb, but because it helps in temperature regulation and lessening the risk of SIDS. The high number of infants suddenly dying had been an alarming threat that parents would try different methods to prevent this or reduce the risk of this happening.
The swaddling method keeps the child sleeping in the supine position, which is highly recommended for newborns to avoid suffocation. They prevent the babies from sleeping on their bellies since their systems are not fully developed yet. Parents do love to swaddle their newborns because they often tend to sleep longer in swaddle than without one.
Other Reasons Why you should be Using a Swaddle
New parents are probably wondering why swaddle a baby when you can carry him to your arm to keep him asleep. Though this way can also be beneficial, there is no way you can carry your baby more than 8 hours a day. A swaddle will help you in putting the baby to sleep, so you can do other tasks.
- When you wrap your baby with a swaddle, it helps him feel secure and safe as he slowly adjusts to life outside the mother’s womb.
- Newborns still cannot control their arms and legs as they are not used to it yet. So, when you swaddle your baby, you prevent the flailing of his arms and legs that triggers the reflex, which wakes him up.
- The swaddle keeps the baby warm and cozy until he adapts to the temperature of the outside world.
Infant development should always be treated with the utmost importance. A baby is very vulnerable and fragile during the first few months. Intensive care and caution when handling a baby should always be observed. So, why swaddle a baby? Swaddling can be beneficial for newborn babies as they are very vulnerable. Swaddles also provides care and comfort. While some may not find it necessary and helpful, the choice will always be up to the parents. Find out more about swaddles.