Do’s and Dont’s of Swaddling a new born baby
New mothers struggle a lot to make their new born babies sleep. One tried and tested method to give them sound sleep is swaddling. It is an age old tradition to wrap new born babies in soft cotton breathable cloth or blanket to give them a feeling of mother’s womb. A swaddled baby is more calm, composed, comfortable and safe.
Swaddling a new born baby has a special significance.
- Swaddling gives a soothing feeling to babies making them feel that they are in mommies’ womb.
- It helps babies to sleep well and reduces their crying.
- New born babies are disturbed a lot by Reflex and swaddling helps them by its own startle Reflex.
- Studies also say that swaddling helps in neuromuscular development.
- Swaddled babies experience less anxiety.
- It is said that blankets, pillows, bumpers, stuffed animals are often linked to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in babies. Swaddling eliminates SIDS risk.
Dos of Swaddling –
- Swaddling should be done with the help of light cotton breathable fabric material.
- Correct swaddling should be done which will reduce colic in babies
- Always keep an eye on baby even when they are wrapped.
- Swaddling should be done in ‘hands over heart’ position so that babies learn to self soothe.
- ‘Hands over heart position’ will also prevent babies from face scratching.
- Always follow baby’s indication/hint and act accordingly.
Don’ts of Swaddling –
- A swaddled baby should not sleep on their belly. They should lie on their back.
- We should make sure that baby’s face should not be covered with swaddling cloth.
- Silk/ Rayon/ Polyester material should not be used for swaddling as it will mess up with the body temperature of the baby.
- Hip Dysplasia or some other health issues are seen if swaddling is not done properly.
- Make sure that swaddle won’t unravel. If babies are swaddled in loose blanket then there is a chance of airway getting covered.
- Don’t swaddle too tightly. When the babies are swaddled very tight, they cannot move their legs or hips causing hip dysplasia.
- Stop swaddling when babies begin to roll. It is better to give arms – free sleep to babies when they start rolling.
- Don’t swaddle all day. Babies would love swaddling but it is important to give them freedom to move around and learn their bodies.
- If your baby is crying for long hours after swaddling and not able to settle down then it’s time to stop wrapping the baby. Some babies love to swaddle for months and months but some like only for few days. All babies are different and it is important to understand baby’s expressions after doing swaddling.
- Don’t force swaddle your baby. If your baby is giving an indication that he/she is getting irritated then stop swaddling. Otherwise swaddling can be done up to 6 months and start the weaning process by reducing the swaddle time.
It is not at all mandatory to swaddle. You can choose not to swaddle from day one if you don’t want to.
Happy Parenting. !