Swaddling is an ancient method for wrapping newborns in a thin blanket or cloth. A swaddle makes your infant feel protected and comfortable as she transitions to life outside the womb. Swaddling helps keep her from flailing her arms and legs, which may stimulate her shocking reaction and possibly cause her to wake up. The swaddle keeps the infant comfortable and warm.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for how to swaddle a newborn like a pro, Safety precautions and benefits of swaddling a baby.
Tips on how to manage swaddling a wiggly baby:
Step 1: Find a flat surface:
Spread out the baby’s swaddle blanket in the shape of a diamond with one corner pointing to a flat surface (like the centre of the bed). Fold the top corner to around 6 inches.
Step 2: Place your child face-up on the blanket:
Her head should rest on the folded side of the cover, and her leg should stretch straight down to the bottom corner.
Step 3: Straighten the left arm of your infant:
Then take the left side of the blanket and wrap it around her left arm and chest. Tuck the blanket under her right arm and under her back. Your child’s left arm will be hidden at this stage, but her right arm will be open.
Step 4: Get the bottom up:
Fold the bottom corner of the blanket over your child’s body and place it under the first fold, under her chin. Straighten your child’s right arm and draw the right side of the blanket over your child’s body and tuck it under her left foot.
Step 5: Secure the blanket.
Twist the bottom of the blanket loosely and tuck it underneath your baby.
There are a few important things to bear in mind: The swaddle should be snug but not too close. You should be able to put two to three fingers between your baby’s chest and the blanket, and the blanket should be relaxed around her waist so that she can stretch her legs easily.
If your child appears to want to get her arms loose, it’s safe to have one or both arms out of the swaddle.
If your kid is too wiggly for you to have a snug swaddle, take a break and give your little one a few minutes to get her squirmiest out before you try again.
However, in no time can you become a swaddling professional. But if you are confused, ask your child’s pediatrician. He or she will review your swaddle skills and share some useful advice if you don’t get it right.
Why Do Babies Benefit From Swaddling?
Babies have a terrifying reaction that can wake them up from normally quiet sleep. Holding your child’s arms tied in a swaddle will keep this response from waking them up.
Swaddling still keeps your baby warm and reminds him or her of the soothing confines of the womb (it’s a major change to move from a one bedroom apartment to a mansion). Swaddling will assist with the adjustment to life outside of her mother.
This is the advantage that drives too many parents to attempt swaddling. Imagine: get your baby to stop crying in a few quick folds! This isn’t sorcery, however. Study has shown that swaddling can minimize crying by 42 per cent in children 8 weeks of age or younger. But the baby-wrap is not so successful with wailing babies beyond that age.
All of these calming benefits can also prepare baby for sleep.
Precautions to Take While Swaddling:
It is not advised to encourage a swaddled baby to sleep on its stomach position as it may raise the risk of SIDS. They are swaddled and held with their backs flat on the floor to prevent suffocation and breathlessness.