Swaddling is the method of snugly wrapping up your baby in a blanket for warmth and security. It can keep your baby to be less likely disturbed by the little jerks done while sleeping, known as startle reflex.
It can help also your baby to stay warm for the first few days of life and even calm your baby down if he or she is over-stimulated.
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Benefits of Swaddling
Medical studies have shown there are many benefits to swaddling.
Supine Swaddling Decreases the Risk of SIDS
- Swaddled back sleeping infants have a lower incidence of SIDS than unswaddled back sleeping infants
- When babies sleeps better on their back, parents are less likely to use the unsafe tummy position for sleep
- Swaddling helps sleeping infants remain on their backs
Swaddled Babies Sleep Better
- Swaddling decreases occurrence of the startle reflex which frequently wakes unswaddled babies
- Infants sleep with fewer awakenings when swaddled and have twice as much REM sleep
- REM sleep is believed to be important for brain development
- When babies sleep better and longer, parents get more sleep, too
Reduces Colic and Fussiness
- Snug swaddling soothes babies by reminding baby of the snugness of the womb
- Swaddling helps prevent over-stimulation
- Babies are inefficient at regulating their temperature. Swaddling helps keep baby warm
Helpful When Breastfeeding
- Tucking baby's hands into the swaddle will keep baby's hands from impairing latch-on
- Baby's extra movements are nicely contained when swaddled which can help baby focus and latch on. Once baby has learned how to latch on and is nursing, remove the swaddle so baby and mom can be skin to skin and tummy to tummy.
- Use the blanket to drape over mom and baby for warmth. Skin to skin is best when learning how to breastfeed.
*The age to stop swaddling varies from baby to baby. Most babies are ready to be weaned from swaddling around 3-4 months.