Swaddling a Baby: What You Need To Know
When you have a baby, there is a lot of information that you will need to get your head around very quickly, and much of it has changed from the time you were a child yourself. In fact, your mother might tell you one thing and your grandmother another when it comes to how to deal with certain aspects of motherhood. So, when it comes to swaddling a baby, this is a subject that is really left to the experts since so many mothers have their own idea as to whether or not to do it and how to go about doing it.
What Is Swaddling a Baby?
The term “swaddling a baby” really means just bundling them up tight – but not too tight! – in a blanket. If this sounds warm and comfortable for you, then imagine how it must feel for a newborn baby – they love it.
Over the years, mothers and experts alike have gone back and forth about whether a baby should sleep on his or her back or stomach. Babies appear to be more comfortable on their stomach, but then you have to worry about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The answer to this is, of course, swaddling a baby since it will enable a baby to comfortably sleep on their back with full bodily support and warmth.
Why Would You Swaddle a Baby?
Swaddling a baby isn’t just for sleeping of course. Many parents do this to keep their baby comfortable and warm throughout the day and there is sufficient research to prove that this also helps with issues like colic and reflux. If you have a particularly fussy baby, then swaddling is often the answer.
In addition to helping with colic, swaddling also helps to reduce the chance that a baby will scratch their face and it also helps them to sleep more comfortable and rest better while being fed. Breastfeeding is often a lot easier when your baby is swaddled, since they will not be able to move around and will be more apt to rest gently while they are being fed. It also makes moving around for you a lot easier too since their neck and back will already be supported and you won’t have to deal with their hands or feet getting in the way.
How Do You Swaddle a Baby?
Before you even think about swaddling your baby, you should set aside any misconception that you are somehow trapping them in a blanket – you aren’t. What you are doing is providing them a warm, cozy place to rest and they will not be constantly struggling to get free like you might imagine that you would be doing.
The key to swaddling a baby properly is to find a blanket that fits them and will keep them comfortable and tight so they can’t fidget. You should put their hands and feet in a natural position, and then wrap the blanket around them so that they are cocooned and supported. Their neck should not be able to fall back, and you will be able to see nothing other than their little head.
Are There Special Blankets for Swaddling?
What you might not know is that there are special swaddling blankets now available. You might get a receiving blanket when you have your baby or when you leave the hospital, but specific swaddling blankets are also available that are made to fit the size and shape of your baby. Especially if you have never swaddled a baby before, then these are often preferred since they make it much easier and quicker to get your baby into position.
Where Can You Get a Swaddling Blanket?
You might receive a swaddling blanket if you are lucky when you have your baby, as it is often a very common gift to give new mothers. However, if you don’t, or you would like a blanket that is specifically designed for swaddling, you can actually buy them online in a variety of colors and some very soft and gentle fabrics for your baby. What is unique about these blankets is that they are actually shaped in a way to make swaddling more of an option for your child without having a lot of extra fabric between you and your baby.
What Else Should You Know?
Some mothers tend to think that swaddling is somehow distressful for a baby, but nothing could be further from the truth. When a baby is swaddled, they almost feel as if they are back in the womb, much more comfortable, warmer, and pleasantly confined. You can’t put yourself in their shoes and think that you would be confined or trapped – they are simply comfortable.
While the primary purpose of swaddling a baby is to provide comfort to a baby, there are so many other benefits that it is becoming the preferred way to hold a baby and allow them to sleep, at least until they are about three to four months old – after that, they are too big to enable this type of slumber.
It is very comforting to go to bed at night, knowing that you have done what you can to reduce the potential for SIDS and you have also set your young child up for a comfortable and warm night. Swaddling a baby for certain periods during the day can also assist you when it comes to feeding them, and that is something that will only help when it comes to bonding.
Finally, babies who are prone to colic or various intestinal issues will generally react very positive to swaddling. It helps to calm their nervous system, and the way in which it lets them sleep helps them to keep nutrients down without burping it back up again. All in all, this is a very positive way to care for your baby and one that will enable you to ensure that your baby is always as comfortable, safe, and cared for as he or she can be.