Best Time To Swaddle
It doesn’t matter if you are expecting your first child or just had your first, parenting advice can always be useful. A lot of parents who are having their first baby need some help in the swaddling department. They need help with how to swaddle, when to swaddle, and even how often.
Should I swaddle?
Swaddling refers to wrapping your baby with a blanket in order to limit movement. Swaddling can help calm crying babies and recreate the moment when they were in the mother’s womb. Wrapping a newborn in a swaddle can even help the baby sleep better because it promotes longer sleep and prevents reflexes from waking them throughout the night. In turn, parents are able to get more sleep as well.
Swaddling Has Risks and Benefits
Sometimes, swaddling can get a little confusing because there are both risks and benefits to swaddling your baby. Some of these risks include over-heating and hip dysplasia. Parents can avoid many of these risks if they swaddle safely and properly.
Hip dysplasia may be present from birth or develop over time. Research has shown that babies who are swaddled too tight or with their arms and legs straight down put them at greater risk for developing hip dysplasia and need treatment. The most recommended technique while swaddling is to bend the baby’s legs at the hips and not straight down.
Newborns aren’t very good at controlling their own temperature. They can quickly overheat, just like they can quickly get cold after bath time. SIDS has a connection with overheating, and experts believe that this is more common in the colder months when a baby may be put in warm pajamas and room temperatures are a little higher. Swaddling over top of this can be dangerous. It would be smart to use a fan to control the temperature in warmer climates.
A baby lying on its back with a blanket is safe, but the baby will start to roll over if he/she gets up. Babies begin to roll over between three to six months old, but it may not be easy to move from the back to the front. Swaddling your infant becomes dangerous once they start rolling. Swaddle your baby in a swaddle until they are comfortable with a sleep-sack, or soft clothes as pajamas.
Note: Use a lightweight swaddling cover, and stop using it right when the baby starts moving.
Swaddling can be detrimental to breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact with the mom. Although it was originally used to protect preemies, skin-to-skin contact is widely believed to be beneficial for all babies. It helps them regulate their body temperature, breathe, adapt to the world outside of the womb and trigger their milk supply. It is believed that babies who sleep better when they are swaddled may not get enough food at the right time.
This is not a big problem. While some babies will eat better if they are not swaddled than others, sometimes this action can be helpful to keep a baby calm and help them feed better. Swaddle your baby to calm them, then let the swaddle loosen or be removed to breastfeed. For sleep, wrap your baby in a swaddle once he/she has been fed.
Every time moms breastfeed their babies, it is a learning process – a mom learning to read her baby’s cues will ensure success. Every new baby is one-of-a-kind, so it is conceivable for breastfeeding and swaddling to go hand in hand.
For those parents who love swaddling, here is some good news. You don’t have to take any risks when using the swaddle. There are plenty of safe ways you can reap the profits. These are some ways to swaddle your baby safely without worrying:
- Use a lightweight cover that is specifically designed for swaddling.
- Make sure to wrap the blanket tightly so it doesn’t fall apart. Wrapping the blanket tightly around your baby will make it more difficult to swaddle.
- Wrap the wrap around his/her legs loose enough. A baby’s natural position and hip position should be up and forward. The baby needs to be able to move his/her hips, legs and knees. A swaddle bag can be used to ensure that the hips and legs are free.
- You should wrap the baby’s arms but not tightly. Do not press on his/her chest.
- Try to place the baby in a swaddled position on the baby’s back but never place it on the stomach or side when swaddling for sleep. SIDS is strongly linked to babies who are swaddled, and then laid on their stomachs or sides to sleep.
- You should make sure to not cover the baby’s face. Babies shouldn’t have to breathe through any obstruction.
- Avoid using any kind of product to sleep, such as positioners or wedges.
- When the baby is swaddled, monitor him/her. Baby monitors are used by most people. Babies who are old enough to swaddle will often wake up for attention or feeding.
- Pay attention to the body temperature. The thermostat should be set to an adult-friendly temperature. Use a layer of light, breathable pajamas and a breathable cover to swaddle. If the room gets warm, you may use a fan. A diaper and swaddle alone may suffice if it is hot.
To Swaddle or Not Swaddle Is The Parent’s Choice
Swaddling is just one of many options that new parents have to make. Some babies will sleep better if they are swaddled properly, while others may not. Parents who swaddle their baby safely and know when to remove a blanket are important parts of the process.