Swaddling is a practice that has been used since ancient times to drape a newborn baby in a cloth or blanket, to make him/ her feel comfortable. Once the baby is delivered, he/ she experiences a completely different atmosphere from what he/ she felt initially, inside the womb. Thus, the baby panics and cries, making it difficult for him/ her to adjust to the new environs. This is the time when swaddling can help, as it aids in restricted movement of limbs of the baby. It makes the baby feel that he/ she is still secure in the womb of the mother and even helps in making the baby sleep properly. Swaddling is a multi-purpose activity, which is helpful in many ways. Read on to know how to swaddle a newborn baby.
How to Swaddle Newborn Babies
- Spread the receiving blanket on a flat surface.
- Fold one corner of the blanket, leaving a flat surface at the top.
- Carefully put the baby down on the blanket, his/ her head facing the flat corner. Make sure that the flat side of the blanket is under the baby's neck and stays even with the baby's shoulders.
- Gently position the baby's arm towards his/ her side and hold his/ her arm down.
- Wrap the blanket across the arm of the baby and tuck it under him/her, on the opposing side.
- Also, tuck in the blanket around the baby's feet, by placing a corner of it towards his/her head.
- Gently place the baby's arm toward his/ her side and gently hold the arm down.
- Pull the blanket across the arm and tuck it under the baby, on the opposite side.
Benefits Of Swaddling
- Swaddling helps protect the baby from hypnagogic startles, a kind of jerk that hinders sleep and makes the baby cry.
- It helps your baby sleep in a better way, if he/ she is feeling uncomfortable for no reason.
- Swaddling proves useful if the baby is unable to sleep due to startling of his/ her own muscle movements.
- It saves the baby from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and keeps him/her warm as well.
- Swaddling helps in the neuromuscular development of the infants with very low birth weight.
- It helps a baby gradually adapt to his/ her new environment.
Things To Be Kept In Mind
- Seek the permission of the doctor, before swaddling your baby. Do not take the decision on your own.
- Swaddling should be restricted to the initial few weeks of birth, as it may restrict a baby’s growth, if carried later on as well.
- You should remember not to swaddle the baby in a warm room, as it will overheat the baby and increase the risk of SIDS.
- You can even embrace your baby in a sling-type carrier, as it helps him/ her feel secure and safe.
- It your baby is resistant to being swaddled, do not force him/ her for the same.