The first time my newborn baby girl slept through the night I was surprised. Having just had four hours of uninterrupted sleep, I sprung from my bed to make sure that she was still breathing. I found her sleeping soundly in her swaddle blanket. Since then, we have enjoyed many sleep-filled nights. As a new parent, one of the biggest challenges can be getting baby to sleep. Using swaddle blanketsand swaddling techniques is an effective way to help your baby get to sleep comfortably for longer amounts of time. Read on to discover the benefits of the age-old practice of swaddling.
The Definition of Swaddling
Swaddling is the practice of wrapping a baby snuggly, securing the arms and legs, using a long strip of cloth, blanket or infant wrap.
By simulating the cozy and secure womb-environment, swaddling helps to soothe a fussy or colic baby and to keep baby in that relaxed state for a longer period of time. Like the womb, swaddling provides warmth. Babies sleep best when they feel warm and safe. If baby is swaddled in what some call a “developmental swaddle” with his hands near the face, that baby is able to self-soothe.
Swaddle for Safety
Being swaddled may help babies to remain asleep on their backs, a position that has been proven to reduce Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Also, according to the Journal or Pediatrics, December 2002, swaddled back-sleeping infants have lower incidence of SIDS then un-swaddled ones. Swaddling also removes the need for extra blankets that can be a suffocation hazard and if you swaddle your baby with their arms tucked in at their sides, you will prevent baby from scratching himself with his nails.
Swaddling Helps with Sleeping
Infants who are swaddled sleep better. In a study by Washington University, they found that swaddled babies awaken less and have twice as much REM sleep which is believed to be important for brain development. Swaddling prevents the baby’s limbs from flailing with involuntary, sudden movements that can startle your baby awake.
Swaddling Helps with Breastfeeding
By swaddling, breastfeeding is simplified by keeping baby’s often-flailing limbs out of the way helping baby focus on feeding.
- Your baby may not be comfortable with swaddling at first. It is normal for baby to fuss initially. Be sure to give your baby at least a week to adjust to being swaddled.
- Some babies prefer to be swaddled with one or both arms out.
- Swaddling is best for newborn babies to three month old babies. It is best to stop swaddling as soon as baby can turn over by himself.
- When you swaddle your baby, be sure that the blanket or infant wrap does not touch your baby’s cheeks as this could disrupt her sleep by triggering her “Rooting Response”.
There are several different swaddle blankets on the market. Some people prefer them to regular blankets because they are easier to use or are more effective. The Miracle Blanket is my personal choice because it seems to keep my daughter asleep for the longest amount of time. I also like the Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe Adjustable Infant Wrap because it is really easy to use.
Kelike Castillo is a proud mother of a newborn precious baby. She has learned these tips & techniques for Getting Baby to Sleep. Click the following link to visit her site where you can get Swaddle Blankets