What Are the Benefits of Swaddling a Baby?

Swaddling is a practice that has been used by mothers for thousands of years as a means to help newborn babies settle and sleep. It involves gently and securely wrapping the baby up in a blanket to mimic the feeling of being in the womb. Baby’s head should be free of the swaddle while wrapping close to the neck should be avoided as well. In this article we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of swaddling, the amount of time recommended for daily swaddling, and tips to help parents swaddle their baby.

Advantages and disadvantages

There are many benefits to swaddling a baby. The first one pertains to the fact that babies have a natural startle reflex that causes them to throw their head back and extend their limbs. This usually occurs when a loud noise or movement has happened near them and interrupts their sleep. Swaddling protects them from this reflex, ensuring a better sleep for both you and baby. Another advantage is that it allows your baby to learn how to self-soothe during its sleep. A swaddle mimics a mother’s touch, so it provides the baby with the necessary comfort and so eliminates any anxiety. A further reason swaddling is beneficial is that it could help prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Swaddling prevents the need for comfort items such as teddies, pillows, and blankets, and it also means the baby won’t be on its stomach, all potential factors of SIDS.

There are some disadvantages when it comes to swaddling your baby. For one, the additional layer could cause the baby to overheat while sleeping, especially in warm temperatures. You can check the back of the baby’s neck to see if they are becoming too warm. If they are, use a lighter material for the swaddle, such as the lightweight blanket (cleft restraint) made by CozeeCoo. Alternatively, remove a layer of clothing.

Hip dysplasia is something else that could occur if the blanket being used for the swaddle is not specially made for that purpose. As swaddling involves baby’s hips and knees being in an unnatural position, choosing a specially made blanket ensures baby’s legs are not too tight. This decreases the risk of them developing hip dysplasia.

How many hours a day should a newborn be swaddled

If you decide that you would like to swaddle your newborn, you will want to know how long you can safely swaddle your baby each day. Well, this depends, and the time will vary depending on how comfortable baby is. If they are completely comfortable and have been swaddled safely, then it is recommended that baby should spend between 12 and 20 hours per day being swaddled. This provides them with comfort and helps ensure they are calmer throughout the day. Once baby has reached the stage of rolling over, it is time to stop swaddling.

Swaddling tips

Many new parents are overly protective of their newborn baby, wanting to make sure they get everything right to give them the best start to life. If you are swaddling your baby, there are a few tips to ensure your baby is comfortable. It is best to swaddle baby from day one to get them used to the feeling. Doing this, allows baby to get better sleep and be more relaxed overall throughout the day. Another tip to think about when swaddling your baby is to always use lightweight fabrics. As mentioned above, overheating is a risk that comes with swaddling, but using fabrics like cotton muslin reduces the risk and ensures your baby remains at an ideal temperature throughout their time sleeping.