Why Swaddle a Baby?
The custom of swaddling a baby is a time-honored tradition that dates back to the earliest civilizations, and there’s a good reason – all babies like to feel secure! Swaddling recreates the safe feeling of the womb for your baby and will calm him down if he’s fussy or frightened. Swaddling helps your newborn adjust more easily to living outside your body. However, it’s important to know how to swaddle your baby correctly, since swaddling the wrong way can cause problems, rather than solve them.
Benefits of Swaddling Your Baby
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is the cause doctors cite when a newborn dies suddenly without an apparent cause. No one knows what causes SIDS, but studies show that an overheated baby, a baby who sleeps on his stomach, or a newborn with material blocking his face, is more likely to suffocate than a newborn wearing light, breathable fabric, an infant sleeping on his back, or an infant with no toys, bumpers, or blankets in his crib. It is therefore important to use light, thin, breathable fabrics when swaddling your baby, to avoid any possibility of overheating, and not to swaddle too tightly, or with the fabric too near the baby’s face. Your baby should always be placed on his back while swaddled, never on his side or stomach.
Picking the Right Swaddling Blanket
The right kind of swaddling blanket is light, breathable and thin. This Aden & Anais bamboo swaddle blanket pack is a bright, cheerful example. The three blankets are over-sized, as swaddle blankets should be, because you’ll need a large blanket to continue swaddling as your baby grows. These pretty swaddle blankets offer a range of alternative choices. Some are made of organic fabric to avoid any possibility of irritating baby’s sensitive skin.
It’s easy to learn how to swaddle a baby correctly from Aden + Anais:
1) You simply take a swaddle blanket and spread it out in a diamond shape. Take the top edge of the diamond and fold it down, like the fold of an envelope.
2) Place your baby in the center of the blanket, face up, with the top edge of the blanket at the level of his neck. Use one hand to hold your baby there, and grasp one point of the blanket with the other. Pull that corner of the blanket across your baby and tuck it underneath him.
3) Next, take the bottom point of the diamond and pull it up, but not too hard. You don’t want to swaddle too tightly. Leave enough room at the bottom to allow your baby to kick his feet, and be sure that the swaddle allows your baby to move his knees and hips.
4) Now, hold your baby in place with one hand. Use the other to take the remaining point of the blanket, pull it across your baby’s body, and tuck it in underneath him. Your baby’s head and neck should be outside the swaddle.
You’ve swaddled your baby!
However, if you want to save time, you can simply use this clever Love to Dream swaddle blanket. It looks a little like a onesie, and it zips up for fast swaddling; but it stretches to hold your baby in a snug embrace. The blanket is also designed to keep your baby from rolling around.
Swaddling is a useful technique. It helps to soothe your newborn and lets him know that he’s safe. Light, breathable swaddle blankets, such as these, will help your baby feel comfortable as well as secure.