Tag Archive | "swaddle"

How swaddling helps baby sleep

Tags: ,

How swaddling helps baby sleep

Posted on 06 April 2013 by hulda

If you are looking for a way to help your very young baby sleep, then consider the ancient art of swaddling.

Annerley SCMP Swaddling Rookie Mum-tn

Click image to read more: How swaddling makes sleep more snug – SCMP Rookie Mum

The most famous person to be swaddled was of course baby Jesus, but swaddling has come a long way since those times when the baby was tightly bound with what were in a effect, bandages. Through the ages swaddling was seen as a way to help the baby’s limbs grow straight – the tighter the bind the better – and later associated with negligence as wet nurses used swaddling as an effective baby management tool. Fot these and other reasons, swaddling fell from favour in about the seventeenth century.

Benefits of swaddling

Today swaddling is regaining popularity because it does seem to work as a way to soothe very  young babies. The simplest explanation for why swaddling works is that babies are born with a jerk or startle reflex, the Moro reflex, where the baby’s arms jerk up. This can cause light sleepers to wake and start a round of crying, at which instance, a CPAP machine would be needed. Instinctively we also are inclined to believe that the snugness replicates the womb and helps transition young babies into our big open world, which in itself must seem startling. Another benefit is associated with the risk of SIDS, where it is thought that babies that sleep on their back have less chance of suffering SIDS; a swaddled baby cannot roll and so parents can see this as a safety device.

And arguments against

Swaddle200pxThere are arguments against swaddling: done too tight and it might cause hip dysplasia; done too well or with the wrong fabric and the baby might overheat; done too loose and the blanket might cover the baby’s face and cause suffocation. There those that argue that it delays development. We believe that, when done properly, the benefits outweigh the risks, and generally babies will outgrow swaddling quite soon, and it certainly should not be applied after the baby starts to roll on its own accord (usually about three to four months).

Ready-made swaddling clothes

For the reasons above, commercially available ‘swaddling’ clothes are popular. Some are specially shaped blankets with velcro, others have little ‘bat wings’ for hold baby’s arms secure but without being too restrictive. Of course the fabrics are specially chosen to prevent overheating, and zippers mean that you don’t need to worry about the fabric covering the baby’s face or being too tight. Annerley stocks the Love To Swaddle range which you can buy either at the Annerley store online or at the centre.

Comments Off