Are you welcoming a new infant into your home sometime soon?
Your baby was probably wrapped in a nice little package the first time she went to the hospital nursery, with only her fuzzy tiny head peeking out. That’s because nurses know that swaddling is one of the secrets to a happy, quiet baby.
Swaddling is considered to reduce the number of wake-ups induced by a baby’s startle reaction. Because a swaddled baby’s arms and legs are carefully wrapped in a blanket, they will be confined. They’ll be less likely to startle themselves awake with their thrashing limbs as a result of this.
According to popular belief, your baby’s first three months of life are a tough transition from the womb to the outer world. Given this, it’s understandable that newborns would like to be tenderly wrapped in order to feel safe, much as they did in the womb.
One of the most delicate and crucial infant care tasks is making a swaddle wrap for the newborn. A swaddle wrap made with a light, and breathable blanket gives a warm and cozy feeling to babies, which is similar to the mother’s womb. It helps them to adjust to this newfound world.
Essential Baby Swaddling Safety Tips Every Parent Should Know
There are several dangers to swaddling your infant. If your infant is not correctly swaddled, it might be dangerous. If the baby is covered in too many blankets, in coverings that are too heavy or thick, or if they are wrapped too tightly, they may overheat. Also, No need for cushions, bumpers, blankets, plush animals, or other comfort items in the cot while utilising a swaddle (using these items in the crib have been linked to SIDS)
Do you know how to make a swaddle wrap that is healthy and safe for your baby?
Don’t worry if you are not sure about the correct technique. These safety tips for baby swaddling will help you to make a perfect swaddle wrap for your baby.
Choose a Firm and Flat Surface
Always swaddle your baby on a flat and firm surface, especially during your initial attempts. Once you become a pro at swaddling, you can use your knees or any plush surface. You should also be extra cautious about the baby being neutral while arranging the newborn swaddle. It’s vital for the comfort of their limbs and joints.
Keep Their Head & Neck Open
When you are wrapping a baby, don’t wrap above the shoulders. Reason being that covering the baby’s neck can cause overheating and obstruction in breathing. And if your swaddle is loose, it can cover their mouth as well, making them uncomfortable. You should be able to see the face and neck of your baby in a swaddle like a caterpillar emerging from a cocoon.
Keep a Check on Baby’s Body Temperature
The purpose of swaddling is to keep the baby warm. But it would be best to keep checking that their body temperature remains optimum. If their body is getting hot or cheeks are getting red or if they are sweating, unwrap them and let them sleep. Also, don’t put too many clothes on the baby inside a swaddle. Only a diaper is enough.
Keep the Swaddle Little Lose
The purpose of swaddling the baby is to make them snuggle. The swaddle wrap for a newborn should not be so tight that the natural development of the baby’s body gets hindered, or they feel restrained.
After you are done swaddling, check if you can put 2-3 fingers between the baby’s chest and the swaddle. If that’s the case, you’re good to go. Otherwise, lose the wrap.
Reduce Swaddling Time Gradually
A newborn needs to be swaddled most of the time. But after 2-4 months, your baby might show signs of trying to roll over. If you continue to swaddle, their physical development, including motor skills, can be adversely affected. Therefore gradually reduce the time of wrapping for your baby as they grow up, and then you can stop it completely one day.
Use Thin & Breathable Material
It is best to use soft, thin, breathable, and natural materials like cotton muslin to swaddle the baby. You can get specialised cotton-winged baby swaddles and different types of breathable cotton infant wrap for your baby. They don’t irritate your baby’s sensitive skin. But don’t layer them if you feel they are too thin. They are supposed to be that gentle.
Position baby “hands-over-heart”
Swaddling a baby’s arms at his or her sides was a common practise, but it can cause joint issues and restrict movement. Wrap baby’s hands around his chest before wrapping, or if using a swaddle sack that doesn’t require wrapping, simply put baby in, cross his arms over his chest, and zip!
Do not swaddle in car seat
A baby should not be swaddled and placed in an infant swing or any other form of chair that requires a safety belt, especially as the child grows older. Simply refrain from doing so. There is car seat covers specifically intended to allow a baby to be safely secured while also being protected from the outdoors if warmth is a concern.
Take Care of Their Hips & Legs
Swaddle your baby with a hip-healthy technique. The bottom of the swaddle wrap needs to be loose enough to let the hips grow naturally. Their hips and knees should remain free to move and kick. Your newborn’s swaddle should allow the natural position of legs which is like a frog. If you don’t take care of enough space available for the baby’s bottom and legs, physical development of those organs might slow down.
Avoid Blankets, Pillows, and Stuffed Toys
While these pretty things can be very cozy for your children and you might be intimidated to buy them for your infants, these can be pretty dangerous for them.
Please remember, as long as your baby is sleeping in the area that has comfortable tempreture and a thin and comfortabel bedding, there is no need to layer a blanket over them.
Blanket’s aren’t a repacement for swaddling a baby. Infact they are suffocating if, by any means, they roll into one of these things.
How to swaddle a baby
Swaddling is a great trick for infants as they can be super fussy due to alot of reasons. It’s simple and so effective. It works because it prevents the baby from flailing around and the baby feels secure.
A good rule is that your baby should be able to move a little when you swaddle him/her and not feel very tight. In other words, wiggling is good, however, being able to move her limbs away from his body defeats the purpose.
You can buy special blankets for swaddling, but try the old-fashioned method too. Here’s how to swaddle a baby with a basic blanket when you are nowhere near your favorite swaddling blanket.
Swaddling the baby is an age-old technique to make your baby feel warm and safe. Each baby is unique, and some newborns resist swaddling from the start, but this is rare. All infants resist at first, but they soon embrace the sensations of comfort and calm that the wrap provides.
However, it is crucial that you make a swaddle wrap for a newborn in the right way. By following these safety tips for baby swaddling diligently, you can be sure of the comfort level along with the proper development of your baby.
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Neha Divan, a toddler-mom works as part of the content team at SuperBottoms, a baby product brand that develops innovative and sustainable products, like the No.1 best-selling reusable cloth diapers in India. She is passionate about empowering parents with her content to help make parenting a little easier and a lot more fun. She often writes from first-hand experience and has a knack for presenting her ideas clearly which lets her readers connect with her content. Art & craft are her things and she also loves coming up with fun and healthy recipes for kids.