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What is Swaddling and How Can It Be Beneficial to Your Baby

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What is Swaddling and How Can It Be Beneficial to Your Baby

Swaddling is an art form that has been around for centuries and has many benefits for the new baby as well as the parents. The biggest benefits to swaddling include keeping your baby warm, secure, comfortable, and to decrease symptoms of colic.

Parents often swaddle babies to confine them from moving in order to sleep better. This is because babies have a startle reflex that can easily wake them from their deepest sleep. Most of the time parents want their sleeping babies to stay that way so they swaddle them to keep them from moving around too much and waking up. You can swaddle your baby up to they are one month old, to confine its movement and help it get sleep, but babies can’t be swaddled for much longer if you want them to begin developing.

If at one month of age your baby seems to still like being swaddled you can continue to do so, just swaddle at nighttime and keep the baby free during the day in order to explore the world they are just discovering. If you continue swaddling your baby don’t be surprised if they resist or find a way out of the swaddle. This is simply because your baby wants to touch things around it and cannot do so if confined. The best rule of thumb is to swaddle your baby during the day and night for the first month for warmth, security, and comfort, but as your baby grows it is ok to simply swaddle at night, and then not at all.

Benefits of Swaddling in Summary:

  • Babies sleep longer: Babies are used to being snuggled tight in the womb. While being wrapped tightly in a blanket might not sound great to most adults, it is comforting for a new baby. Hospital nurses, friends and mothers will tell you that babies do sleep better when they are wrapped.
  • Less crying: The movements of your baby's arms and legs cause the baby to startle. This is upsetting to the baby and causes over stimulation. When over stimulated, newborns cry in an attempt to block out the stimuli. When they are swaddled, the arm and leg movements are kept to a minimum, resulting in less crying.
  • Fewer scratches: Newborn nails are sharp and grow fast. Nearly all babies scratch their faces with movements in their sleep. When the baby is swaddled, it is less likely to scratch its face.