17 Aug How do I Swaddle a Baby?
How do I Swaddle a Baby?
Baby care is a constant learning process! Even when you think you know everything, there are new terms that gain popularity over time that make you wonder what they’re all about.
Swaddling is one of those things. You have probably heard the term in baby classes or mother groups. But if you don’t exactly know what it is, keep reading ahead.
What is swaddling?
To explain it in simple terms, swaddling is the process of wrapping your baby in a blanket or thin cloth sheet in a way that only their head is peeking out.
The idea is to apply the concept of motor restraint, to contain their startle or Moro reflex.
Why is it so popular?
Outright, swaddling helps both you and your baby sleep better. Your baby gets better sleep due to being all snuggled in and cozy. And by default, you get better sleep since you don’t have to worry about an irritable baby all night.
Swaddling has been used for many years to help babies sleep undisturbed. Since it makes them feel more protected. Some of the benefits of swaddling include:
- It helps the baby feel more secure as they adjust to the outside world
- It helps prevent them from flailing their arms and triggering their startle reflex
- Swaddling helps keep the baby warm since babies tend to lose body heat quicker
Swaddling also helps keep the baby on their backs, which reduces the risk of them turning headfirst into the bed, which helps reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
What is the best way to swaddle a baby?
Here are some steps to keep in mind when you’re swaddling a baby:
- Don’t use a sheet that’s too thick or too warm. Opt for a soft, thin sheet instead
- Spread the blanket out with one corner folded in
- Place your baby face side up with their head on the folded corner
- Straighten their left arm, wrap the left side of the sheet over the left arm and tuck it between their right arm and body
- Then straighten the right arm and pull the right part of the blanket over it and tuck it under the left side of their body
- Fold the bottom of the blanket up and tuck it under either side of their body
- Make sure the blanket/sheet is loose around the hips to allow for some mobility
For more help, check out this video:
It might take a few tries for you to finally get a hang of it, but don’t worry! Ask your nurse or midwife to help you understand it before you leave the birth center. Always make sure to place your baby face side up to prevent any accidents!