Swaddles! When it comes to baby sleep, new parents often have so many questions. A lot of parents may not have ever heard of the term ‘swaddling’ so read on to discover more. Swaddling is probably not the only thing you are unsure of, but it is a great topic to start with once your baby is born as they are going to be tired and not used to being in the big, wide world.
I know when my son was born and the midwife suggested to swaddle him I looked at her and was like what on earth is swaddling? I had previously purchased swaddles, but did not realise just how important and beneficial they were and would be. My son preferred the ‘arms up’ type of swaddle and at 4 months when he had lost his startle/Moro reflex I made the decision to transition him out. Often this transition takes place once baby can roll, but for me, I did not want to change the way he slept and have him learning a new skill all at once. Development can have a great impact on sleep so I wanted things to be as smooth as possible, because lets face it, who wants to be tired and sleep deprived?!
What is swaddling?
Swaddling is the term used to describe how a baby is wrapped when they are put down to sleep. Swaddling involves wrapping a baby (or using a swaddle that you can purchase).
Benefits of using a swaddle
1. Reduces the startle or Moro reflex
2. Helps baby feel safe and secure; just remember they’ve been in your womb with not a lot of room for 9 months. We want them to feel as safe and secure as possible.
3. Helps keep baby on their back. SIDS guidelines recommend putting baby to sleep on their back.
4. Help baby have more quality and longer sleep.
5. Prevents baby from scratching their face- those nails may be tiny, but boy are they sharp!
When swaddling your baby
Things to remember when you swaddle your baby include;
1. Ensure baby is placed in their cot/bassinet on their back
2. Stop swaddling as soon as your baby can roll over. If they are in a swaddle and roll, they wont be able to roll back which is a great SIDS risk.
3. Ensure baby can still move, you don’t want your baby swaddled so tight that it restricts movement, which in turn restricts blood flow.
4. Ensure your baby is dressed and swaddled accordingly for temperature, overheating is a SIDS risk also. Remember that optimal room temperature for your baby is 16-21 degrees Celsius.
Type of swaddle to use
Whichever you and your baby prefer! I know some babies cannot stand ‘arms up’ swaddles, and some babies cannot stand ‘arms down’ it is all personal preference and completely up to you. See the image below for how to swaddle your baby using a wrap or blanket. It is easier than you think!
Please remember, you do not have to go out and purchase a swaddle. You can easily swaddle your baby with a wrap or blanket and it will have exactly the same result. Just make sure it is tight enough to keep their arms in, but not so tight they cannot move
For further information on SIDS please head to;
SIDS provide a whole range of information for baby sleep, including how to have a safe environment, how best to put your baby to sleep as well as support services.
For further support, or more information check out the services Sleep and Thrive offer and contact us today!