Swaddling is a tried and true practice that’s been used to soothe infants for hundreds of years. Now, there is even scientific evidence backing up the benefits of this age-old parenting trick.
It took a lot longer for Western society to grab onto the swaddling method of calming a baby, but Eastern civilizations have been using this technique for a more than a thousand years. Even though it’s much more popular these days all around the world, you may not be aware of what all the benefits are for your baby. That’s why we will go over them here.
The Comfort and Warmth of the Womb
When babies are born, they go from feeling snug and warm all the time to being in an open, bright, big world, that can often be cold. That is quite the difference in environments.
Swaddling your child gives them back that snug, warm feeling they had in the womb. It can help to calm them down and make them feel something more familiar, so they don’t feel insecure.
Promotes Better Sleep
Who doesn’t want a baby that sleeps better? Swaddling an infant for bedtime can help them to fall asleep much faster. It also helps them stay asleep for longer. It is because the contact of the blanket wrapped snugly around their body brings down their stress levels. Cortisol levels are decreased, and heart rate and blood pressure.
Better sleep means better brain development for your baby. It also means more sleep for you. Your whole household could benefit from swaddling because sleep deprivation can be harmful for many reasons.
Regulates the Moro Reflex
Sometimes when you fall asleep, you’ll have a weird sensation like you’re falling. That’s called the Moro Reflex. Infants experience that sensation a lot. There’s nothing wrong with it, and it means that your baby healthy reflex functioning. However, for some infants it can cause them to lose sleep. The Moro Reflex can wake babies up and continuously disrupt their sleep patterns.
Swaddling helps to keep the Moro Reflex in check. The snugness of the blanket wrapped around the baby’s body makes it where the limbs won’t inadvertently wake him or her up from flinging up into the air. While the reflex might still be there, it will be less disruptive.
Keeps Baby Warm
Sometimes what wakes your baby up is simply that their cold. Infants’ bodies can't regulate their temperatures when they’re that young. Swaddling helps them to stay warm and thus more comfortable.
Simultaneously you don’t want them to get overheated either. We do need to note here you should only use one blanket to swaddle your child. Don’t add another. It poses a huge risk of the baby getting too hot and can even lead to SIDS. Use a blanket made of a breathable material, like muslin, that will keep your child warm but allow for some airflow. You can find good options for muslin blankets from Cam Cam Copenhagen.
A properly swaddled baby is much safer than one laying in a crib with loose blankets or sheets for keeping warm. It helps keep the infant in one spot, while also keeping their arms from pulling at items in the crib that could block them from getting air.
Lessens Symptoms of Colic
If your baby has colic, you are likely looking for something to help you handle it. Swaddling has been linked to soothing even the most colicky of infants. These children cry because they’re uncomfortable. Swaddling puts a slight amount of pressure on the baby that can act as a therapeutic tool to fight against the colic and give your child relief.