Is your baby having trouble sleeping? Perhaps he or she is feeling cranky and colicky?
How do you soothe your child and also get some well-earned peaceful mommy time? You may want to try swaddling your newborn. There are mixed reviews on swaddling, but there are various reasons you might want to try swaddling:
- Protect your newborn from SIDS. Swaddling keeps your babies from being able to flip over on their stomachs or cover their face in their loose bedding
- It can be soothing! The process of swaddling can initially cause some frustration for your little one. They may cry more at first, but start with the swaddle and add other techniques to allow them to calm down such as a pacifier, movement or some soft white noise
- Improves motor skills development. Most limb movement is unintentional. Immobilizing their limbs helps them develop better motor skills. It’s especially effective for premature babies
- Better sleep! Swaddling is known to help babies sleep better and longer. While swaddled, newborns are unable to wake themselves with random arm movements
So, how exactly do you swaddle a newborn?
- First, you’ll want to lay out a blanket (they make specific blankets for swaddling. No heavy materials. Use a nice soft baby blanket) in a diamond shape. Fold the top corner down and lay the baby on top
- Pull one side of the blanket across the child’s chest and then tuck it under the opposite arm
- Take the bottom of the blanket and fold over the baby’s feet and tuck behind his or her shoulder
- The remaining side of the blanket should be pulled across the baby’s chest and tucked underneath
- Once the baby is swaddled, make sure the baby doesn’t get overheated. Keep an eye out for sweating, damp hair, flushed cheeks, heat rash and rapid breathing
Swaddling Do’s and Don’ts:
- DO keep the blanket loose around you baby’s hips.
- DON’T make the blanket so loose that it unravels, but the blanket should be loose enough that a hand can fit in between the blanket and the baby’s chest
- DO discuss swaddling with your child’s pediatrician when newborn is first unwrapped in the hospital and during well visits as part of a conversation about healthy sleep habits
- DON’T swaddle your baby past two months of age
Help your baby feel nice and cozy (and hopefully content too!). A happy baby means a happy momma!