Swaddling has been around for centuries, and prevents the movement of a child by wrapping them securely in material, which is often viewed as soothing and aiding sleep. Many have suggested that swaddling reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, but others suggest that it actually increases the chances of such devastation. Swaddling is recommended highly by some doctors as it prevents babies from moving too much in their sleep, stopping them from moving into the dangerous stomach position, and often also leads to a more prolonged and sufficient rest. Many parents find swaddling a good way to keep their baby happy, as the small one is left with the feeling of being secure, as a slight pressure is created around the babies body.
How to Create a Swaddle
In order to create a well made swaddle, you must use a cotton cot sheet, which once you’ve laid out flat with one corner at the top folded over to a depth of 15cm, lay your baby flat on their back with their neck on the fold. Then wrap the corners of the sheet around your baby but make sure to leave the head and neck exposed. Your baby needs to be able to move their hips and knees freely, otherwise this may lead to hip dysplasia and other such problems with their hips. If your baby starts to kick strongly whilst in the swaddle it is a sign that they do not enjoy the sensation of being swaddled, and you must loosen the sheet. One of the most important things to remember is that the primary reason to swaddle your baby is that it is to make them feel secure, not to keep them warm, if your swaddle too tightly so that the baby overheats you will increase the risk of hyperthermia, which could lead to death.
When to Stop
Swaddling your baby is not something that you need continue to do whilst your child is growing up, it is recommended that you stop swaddling your child after they are roughly one month old, as it may lead to problems with mobility and development. Some research has indicated that swaddling can increase the chances of cot death, therefore, if you were intending to swaddle your baby in order to comfort them, it may be best to keep them swaddled when you are awake and are holding your child.
In modern times, swaddling is making a comeback and is extremely popular with parents and there are now new swaddling wraps that are safe to use, including the Cocooi Babywrap. This wrap gets rid of excess moisture, meaning that your baby is less likely to overheat, and many parents suggested that their child slept a lot better without disturbances when using this state of the art wrap for swaddling their baby. The swaddling technique is thought to be a reminder of the comfort experienced in the womb, however, you must always look out for signs of uncomfortable behaviour from your child in order to reduce the risks of any long term damage and overheating.
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This article has been written by Rhian from babynames.co.uk and she is interested in how swaddling works and whether or not you should consider it for your baby.