Swaddling is as essential to newborn parenting as wheels are to a motor vehicle. Swaddling is now accepted whole-heartedly and is a practice in many parts of the world as an effective form of neonatal childcare. In simple terms, swaddling is the process of wrapping a baby around in cloth daily, in order to keep he safe, calm and rested. Swaddling, in other words, is the transitioning bridge for the baby between a mom’s womb and the external world. It is the key to your baby’s wellbeing, starting from birth to around the first 4-6 months.
Why swaddling is beneficial?
Swaddling has three crucial benefits that help a Mom keep her little one calm, rested and soothed. Perfect response to Moro reflex – a baby is safest in a Mom’s womb but that’s not what one expects of a healthy infant. The baby is meant to grow and prosper in the external world. Just like you and me. But right now, she is tender, receptive and highly susceptible to external stimuli and varying factors in the surrounding environment. She is rapidly growing, adjusting and adapting into his/her new environment. Swaddling helps them in the process by effectively preventing involuntary sudden movement of limbs or reflexive startles; the main reason babies are suddenly awakened from deep sleep. Swaddling is the best practice in prevention of moro reflex.
Contrary to the notion of being restricted from movement, swaddling actually is a game-changer in newborn parenting. As it recreates the sensation and a familiar feeling of safety and security—similar to being huddled inside her mom’s womb. In fact it mimics a Mom’s womb. The end result is a soothed and restful baby.
Sleep inducing effects
Swaddling when adapted as a daily discipline/habit is the most effective way to rest your baby. A well-slept baby is a happy baby. Swaddling keeps her calm and you see less of tantrums. Which in turn means less stress and more sleep for the Mom.
Busting three common myths about Swaddling
Babies don’t like it
Far from it, all babies under 3 months and beyond like swaddling. It could be that your baby likes it either a little loose or a bit tight. You need to experiment with some variation before your little one feels comfy enough.
There’s just one standard way to swaddle
Nope, there’s no right or wrong way to swaddle your baby. It’s good to watch midwives closely swaddling babies. Maybe your baby likes her arms up or down by the chest. Watch, learn and adapt what your baby agrees with.
Swaddling increases the risk of SIDS
Parents want to do all they can to improve safety, comfort and wellbeing of their baby. There’s no reason to suspect that swaddling causes SID syndrome. Swaddling done in a way that helps the baby, in the first 3 months, is helpful in reducing the risk of SIDS. Moreover, swaddling helps in preventing the baby from rolling over on to her tummy, which increases the risk of asphyxiation.
(Inputs provided by Ruchi Abichandhani, CEO, Tiny Lane and a proud Mom)