When you are at the hospital after the baby is born, the well-experienced nurses take a blanket and whip-whap, and next thing you know, you have a baby taco. The baby is content, and the swaddle lasts for hours. But you get home, and you find yourself looking up videos on YouTube on how to swaddle only to find that your swaddle lasts ten minutes. To boot, it looks like a poorly wrapped Christmas present, not a perfect taco. And you find that baby just cries and isn’t happy with their arms and body bound up. Read these tips on swaddling.
Benefits of Swaddling
When a baby is born, they have a startle reflex. This is the reflex that will make them jump and put their arms out when they are sleeping soundly. This reflex is mostly because their body is still adjusting to the big different world. So a swaddle,, in essence, creates a womb effect for your baby. Swaddling with music or sound machine can help your baby relax and have the same calming effects of being in the womb. The world is big, scary, and much different than the womb. So swaddling can just give an extra effect for your baby to be comfortable even out of the womb. Swaddling has also proven to help prevent SIDS. SIDS is a sleeping infant death syndrome. Often SIDS is caused by a baby that rolls we get tangled in blankets, causing suffocation. Swaddling is beneficial because it helps keep the blankets from catching around babies face.
Swaddling seems simple. But when you have a wriggling newborn, and you’re trying to taco them up, you find it is much more difficult than you thought. Swaddling can be done with a basic baby blanket or with a commercial swaddle. Stores have swaddles that have Velcro and car seat holes. However, the same effect can be done with a baby blanket. The basic effect for baby swaddling with a blanket starts with laying the blanket flat. Then fold down one of the corners about four inches. Then lay baby with head on the folded corner. Put the fold of the corner of the blanket about the shoulder height of the baby. Then wrap and tuck. Wrap one arm and tuck under babies body, then wrap the bottom corner upwards. To finish wrap and tuck the last side under babies body. There are a couple of different techniques, but that is the most common one.
There are a few other techniques of swaddling. One is to leave the top corner unfolded. It helps retain the heat around babies’ heads without the blanket being able to go around the face. Another technique includes putting your baby on the long side of the blanket. Then wrap and tuck similar to the corner folded technique. All these techniques work better if you follow a few other tips to help avoid common swaddling problems.
Baby Doesn’t Like It.
Every child is different, so if you just can’t find a swaddling technique that makes your baby happy, then it’s possible your baby just doesn’t like being swaddled. Children eventually grow out of swaddling as well. Eventually, as the world becomes more common and less scary, they enjoy being able to move. This is when it is best to reduce swaddling of switch to arms out swaddle. In this case, the child has free movement of the arms but still the comfort of being wrapped tightly and feeling safe. Along with that, it makes it easier for the baby to recover their own binky. Arms out swaddling become more common as the baby gets older and wants to move around more.
How Long to Swaddle
They say that you shouldn’t swaddle your baby much past newborn. If they get addicted to the feeling of being swaddled it is hard to break them of the habit. Swaddling isn’t good for growth. It is good for the body to be able to stretch and move. So, in this case, it is best to stop swaddling when the baby gets to four or five months old. Likely, however, your baby will stop swaddling on their own. As they get older, more comfortable in the world, and wanting to move around more, they will be less likely to enjoy swaddling.
Different Brands of Swaddles
There are literally hundreds of different brands of newborn swaddles. From the basic muslin swaddles to the sleep sacks, there are many different swaddles to try. The swaddles that are made from basic baby blanket material are great but can be a little warm for summer babies. Muslin gives the great effect of feeling safe but also allows for a little airflow. There are also swaddles with Velcro that can make it easier to change baby without having to unswaddle them completely. There are so many different brands at so many different prices. The best way to find great swaddles is to ask your friends and ask the internet. There are many benefits and downsides to all the different brands. As your baby gets older, it is great also to try a sleep sack. It is a way of keeping baby warm without the danger of blankets. Baby can be zipped up in it but can still move around.
In the end, if your baby doesn’t enjoy being a burrito, then know that there may be more to it then you originally thought. The nurses at the hospital swaddle babies every day; they have the technique down. Keep practicing and keep trying different swaddle brands to find the one your baby likes. Be sure to properly place the swaddle so that baby can enjoy it without being tricked into being hungry. Lastly, swaddling your baby is a technique that won’t last forever. When it is time to be done, then your baby will let you know.