How to Swaddle a Baby
Are you swaddling your infant safely? It can be frustrating when trying hard to make the baby comfortable. In this article, we take an in-depth look on how to swaddle a baby and other details.
You probably couldn’t be doing a great job yet if you don’t know how to swaddle an infant. Having to shift to the new world from the ever warm and comfy womb needs to be a carefully handled process for the baby to enjoy the best upbringing.
Swaddling undoubtedly helps babies sleep longer soundly with minimal anxiety. It aids significantly in preventing face-scratching and unnecessary wake-ups as a result of the scare reflex.
Additionally, swaddling maintains the back sleeping position of your baby while making them feel secure and comfortable, similar to the experience they had in the womb.
Best ways of swaddling your baby
Swaddling is an easy simple skill anybody can learn. All you need is focus on your mind while learning how to use swaddle blankets, especially when doing the wrapping.
Remember to keep it lovely using your soft hands. With time you and the young one will be on the same page when it comes to sleep time.
Below are pictures illustrating from top-left clockwise, the stages from step 1 to step 5 on the approach explained below for swaddling your infant.
Get at this stage a warm and clean blanket that won’t slough the little one nor be too tight. Neither should it be too hot but simply comfortable for an infant.
Place your blanket on a flat and clean soft surface and fold it to take the shape of the triangle from one of its corners.
Proceed to place the baby at the center slowly while keeping the shoulders just below the fold. The neck should be along the top edge.
Remember; avoid leaving any part of the blanket touching the baby’s cheek. The baby might mistake this for a breast at some point arousing a rooting reflex.
You don’t want, the little one start feeling uncomfortable and start crying as to why he or she isn’t being fed anyway.
By confirming the baby feels comfort, take one of the corners of the blanket across the baby’s upper part of the body and tuck it under the back slowly and carefully.
Keep one of the hands on the top part of her/his body throughout this stage. Confirm that none of the arms are bent to avoid instances of wriggling out of the swaddle. Sudden movements are normal, especially if both of you are going through this the first time.
Proceed to the opposite corner of the blankets and again fold it over the infant’s chest. You can now also tuck some of it at the back while some to the other part of the blanket.
Besides, the blanket tucked at the back of your baby shouldn’t create folds that might bring discomfort to him or her when sleeping.
Furthermore, confirm that you have not covered the nose and mount of the baby for unrestricted breathing.
At this point, from the bottom part of your baby’s blanket, tuck it gently to the baby’s under the jawline.
Note that, the bottom part of the blanket next to the legs should be a little loose to help the baby experience some comfort in leg movement.
This is important especially when they have reflex reactions and sudden movement of the body while asleep.
Make sure you also don’t leave a lot of the blanket at this part for easy and comfortable neck movement.
Moreover, be keen to check that baby isn’t wrapped too tightly as this again would make him or her uncomfortable. A little bit of coziness is better than pressing the little one’s body.
Check that the baby’s hands are well tucked to the sides. The arms are better left straight for the body to assume the flat preferable position while sleeping. This is important for not only evenly blood circulation in the body but also comfortable breathing.
Check that the swaddle is well-wrapped again but tight enough to avoid easy unraveling. If you notice the tuck-in is getting too loose, consider securing it firmly into position using a duct tape.
If the infant wasn’t completely asleep yet, once he or she starts falling asleep, lay him/her on the back side in a bassinet or crib.
Things to keep in mind:
> Avoid over-swaddling or using a double swaddle as this might result in raised baby temperatures, this might again contribute to discomfort. Enough ventilation is appropriate.
> The swaddling shouldn’t limit the baby’s mobility but allow natural movement of the legs and hip. This would eliminate instances of cases of dysplasia.
> When your baby starts rolling, it is imperative to switch off swaddling and consult your pediatrician on whether to continue or stop the swaddling. This important to help the baby transition through every stage of the young life comfortably for the best upbringing with minimal or zero mistakes.
> Appropriately handled sleeping helps minimize the risk of sudden unexpected death in infancy, commonly known as, SUDI.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the importance of swaddling?
A: Newborns are used to being in a relatively closed environment. Not only is it safe, it also prevents reflexes that can wake them up.
Q: Does the baby have to be warm before I swaddle?
A: This is really your choice. You can decide to dress the baby in very warm clothing then swaddle with a light blanket. Vice versa is also acceptable.
Q: What are the types of swaddling blankets?
A: There’s the old school type that allows you to fold and tuck yourself. Then there’s one that has been pre-folded. It usually has Velcro tabs or a zipper.
I hope not only are you up to speed on how to use a swaddle blanket but also help the little one experience sweet soothing safely while asleep. Swaddling handled carefully and meticulously will ensure that your baby not only sleeps soundly but also gives mom and dad some time together or handle other activities.
Additionally, swaddling eliminates the need for introducing other unnecessary extra items on the baby’s crib like bumpers, extra blankets, and pillows for comfortable sleeping. Notably, using also such items without proper care and information might again put your baby at risk while asleep.
Lastly, whether you are a new parent or not, you will find this approach simple and easy to learn. A swaddle blanket will make things easy for you too as you enjoy your parenthood. Let the baby have the best.