While some say swaddling is outdated, many say it helps a baby sleep. Swaddling is the practice of wrapping the baby up in a light, breathable blanket that mimics the experience in the womb. They should have their body wrapped snugly but not their head or neck.
There is little research on swaddling, but many people say it helps a baby sleep longer and settle more easily. It is also speculated swaddling can prevent unnecessary wake-ups caused by your baby’s startle reflex. Some people say this is because your baby’s arms and legs will be contained in a blanket, so they are less likely to startle themselves awake with their flailing limbs.
Because many people consider the first three months of your baby’s life as the fourth trimester, swaddling is becoming a popular transitional practice. Since these first three months of your baby’s life are quite complex, it makes sense to help your baby feel secure like they did in the womb.
However, it’s not always safe to swaddle your baby. It is potentially unsafe, and your baby can overheat if wrapped in too many blankets. You should not wrap your baby while breastfeeding because breastfeeding can cause them to get hot very quickly, and they need a more natural position to latch. Also, another consideration is that routine swaddling may suppress the baby’s voice and delay the response to the baby.
The medical opinion on swaddling is divided. While some people say that the practice is good for your baby, others have a different view. If you’re considering swaddling your baby, it’s important to follow safe swaddling guidelines to protect them.