practice this nowadays since it has very little risk and several benefits. If you’re a new parent, swaddling will help you a lot to keep your baby calm. Also, this will result in more sleep for you, which is always important with a small child!
A swaddled baby won’t be able to startle or make any sudden movements; therefore it won’t be able to wake up as easily. There’s no particular age when you should stop swaddling your baby, but people usually stop when the infant is about 3 months old. The main reason why people swaddle their babies is Swaddling babies were a common thing before the 18th century. More and more people are starting to mimic the uterus which makes infants more comfortable since they are used to that environment. However, the womb is noisy and that’s why you should probably use white noise machines combined with swaddling to make your baby as comfortable as possible. If your swaddled baby sleeps well, you will too, so keep that in mind if you have some restless nights.
The medical community recommends swaddling your baby since it has a calming effect on infants and results in much less crying. A study done in 2007 monitored 400 infants until they were three months old. The idea was to have one group that was receiving normal intervention while the other one was swaddled. This study showed that infants will cry much less and be calmer if they are swaddled, but only in certain age groups. It was measured that swaddling was the most effective when it comes to crying up until babies were 7 weeks old.
Concerns about Hip Dysplasia
Although almost all researchers and doctors acknowledge that swaddling may help your baby to cry less and sleep better, some of them expressed certain concerns about swaddling. Therefore, some researches are not recommending swaddling because they noticed that swaddled infants have a higher risk of developing hip dysplasia than the ones who aren’t swaddled.
About 17% of infants show at least some signs of dysplasia, but these problems usually resolve themselves over time without getting into treatment. However, there is no formal evidence pointing out that swaddling leads to dysplasia. It is also believed that babies who had a healthy newborn physical examination and were swaddled afterward for 3 months may have problems with hip dysplasia later. This specifically goes for babies who were in the breech position before they were born or the ones with a history of dysplasia in their families.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Risk Decrease
Leading pediatricians recommend swaddling, and preventing SIDS is just another reason why. It is concluded that babies who are swaddled can’t pull bedding over their heads or crawl in their crib, which is further lowering the risk of accidental suffocation and other accidents that may happen to a baby while you’re not paying attention. Accordingly, you should always swaddle your baby and lay her down on her back to decrease the risk of SIDS.
As soon as you notice your baby starts rolling on her tummy or her side, stop swaddling. If you choose to swaddle your baby make sure you start doing it from birth. Don’t try to swaddle your little ones when they are 2 or 3 months old since they will be used to sleeping without swaddling by then.
Circulation and Heat
You want to make sure that you know how to swaddle your baby correctly before you do it. If you wrap your baby too tightly, you may cause her to overheat and cause problems with circulation, which later leads to threating medical complications. Get advice from your nurse on how to properly swaddle your infant to avoid any health risks.
This may be the biggest concern regarding swaddling because you can make a mistake in many different steps. In addition to advising with your nurse, make sure you’re using a swaddle blanket to wrap your baby since different materials have different effects on the baby’s skin. Even if you do everything properly to wrap your baby material can be wrong and can still cause heart and circulation problems. Make sure you always use a thin cotton sheet; muslin is always a good choice.
You should never swaddle your baby too tight or too loose. Both situations are bad for your little one so make sure you know what you’re doing. Loosely tightened blanket may lead to suffocation if a swaddled baby accidentally puts the blanket over her head. On the other hand, swaddle too tight and you will be risking cutting off your infant’s circulation. Also, if you tight too tightly you can compress the chest wall of your baby which can prevent breathing. Babies are not able to take full breaths if they are swaddled too tight which can lead to respiratory problems.
Baby Planet Overview
Swaddling your baby will most certainly help you to have a few more hours of sleep. Also, your baby will feel more rested and prepared for the next day with less crying. However, remember to consult with your nurse to understand how to swaddle properly because you can make a mistake in a lot of steps!