In the quiet hours of the night, amidst the lullabies and soft whispers, new moms everywhere find solace in an age-old practice – swaddling. Wrapping a newborn snugly in a blanket can be an effective technique to soothe your baby and promote sleep. But why does swaddling work, and how can you do it safely? Let’s dive into the science behind this ancient practice.
The Science of Swaddling
Swaddling mirrors the womb’s comforting confines, creating a ‘next-best’ environment that newborns find familiar. This sense of security can calm your baby, reducing the likelihood of the startle reflex – a common cause of waking. Research suggests that swaddling can increase REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, the restorative stage of the sleep cycle crucial for brain development.
But it’s not just about sleep. According to University Hospitals, infants who were swaddled exhibited less pain during medical procedures, thanks to the secure feeling swaddling emulates.
How to Swaddle Safely
Despite the benefits, it’s paramount to swaddle your baby safely. Improper swaddling can lead to overheating, hip dysplasia, and an increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Follow these steps for a safe and cozy swaddle:
Spread the blanket: Lay the swaddle blanket in a diamond shape, folding the top corner down.
Place the baby: Put your baby on the blanket, ensuring their head rests above the fold.
Wrap: Take one corner of the blanket, wrap it over your baby’s body, and tuck it under the opposite side.
Tuck: Pull the bottom corner up and tuck it into the first wrap.
Secure: Bring the remaining corner across your baby’s body, tucking it securely on the side.
Remember, babies should always be placed on their backs to sleep, and the swaddle should not be too tight. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends transitioning out of a swaddle around the baby’s second month or when they show signs of rolling over.
Sweet Dreams: The Final Tuck-In
Swaddling is more than just a cozy wrap – it’s a potent tool in a new mother’s arsenal. It aids sleep, soothes discomfort, and provides an overall sense of security to your little one. But like any tool, it must be used correctly and safely.
As you navigate the beautiful journey of motherhood, remember each baby is unique. What works for one may not work for another. Experiment, learn, and above all, trust your instincts.
Contact Good Little SleeperZzz for Infant Sleep Help!
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