Swaddling Your Newborn
If you have come across newborns or spent time with new moms, you will observe that they wrap their newborns in a blanket. Unaware, you might think that the baby is too hot or uncomfortable but this is not the case. What these moms are doing is swaddling their babies.
Swaddling is the act of wrapping a baby in a blanket to create warmth and security. Besides that, swaddling also helps to keep your baby from being disturbed by his or her own reflexes. It keeps the baby warm for the first few days of life until their internal thermostat kicks in. sometimes, swaddling helps to calm crying babies too.
You can learn this technique before leaving the hospital. You can try it once you have made sure that your baby is not hungry, wet or tired.
Another benefit of swaddling is that it helps to settle down your baby especially when he or she is overstimulated or when he or she needs to feel something similar to the tightness and security of the womb.
Cautions about swaddling
If you decide to swaddle your baby, then you must do it right. Improperly swaddling your baby for instance by tightly wrapping your baby’s straight down may loosen the joints and damage the soft cartilage of the hip sockets. This eventually leads to hip dysplasia.
Many newborns have developed this condition so to prevent it, you must make sure that when you swaddle your baby, there is enough room at the bottom of the blanket for your baby to bend his or her legs up and out from his or her body.
When should You Stop Swaddling Your Baby?
After your baby turns one month, you may need to stop swaddling them when they are awake because it can interfere with their mobility and development. There is no problem with swaddling your baby for naps and nighttime if he or she seems to sleep better that way. However, once the baby turns two months, swaddling should also stop even for the night.
How to swaddle your baby?
- Step 1 – lay a blanket on a flat surface like a diamond. Fold-down the top corner. The fold should be 6 inches to form a straight edge.
- Step 2 – place your baby on his or her back such that the top of the fabric is at the shoulder level.
- Step 3 – bring your baby’s left arm down then pull the corner of the blanket near his or her left hand over the chest. Tuck the leading edge under the right side of his back.
- Step 4 – Bring the right arm down and pull the corner of the blanket near the right hand over his or her arm and chest. Tuck the cloth under his left side.
- Step 5 – complete the swaddling by twisting or folding the bottom end of the blanket tucking it loosely behind your baby. As you do so, make sure that both legs are bent up and out from his or her body and that the hips can move. The legs should spread apart naturally.
With these, you are set to properly swaddle your baby and set them up to enjoy the warm blanket environment.