When your baby makes an entry into the outside world from the safe cocoon of your womb, it is exposed to sounds, lights, images and thousands of things that constitute this world. No wonder, the first thing that your baby does is to cry lustily!
One of the primary reasons for swaddling your baby is to continue to make your baby feel as safe, snug and cocooned as it felt inside you, so that your baby stays calm, relaxed and sleeps well. Swaddling is an age-old tradition, for several reasons;
For better sleep – Swaddled babies sleep longer and better because they feel cozy and snug. A baby’s startle movements and jerky reflexes, that is one of the main causes of disturbed sleep are considerably reduced because your baby is confined in a swaddle and will enjoy uninterrupted sleep. The REM (Rapid Eye Movement) is considerably reduced, which is great for the development of vital organs, especially the brain.
Lower rate of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) Swaddling your baby prevents SIDS, as parents are unlikely to use the unsafe tummy position. Babies should never be put to sleep on their stomach until they are old enough to turn over by themselves. The USA had an alarming rate of SIDS death until some years ago, but now there is growing awareness of its dangers and parents are adopting the swaddling method for their baby.
Prevents colic and regulates body temperature – Swaddling your baby releases body gas and relieves your baby of colic pain, which would have hindered his sleep. If you swaddle your baby after placing his hands by his face, your baby will find it soothing and get lulled to sleep for a longer time, as that position would make your baby feel he is inside your womb. Swaddling regulates your baby’s body temperature and keep him feeling close and warm.
Helps in breastfeeding – A swaddled baby is easy to be picked and carried about, especially when you are nursing your baby. Your baby will not wriggle or flail his arms about too much as his limbs will be safely tucked inside.
Lesser scratches on the face – Baby nails are usually sharp and grow quickly no matter how often you clip them. Jerky movements of your baby's hands during sleep can inadvertently cause scratches on the face. Swaddling prevents that and your baby's face will be free from nicks and scratches.
Click on this video to see how to hip-healthy swaddle your baby