Swaddling Your Baby to Comfort
by Suzy Motter
Swaddling your baby is like creating a “burrito” with a receiving blanket. Your nurses will swaddle your baby while you’re in the hospital. Take the time to learn this technique before you go home! It could mean the difference between an all night crying jag to a restful night.
How Does Swaddling Help My Baby?
Baby’s are born with a startle reflex. It’s kind of like that jerking feeling you get when you’ve had that dream of falling down a well. His arms will fly out and will likely scare (or “startle”) him. If he’s sleeping, this reflex will wake him up. If he’s swaddled, the startle reflex won’t disturb him as his body won’t be able to jerk in the same way.
Swaddling can also offer warmth to your baby during his first few days of life. His internal thermostat isn’t working just yet so his body temperature can’t adjust itself. Even if it’s the middle of summer, chances are your baby may be cool, so swaddling will help him be comfortable.
Also, your baby has just spent 9 months fitting tightly in your womb. It is a snuggly sensation that he is used to, so swaddling will offer his that same comfort that he’s used to.
When Should I Swaddle My Baby?
On occasion your baby may seem to be “over-stimulated”, either by too many sights or sounds, or just be “over-tired”. If you can’t seem to settle baby down, swaddling will offer him the warmth and security to calm down quickly.
Once your baby reaches about 1 month old, only swaddle your baby when he is sleeping. While he’s awake he’ll be moving and working on his muscle development. When he outgrows the need to be swaddled, he’ll let you know by crying and kicking while he’s swaddled. BUT, keep the swaddling technique in the back of your mind. Even at three or four months old, it can come in handy to help calm him down.
About this Article:
Suzy Motter is a mom of 4 ranging in ages from 3 to 14. She offers advice and fun for parents at all stages at her website Suzy’s Kidz.com.
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