As I continued my career in childcare, I found the importance of comfort and safety for an infant. I realized some parents weren't taught the significance of swaddling for their little one. A few who tried said the baby would cry so they stopped and some just wrapped the baby because they felt it was keeping him/her warm. What many parents aren't aware of is that swaddling has many benefits. Here are the top five reasons why swaddling your baby is important:
1. Reduces the rate of SIDS
In a recent study done by the Journal of Pediatrics, swaddling reduces the rate of SIDS. The ongoing thought behind swaddling is that it makes it hard for newborn babies to inadvertently cover their heads or face which then decreases their ability to flip over onto their stomachs, both of which have been linked to higher rates of SIDS in newborn babies. However, as an infant reaches 6 months, parents need to be cautious so the baby doesn't flip on their stomachs. In that case, it is recommended they sleep with a sleep sack or cocoon swaddle.
2. It soothes the baby!
Okay moms, so the baby might just cry when you first get them in the swaddle, however if you sway them a little and use sounds like white noise, your chances of them calming down and sleeping soundly are very high.
3. Improves neuromuscular development
Many people feel that a newborn needs to have their hands free so that they can practice using their arms, figure out how to get their hands into their mouths so they can self-soothe by sucking on fingers, etc. However most of the movement of your newborn baby’s limbs is actually unintentional and random. Immobilizing their arms actually helps them to develop better motor skill organization. Swaddling is especially helpful for premies!
4. They Cry Less
Regardless of mastering the magic touch to soothe the baby, swaddling alone seems to result in a 28% reduction in crying.
5. Sleep Better
Babies have reflexes and tend to move a lot which wakes them up. Swaddling allows them to relax by restricted too much movement and resulting in better sleep.
So if you're considering swaddling, try it and let me know how it goes! Feel free to write me or others with any useful advice from your experience below.