Swaddling is something that parents have done for ages. Many cultures throughout the course of human history have swaddled their babies. Interestingly enough, there is modern research that shows that this ancient custom may actually have some very specific benefits for your baby.
Swaddling your baby helps to create a soothing feeling. This can help him to fall asleep easier, and it can help him to sleep more soundly. Swaddling helps insure that your baby sleeps on his back, which can help reduce the risk of SIDS.
Swaddling also keeps your baby from moving around. By about the age of two months, most experts recommend that you stop swaddling, or that you at least loosen the folds of the blanket gradually to allow some additional movement.
Experts aren’t entirely certain why swaddling is so beneficial for babies. There is the idea that swaddling more closely represents the closed, comfortable environment of the womb, where baby has spent the majority of her developmental time.
Here are the steps to swaddle your baby:
1. Lay a square receiving blanket out on a flat surface in a diamond shape.
2. Fold down the top blanket corner, just around four inches.
3. Place your baby on the receiving blanket. His head should be where that fold is. It’s important not to cover baby’s head.
4. Fold the right corner over across baby’s body, and tuck it underneath her. You will tuck her right arm, and leave her left arm free.
5. Fold the bottom of the blanket up onto your baby’s chest.
6. Now, fold the left corner across baby’s body. This should contain the left arm and keep it from moving. Tuck this fold.
7. Check your work. The swaddling should be snug, but it should not be so tight that it cuts off circulation or causes pain at all.
As you can see, swaddling is a fairly straightforward process. It doesn’t take much time or effort, and it can help your baby sleep better, and feel more comfortable at those times when she may be overly tired or just simply fussy.