What Is Swaddling and How Does it Help?

Swaddling refers to a specific way to wrap your baby snugly in a sheet. Swaddling helps your baby to feel secure. It is thought that swaddling closely resembles the way that your baby would have felt while he or she was still in your womb. Swaddling generally is most appropriate for newborns. Generally speaking, you should not swaddle your baby after he or she is one month old. Swaddling your baby after he or she is one month old is thought to interfere with your baby’s development, as well as your baby’s mobility.

Advocates of swaddling suggest that swaddling will help to settle and to sooth an infant that is irritable. Swaddling is a common practice by many midwives and in many hospitals, as well. Some studies suggest that swaddling can help to enhance neuromuscular development of the infant, especially of the infant that was a low birth weight baby. Some research suggests that swaddling may also reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Some research even suggests that swaddling helps the infant to sleep and to maintain longer REM sleep. Having said that, there are some psychologists that suggest that swaddling may cause problems with rage, anxiety, aggressive behavior, and impaired social abilities later in life. The bulk of scientific research, however, tends to support the idea that swaddling is more potentially beneficial than it is potentially harmful.

Swaddling is a technique that parents have been using for centuries. Swaddling is not as common in the western world as it is in other parts of the world. The actual process of swaddling is relatively simple. First, lay out a sheet flatly, with one of the corners slightly folded over. Place your baby on the sheet facing up, with his or her neck resting on the folded portion of the sheet. You will then wrap one of the corners across his or her body. Tuck that corner underneath your baby. Then, you will lift the bottom corner of the sheet up over his or her feet. Finally you will wrap the right corner around your baby. Only the baby’s neck and head will be exposed. Make certain that your baby’s face is not covered, which could cause suffocation or overheating. You will also want to be careful not to wrap your baby too tightly, which could cut off his or her circulation.