Vkaire’s Guide to Swaddling a Newborn
The average pregnancy lasts for up to 38 weeks and then comes the celebratory moment when the baby announces their arrival. This departure from the mother’s womb and arrival into the outside world is nothing short of a relocation that comes with its own share of adjustments for the baby and challenges for the parents. In total, newborn babies generally sleep around 16 hours a day, though this timescale varies widely and the duration of sleep may go up to 18 to 20 hours. Managing the newborn’s sleep is one of the most challenging tasks as a new parent.
Just out of the comfort zone of the mother’s womb, the newborn is not accustomed to the schedules of the world we inhabit. Therefore, they would not sleep at expected times as per adults. Babies snooze best in the warmth and comfort of their mom’s bosom. However, it might not be possible for the mother to have the baby sleep in their arms all the time. In such a case, how does one provide the infant with the warmth and solace similar to the motherly embrace?
The answer is ‘swaddling’. It is an age-old traditional practice of snugly wrapping up the baby in a light and breathable blanket, with only their little head peeking out so that the haphazard movement of arms and legs of the baby is restrained. A swaddle wrap cloth (also known simply as a ‘swaddle’) does this job perfectly. It helps your little one adjust to life outside the womb and feel safe and secure. It also prevents the baby from flogging their arms and legs, which can cause them to wake up suddenly. New parents generally receive advice on how to swaddle their newborns from the nurses at the hospital or from grandmothers back at home. A swaddle emulates the sensation of a mother’s womb and helps mollify the newborn babies.
Swaddling helps keep your baby cosy and comfortable for extended periods of time, and promote satisfying and extended sleep. Since the baby's hands and legs are tucked in well enough, they are not startled by their own abrupt reflex movements, thereby facilitating uninterrupted and sound sleep. Swaddling is also known to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) as the child is fastened secured, and therefore, the possibility of choking is drastically reduced. Swaddling also enhances positive development and improvement as it enables the infant to relax and sleep better.
Bamboo Baby Swaddle is naturally antibacterial and another welcome addition to the breathable and luxurious organic collection. It can be used as a swaddle cloth, a blanket, a burp cloth….it is whatever you need it to be, and generally, holds up well even after numerous washings.
Cotton Baby Swaddle is a must-have for anyone who has just been blessed with a little angel. You no longer have to struggle to wrap up your baby in a blanket which is a time-consuming activity. The chances of any harm being caused to the baby due to wrong or faulty wrapping also get eliminated. In short, these swaddles are real lifesavers! They fit your infant snugly, keep them warm and comfortable, and are easy to use. Babies simply love them. As soon as you slip them in a swaddle, they stop fussing and go to sleep. The swaddle remains soft even after being washed and can be used daily. Moreover, the fabric of an organic cotton baby swaddle is not only soft and versatile but also adds another dimension to the health and safety of your baby.
But just like any other procedure, the technique of swaddling too needs to be exercised with caution and care. Precautions need to be taken and certain guidelines need to be followed to ensure safety:
1. Always put the baby to sleep on their back, as it is the safest position. Tuck the bottom of the blanket underneath your baby, and watch them attentively during their sleep. Also, check and make sure that your little one does not rollover.
2. Ensure that the baby is not swaddled too tightly. As a general rule of thumb, you should be able to fit two fingers between the swaddle and your baby’s chest. Similarly, take care to have their hips loose in order to mitigate the risk of hip problems such as hip dysplasia.
3. Pay attention to their body temperature and keep the baby cool, as overheating is a risk associated with swaddling if you use typical blankets instead of specially crafted swaddles. Check for signs of sweating or accelerated breathing to ensure that the baby is comfortable and safe.
All said, choosing the right baby swaddle will be great for baby’s sleep. In short, there are lots of good reasons to try this age-old practice, using this new-age product, and honing your swaddling skills over time.
- Smarth Chugh