by: Shirley Larsen
During the first few weeks your newborns internal thermostat is not completely functioning right therefore they can become too hot or too cold. Wrapping or swaddling your baby can keep your baby at the correct temperature as well as keeping them feeling secure, thus allowing them to sleep well.
Swaddling your baby is simply wrapping your baby snugly in a blanket for warmth and security.
Swaddling your baby can reduce the amount your baby is disrupted due to their own startled reflex and will assist in maintaining warmth for your newborn during their first few days until their temperature is able to calculate itself to the correct temperature. Swaddling your baby is also important as it can help to calm them.
When you have your newborn, nurses at the hospital will more than likely show you how to swaddle your baby before you leave to go home. They emphasis the importance of swaddling to help your baby sleep better during naps and especially at night. If your baby is sleeping then so will you and your family.
Another great reason to swaddle your baby is that it has been known to help reduce some of the risks associated with SIDS. Swaddling prevents babies from rolling on their tummy during sleep, helps with maintaining a healthy temperature and by swaddling your baby the blanket is secure and unable to cover their faces.
During the first month of your newborns life when they tend to sleep most of their day and are not very active having your baby swaddled will make them fell snug and secure like in their mother’s womb. However after about a month keep swaddling your baby but just at sleep time as they need to be able to move freely and explore their surroundings.
You can swaddle your baby as long as they will tolerate it. This varies among individual babies. When your baby gives you ques that they no longer wants to be swaddled be sure to stop straight away as this will just disrupt both the babies and your sleep. Some ques may include crying, kicking or wriggling out of their wrap.
So how do you swaddle your baby?
Follow these few simple tips for the perfect swaddle
- Lay a blanket on a flat surface and fold down the top right corner about 6 inches.
- Place your baby on their back with his head on the fold.
- Pull the corner near your babies left hand across his body, and tuck the leading edge under his back on the right side under his arm.
- Pull the bottom corner up under your babies chin.
- Bring the loose corner over your babies right arm and tuck it under the back on his left side.
If your baby prefers to have their arms free you can swaddle them under their arms.
Another alternative is to buy a swaddle blanket. These blankets make swaddling your baby simple. In two easy steps your baby is warm and secure ready for bed.