The first time when your child was brought close about to you, you saw the cutest baby swaddled perfectly in the universe. She was calm then. But why? Ever wondered? The simple answer is that swaddling that was introduced so perfectly.
Swaddling is an age-old process as everybody knows and was developed in the Paleolithic period, as declared by Wikipedia. Even in Luke 2:6–2:7: it was mentioned.
But now as you are reading this blog it certainly seems that you definitely need “real” help with it.
Don’t worry because here, in this blog, I will describe everything about baby swaddling.
Here’s the table of content which I will be elaborating in the blog for you:
- What Is Swaddling?
- Benefits of Swaddling A Baby
- How to Swaddle A Baby?
- Limitations of Swaddling Your Baby
- When to Stop Swaddling?
- How Much to Swaddle A Baby in A Day?
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Hip Dysplasia and Methods to Prevent Them
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Hip Dysplasia
- 5 Tips on Baby Swaddling
What Is Baby Swaddling?
According to Wikipedia, swaddling is an age-old practice of wrapping infants in blankets or similar cloths so that movement of the limbs is tightly restricted.
So, that being said let’s jump into the details!
Importance & Benefits of Swaddling A Baby
The benefits of swaddling are many (many old-age practices and science researches are evidence of this fact!)
Here is little information about the benefits and importance of swaddling your cutie.
- As your baby had little space to move while in your womb. Swaddling the only aim is to recreate or mimic the same effect as much as possible so, that your newborn starts to feel secure and calm
- Your baby will sleep longer and will not be disturbed by startle reflex, and as mentioned before it will soothe her.
- Swaddling reduces the chances of SIDS (more on this)
- It can immensely cure your baby’s colic. Again, it is important because most of it will be mimicking the womb…
- It helps relax the baby because it somehow mimics your touch and the baby enjoys this
- It also helps to prevent scratching the face or the skin which otherwise your baby would have done with no swaddle.
- They will look like little, adorable, cute burritos. :-)
How to Swaddle A Baby?
First and foremost, remember that swaddling is only effective and useful when done correctly.
If you swaddle your baby improperly there are risks of Sudden infant death symptom (SIDS) or even Hip Dysplasia.
Obviously, you don’t want your child to have these. So the proper way to swaddle your baby is as follows: -
- Firstly, spread thin cotton or any muslin sheet, with one corner at the top folded (as shown in the picture).
- Make your baby lie on it and of course, make sure that sufficient portion of the head is visible and is not even touched by nay cloth because that can produce irritation in them and can bring an end to the peace which you are trying to bring
- Just tuck the top left corner of the cloth or sheet across your baby's body and tuck it under his/her left arm pull the bottom corner up over his body, tucking it in over the right shoulder and arm.
- Take the right corner and tuck it around the folds of your baby’s neck, making sure to leave his head and neck uncovered.
These were the steps which if you follow correctly, most likely the results will be professional.
For visual aid and your convenience, this photo will surely help you.
Limitations of Swaddling Your Baby
This is another important aspect of Swaddling. If an older baby is capable of movement and is kept in a saddle. Then, the movements which will be restricted will cause potential harm to the baby’s growth and overall development. Let’s go into it and know about the details.
When to Stop Swaddling?
Most infants start to roll over by the age of 2 months. Although your child doesn’t need to also do that. If your child shows any sign of rolling over then, you must think of the other idea as swaddling could be dangerous then. The sign could be crying or even kicking the swaddle every day. If you see any of those or any other than it will be good to stop.
On the other hand, if your child has not started to roll over after 2 or 3 months then you should consult a pediatrician for further instructions.
Whenever you stop swaddling you can always use a sleep sack for providing almost the same safe feeling to your child.
How Much to Swaddle A Baby in A Day?
It depends upon how your baby responds to swaddling. If your baby is not comfortable with swaddling and if you see any sign of it. Then, you can have some skin-to-skin contact with your baby.
It’s not recommended swaddling all day long.
What Is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) And Hip Dysplasia and How to Prevent Them?
Well, these are some terms which you are absolutely going to avoid in your maternal journey. Hence, I’ll guide you through these terms because you will never let these to happen.
Additionally, I’ll try to cover how to prevent each of those here.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or cot death, is actually an unreasonable and sudden cause of death of a child who is generally less than the age of 1 year. Even when an autopsy is carried out by the doctors, they never find any clue of why it happened. Researchers have also found that most of the children affected by SIDS were males.
The most fearful and frightening thing is that it happens randomly and there are no reasons why these deaths happen. This is caused by more and more factors rather than one.
Although it can be said that it happens below one year of age, the most common age for this to happen is 2 to 4 months. Hence, this period of time will be very crucial for you to take care of your baby.
Here I list some causes which contribute to serious risk-factors for the kid. Not essentially, SIDS but are generally harmful. So, here are they:
- Tobacco Smoke: Smoking tobacco is a serious factor which contributes to risk. It has been found in many studies that mothers who smoke during pregnancy, their infants have been a victim of SIDS.
- Wrong sleeping posture: I’ll again remind you that this will be potentially harmful to your child.
- Drinking alcohol: It has also been found in many studies that consumption of alcohol contributes to increased risk factors which can ultimately lead to SIDS.
So, these were the risk factors which possess health hazards for your baby.
Now, let’s dive into that section where I’ll be discussing the ways you can reduce the risks of the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS):
- Proper sleep positioning: Babies who lay on their back while sleeping have reduced risks of SIDS.
- Pacifiers: Pacifiers also have a great impact on it, and they have also been seen but the reasons are all in the clouds and are not known yet.
- Proper setup of the baby’s crib: It is essential to get a crib and let your child sleep in it. You shall do so by removing any blankets inside the crib while your baby sleeps. Because if not done so, co-sleeping increases the risks of suffocation of an infant.
- Vaccination: Researches conducted also have proved that timely DTP immunization decreases the chances of SIDS.
I have discussed most of the things related to SIDS so that you can be careful.
Now, let's get into the Hip dysplasia part.
Hip dysplasia is a condition related to bones. Although it is not fatal it can be very painful. It is a condition where the hip socket does not overlap the thigh bone(femur). The harshness of Hip dysplasia varies from a baby to another. The causes of Hip dysplasia are many. Which means that many factors are jointly responsible for the produced condition.
Some facts about Hip dysplasia and the causes are as follows:
- Tight swaddling can pressurize the baby’s feet close to each other. Which means, wrapping in the baby’s feet straight away restricts leg movement and hence it happens.
- This is the only reason why it is told to leave a little space for leg movement.
- First-born babies often have high chances of having Hip dysplasia
- Hip dysplasia is common in females rather than males
- If your baby was born in a breech position (then, the chances are greater, and you need to pay attention)
- Mild form hip dysplasia doesn’t require any medication and is cured normally.
- Hip dysplasia can contribute to making your baby vulnerable to bone dislocation in the future
Let’s talk about how to prevent or avoid Hip dysplasia:
- Although it's difficult to cure dysplasia if it's genetic and present from birth still doctors can cure hip dysplasia by surgeries.
- To prevent Hip dysplasia, obviously, tight swaddling is to be avoided.
There are no more ways to cure or prevent hip dysplasia. So, as you can see and conclude that tightly wrapping your baby can result in many risk factors. Therefore, try keeping the legs loose.
5 Amazing Tips on Baby Swaddling!
Swaddling your baby can be beneficial for both of you. As your child will be able to feel that she is in your womb which can help to soothe her and you will, of course, get time for your daily chores.
But you need to keep in mind certain things that even if your child is sleeping or having a nap in her saddle there are still certain risks that can contribute to the danger. Hence, let’s dive into discussing them so that you can be aware of them before starting swaddling.
- Always lay your baby on their back: It is the most important that should be taken care of while you swaddle your baby. Because not doing so, can lead to increased chances and risks of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Although you have done this correctly, you should supervise your child.
The main reason for swaddling is to lessen the chances of SIDS which generally occur when the baby lies with stomach-down.
Hence, to keep the body in the proper supine position the
- Don’t swaddle your baby too tightly: Yes, it's another major factor contributing to risks of SIDS. So, please check to see if your baby has enough space to move her hips and legs (doing not so can increase risks of developmental dysplasia of the hip.
So, to sum it up there are two dangers and ill-effects of tightly swaddling your baby. They are as follows:
♦ Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
♦ Hip dysplasia
You can make sure that you haven’t swaddled tightly by placing your fingers between your baby’s chest and the swaddle.
That being said, what will happen if you swaddle too tight.
Never do it.
- Say NO to swaddling loosely: This statement is also correct because if you saddle loosely then there are increased risks of suffocation.
- Don’t let your baby’s body get overheated: If you live in a cold area this might not be applicable for you.
But people who live in hotter regions it's always advisable to keep a check on your baby and to see if they are being overheated and if sweating.
If that’s the case, then, you can make her comfortable by using a muslin cloth to swaddle her and check that the clothes are also not creating the problem.
- Don’t use a big cloth and make the baby uncomfortable: This means that after swaddling make sure that no part of the cloth is accumulated beneath her back as it may irritate and cause excessive crying. I even don’t like when something like that’s beneath me. Then why should they? Just make sure of it.
Now let’s talk about when to stop swaddling and time limits of Swaddling your baby.
Well, for me babies are beautiful angels sent to earth, from heaven’s brightest star by God. And we should strive to take care and protect them as much as possible, properly.
And exactly, in that attempt to improve the baby’s security and comfortability, swaddling can be efficient and effective. As it has been declared by many experts.
The preventive measures you should take care while swaddling, in summary, is as follows: -
- Don’t swaddle too tightly it can be a potential health hazard
- Don’t get your baby to roll over
- Enjoy a little skin-to-skin contact with your baby
- Stop swaddling when you see any signs of your baby rolling over
- If your baby feels insecure and uncomfortable in a swaddle, make sure to stop swaddling. As doing, it further increases the risks of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Remember to swaddle your baby properly as if done wrong it can cause unwanted results which may lead to dangerous circumstances.
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Thanks for staying with me till the end.
Hope you have a good day!