Swaddled babies may help your baby sleep longer, fuss less and have a lower risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Swaddling may resemble a cozy feeling just like in the womb. However, if swaddling is not done correctly it can lead to risks for your baby.
Important Considerations before swaddling
- Choose a swaddle cloth that is not very thick or warm. You do not want your baby to feel hot. Pick a cloth that lets the skin breathe and appropriate to the seasonal weather.
- Do not make the swaddle too tight, this may restrict the baby’s breathing.
- Monitor your baby after and during swaddling to see if it is comfortable, breathing properly. Keep checking on your baby.
- Learn to swaddle from your medical practitioner or doctor. Do not use your own techniques of swaddling. Ask your doctor if you are in doubt. It is always good to ask to avoid complications.
- Do not put a pillow under your baby.
- Do not put a sheet on your baby after swaddling.
- Keep the area your baby is place clear from clutter, clear from toys, clear from stuffed toys. Keep nothing around your baby.
Effective ways of swaddling
- Spread a large thin blanket and slightly fold over one corner.
- Baby’s head will be placed on to the edge of the corner you just folded.
- While holding your baby in place, pick up one corner of the blanket. Now, bring the blanket across your new born baby’s body. Now, tuck the blanket beneath your baby.
- Fold the bottom point of the blanket up – the benefit is that it will allow your baby to move its feet freely.Important note – swaddling a baby too tightly may increase the chances of overheating or developing a respiratory infection which is a risk. Also, swaddle your baby in a way that allows its hips and knees to move. If your swaddle is incorrect or tight it will increase the risk of dysplasia of the hip – it is a condition in which a baby’s hip can be partially or completely dislocated. However, if your baby has dysplasia – swaddling is not recommended.
- Now while holding your baby gently in place – pick up the other corner of the blanket. You may now bring the blanket across to your baby’s body. Tuck the blanket beneath your baby, leaving only his or her head and neck exposed.Important note – Your baby’s head and neck has to be exposed at all times. Do not swaddle the neck. Do not put a pillow under your baby.