What Is Swaddling?
Swaddling is the art of wrapping a blanket snugly around your baby.
New mothers are taught how to swaddle in hospital and there are several different ways to wrap your baby.
The practice dates back many centuries and gained popularity in recent times due to global recommendations that babies must sleep on their back to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Swaddling helps remind your baby of being inside the womb – and, as a result, helps soothe and comfort your baby when done correctly.
The Benefits Of Swaddling Your Baby
One of the most significant studies into swaddling was a systematic review published in 2007 in the renowned medical journal, Pediatrics.
The review showed an incredible level of detail, and included 78 studies published between 1887 and 2007.
The research found swaddling was linked to the following benefits:
- Helped babies to sleep longer – swaddling clearly ‘stimulated sleep continuity’, according to the researchers
- Improved neuromuscular development in premature babies – swaddled preterm babies demonstrated better motor organisation, as well as less distress during weighing
- Helped reduce the risk of SIDS – the researchers concluded that ‘swaddled infants who slept on their backs may have a lower risk for SIDS’
The study also found that swaddling helped babies with brain injuries to cry less which in turn helped to reduce parental anxiety.
Some mothers worry that swaddling may impact the development of certain motor skills such as rolling. In this review, the researchers found no evidence that swaddling had either short-term or long-term effects related to achieving motor milestones.
Every baby is different, and what works for some may not work as well for others.
While there is research that supports the benefits of swaddling – as well as plenty of anecdotal evidence – you will need to monitor your baby and see how they respond to the feeling of being wrapped.
Generally, swaddling is recommended for at least the first few months of life.
When your baby shows the first signs of rolling, we recommend you start transitioning your baby to sleeping arms free.
If you choose to swaddle your baby, it’s important to always follow safe swaddling practices and be aware of the potential risks.
Safe Swaddling Tips
- Ensure your baby is sleeping on his or her back, with the face clear, as sleeping on the tummy is linked with an increased risk of SIDS
- Check your baby is not wrapped too tightly, as this can increase the risk of decreased circulation and certain conditions such as hip dysplasia
Looking For A Swaddle For Your Baby?
Sleepy Bub’s swaddle features a unique arms-down zip to help your baby settle quicker and sleep more soundly. Read more about our innovative baby swaddles here.