User-agent: * Allow: /. Would Like To Be A Yummy Mummy: Swaddling - Should Parents Do It Or Not?

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Swaddling - Should Parents Do It Or Not?

Swaddling is a traditional technique of wrapping infants to make them feel secure, comfortable and ready for sleep.  Currently there is much controversy around whether or not you should do it.

Poppy swaddled and fast asleep
Swaddling creates a slight pressure around your babies body that is thought to mirror the pressure they would have felt in the womb, therefore making them feel safe, secure and relaxed.  It is a method that has been used for centuries to help babies sleep soundly in those early few months when they have no control over their movements, so are not disturbed by their jerky arms and legs (known as the  startle reflex). 

So why now are many Mums being told that swaddling is no longer recommended in this country or that it could be dangerous, by their midwives and health visitors? Even more confusing is the fact that reputable companies sell swaddle blankets, it is not illegal and it is in the news one week as being good for babies and lowering cot death whilst other weeks it is supposed to cause overheating, cot death and hip problems! What is a parent supposed to think or do?

More and more mums are confused or scared of trying swaddling but they also struggling to get their little ones to sleep too. Personally I did it with both of mine and was taught how to do it in Hospital. I did it for nap time and bed time for a minimum of the first three months and had no issues with sleeping at all. Once they started to wiggle out I switched to a Grobag. I would do it again.

To swaddle your baby,  you need to spread an appropriate swaddling blanket or sheet out flat like a diamond, then fold one corner over towards you to make a nice straight edge.   Lay your baby face up on the sheet with his or her neck resting against the fold. Wrap the left corner of the sheet over their body and tuck it beneath them. Bring the bottom corner over their feet, and then wrap the right corner around them, leaving only their head and neck exposed.  Your baby will be all wrapped up, safe and secure and ready to sleep.

Picture from Goggle Images

It is of course very important to not cover your baby's face or they might suffocate.  Its is also important not to overheat so they will not need extra blankets. Obviously don't wrap them too tightly either, the aim is to make your little one feel secure and snug, not to cut of their circulation! 

For some babies it becomes the trigger for sleep. You should stop swaddling your baby once they are able to wiggle out, although you could always leave one or both arms out at this stage.

Now I agree that over heating is a problem and that first time parents in this country do tend to overheat their babies but if parents were taught how to swaddle properly and the dangers either in hospital or their anti natal classes, then you would have more confident parents doing it right!

Just saying!

Karen x