The Basics of Swaddling: What, Why, When and How to swaddle your baby.
Hello and welcome back to my blog, this month I wanted to discuss the importance of swaddling your baby. I recently had my second baby, Stormy, he is almost five months old. We have now weaned, although swaddling was my go to for settling down for day naps and nighttime for the past three - four months. I'm no sleep teacher or professional expert on baby sleep ( I really wish I was ), however I do know from experience that swaddling can help babies sleep in the early months and I'll go into a few reasons why.
Firstly, What is Swaddling/ a Swaddle?
Swaddling is a technique/method of wrapping your baby firmly for sleep. There are many types of swaddle choices available now. The DIY wrap your baby like a burrito was my favorite for the first month because I found I could get my babies more fitted, firm and snug. Once both of my babies got older and bigger about 2 months they comfortably fit the ‘love to dream’ and ‘ergo baby pouches’. These are the zip style swaddles. The zip style swaddle is great for late night nappy changes and feeds. Because you can keep their top half cozy, warm, reduce the risk of waking them too much and no need for all the complex wrapping during the night.
Why should you Swaddle?
For nine months, your baby has been super snug in your womb and this is their normal. Swaddling reciprocates this feeling. With a lot of movement restricted there, transitioning to the world is a big adjustment, for you both. Creating a similar ‘womb-like’ feeling and environment for your baby can be calming and help them settle to sleep.
It keeps them cozy, warm and helps them associate nap and bedtime. From birth it's important to establish a good sleep routine. Swaddling among white noise and a dark room helps create a womb like environment. I have found consistency is key when establishing your routine.
Babies are not used to having their arms so freely about. They have a shock reflex for the first few months. This can often startle babies and wake them up from precious sleep and swaddling them firmly reduces the chances of this.
How long should you swaddle for? Until around four months, depending on your baby's development, but as soon as your baby can start to roll, it’s important to begin ‘weaning’. Weaning your baby from swaddling, means starting by letting one arm free. Once they are comfortable and have control of one arm free, unswaddle the next. Keep in mind this can take a few weeks for your baby to get used to.
HOW to do a DIY Swaddle? Head to my youtube channel here to see how i demonstrate my favorite method when it comes to a DIY swaddle. I'll also show you the zip-style ones I loved here too.