Should You Swaddle Your Baby? Here’s What to Know
Being a first-time parent can be exciting but also a nerve-racking experience. You look forward to buying baby clothes and other stuff for your little one. You get to take care of a newborn you and your spouse have been waiting to welcome in this world for the past nine months. And then seeing that adorable, delicate little human burrito for the first time will make everything – the waiting and all the troubles of pregnancy – all worth it.
Understandably, a lot of new parents are also clueless about taking care of a newborn. They cannot talk yet and tell what they want, after all. First-time parents may also have heard about swaddling. But is swaddling necessary for newborns? If so, how should you do it, and when to stop?
Is swaddling safe for newborns?
Swaddling is using a blanket to wrap a baby’s body snuggly, apparently to soothe the newborn and to resemble the mother’s womb. When done properly, swaddling can help in soothing the infant and ensure a night of better sleep. It is also said the swaddling helps on reducing the risk of SIDS.
When you swaddle your baby, make sure that you place your baby on his back. Never swaddle your baby while lying on its stomach. Swaddling can help on preventing the baby from rolling on its stomach, hence the risk of SIDS and suffocation.
Blankets are commonly used to swaddle a baby. However, sleep sacks and wearable blankets are also available to practice swaddling your newborn. Also, make sure to provide a safe space for your little one free of any objects that can potentially endanger his life.
When should you stop swaddling?
You should stop swaddling your baby if he or she starts to learn rolling over. This usually happens when infants turn two months old. Also, some experts say that there are still potential risks to swaddling.
For one, it makes them harder to wake up – which is the reason why a lot of parents prefer swaddling to promote better and longer sleep. However, a decreased arousal means a baby would be harder to wake up, hence also increasing the risk of SIDS. Having said that, some doctors believe that swaddling can cause SIDS instead of the other way around.
Nonetheless, it is up to the parent whether to swaddle the baby or not. Better yet, you can follow these tips as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for a baby’s better sleep and overall safety.
- Place your baby’s crib in a smoke-free room.
- Make sure that your baby has her bassinet or crib. Avoid letting her sleep on your bed as much as possible for safety reasons (ex. getting rolled on while she is sleeping, falling from the bed)
- You can consider using a pacifier for your baby during naps and bedtime.
- Before buying products that claim to lessen the risk of SIDS such as special mattresses, consult your pediatrician or a sleep expert first.
- Make sure to keep your baby on her back when sleeping and ensure that she doesn’t rollover.
Check out these swaddling blankets in a specialty store in Franklin TN if you want to try baby swaddling.