10 Benefits Of Swaddling Your Baby

Since 4,000 BC, parents have been swaddling their babies. Swaddling is using a light blanket to wrap your baby in to help them feel safe and secure and to mimic the feeling inside the womb. In the womb, babies are wrapped like a cocoon and when they come out into the world, it’s the first time they’re able to stretch out their arms and legs, which can lead to an increase in their startle reflex. There are many benefits to swaddling, so today, I’m here to share them with you!

benefits of swaddling your baby

10 Benefits Of Swaddling Your Baby

There are many benefits of swaddling your baby. Before I dive into them, I want to share that swaddling is safe and recommended by the AAP. Not only does it ensure your baby’s legs and arms are tightly wrapped but it’s a great way to ensure your newborn baby is a safe sleeping position, this can put your mind at ease!

1. Mimics the feeling in the womb 

When your baby was in the womb, their sleeping position was being wrapped up and cuddled. Swaddling helps to mimic that warm, cozy feeling!

2. Minimizes the startle reflex

Swaddled babies have a much easier time dealing with the startle reflex, also known as the Moro reflex. The Moro reflex is a reflex when a baby’s arms and legs startle or jolt which can be very disruptive to sleep.

3. Calming and soothing

Swaddling can really help a crying baby! If your baby is fussy or refusing to settle or sleep, try to put them in a swaddle. Swaddling and the comfort they feel from it can calm their body and help them settle down. 

how to get your baby to sleep

4. Encourages safe sleep

Every parent wants their child to be protected while sleeping, and swaddling can help keep your baby safe. When a swaddle is put on correctly (see below), there is no loose material or blankets that could harm your baby. 

5. Eliminates anxiety 

The feeling of the swaddle actually imitates parents’ touch, which helps eliminate your baby’s anxiety and fussiness.

6. Controls body temperature 

Safe swaddling using appropriate material can help control your baby’s body temperature so they are not too warm or too cold. A cotton or muslin swaddling blanket over a onesie is enough to keep your baby comfortable. My tip is to dress your baby in one layer more than what you are wearing, feel the back of their neck to determine if they are cold or warm.

swaddling for baby sleep

7. Keeps hands off face 

A tight swaddle will help keep your baby’s arms by their sides and off their face, which will help your baby stay asleep!

8. Keeps baby on back 

For newborns who aren’t showing any signs of rolling, dressing your baby in a swaddle will help keep them on their back. When your baby starts to show signs of rolling, make sure you don’t swaddle them anymore for safety reasons.

9. Reduce incidents of SIDS

Putting your baby in a swaddle, in a flat sleep space, will help reduce the risk of infant death syndrome (SIDS). Studies have shown that using a safe swaddle and placing the baby in a sleep environment with nothing but the baby will help reduce the risk of SIDS.  

10. Parental benefits

Parents can rest easy knowing their baby is safe when using a swaddle! Swaddling is a great tool to calm your baby and keep them comforted.

how to swaddle a baby

How To Swaddle A Baby

Step 1

Lay a swaddle blanket or swaddle product on a flat surface. If using a swaddle blanket, folder the top corner down

Step 2

Place baby so shoulders are on the edge of the blanket and put baby’s arms to their sides.

Step 3

Wrap the left side of the blanket and tightly tuck the blanket under your baby’s side. Make sure you tuck this side in really tight!

Step 4

Wrap the right side of the blanket tightly around your baby and tuck in the top backside of the blanket. See below for a detailed demonstration of swaddling: 

Steps to Swaddle Your Baby | Benefits Of Swaddling Your Baby

Swaddling your baby and doing it properly is a key element to safe and restorative sleep for your baby and YOU! If you’re unsure how to swaddle, use the image above to help. There are lots of great swaddle products that make swaddling much easier!

What to do when you’re ready to transition out of the swaddle?

The AAP recommends stopping swaddling at around 8 weeks or when your baby begins to show signs of rolling. It can be a big transition for babies to have their arms free and to change their sleeping position. In order to ease into the swaddle transition, start by taking one arm out of the swaddle, and after a few nights of that, take the other arm out. 

Once your baby is comfortable with that, it’s time to transition your baby to a sleep sack. Sleep sacks are a safe, sleep bag. Avoid any sleep sack that is weighted, they are not safe. As always, do not have loose blankets in your baby’s crib, they will be warm enough in a onesie and sleep sack. Tip – check the back of their neck to feel their body temperature, if they are cool behind the neck add a layer, if they are warm, take a layer off!

Sleep shore sleep services

Sleep Shore Sleep Services 

Are you experiencing sleep issues with your little one like difficulty falling asleep, overnight waking, or early waking? From newborns to toddlers, Sleep Shore offers one-on-one sleep training to help the whole family sleep better. Just like your child, each sleep issue is different- we take a personalized approach to fit your unique family’s needs. 

See what this mama had to say about our sleep services: 

“If you are in the thick of things with a newborn and need support with sleep and what “routines” should look like look no further! Molly from Sleep Shore has been instrumental in our sanity with our now 3 week old son. The recorded call was so helpful for my husband and I to watch and we refer to the PDF document often however, the best part about working with Sleep Shore is being able to check in with a real person on our 15 min calls. Molly listened to our challenges and was able to explain WHY things were happening and then gave us tips on how to help calm our colicky newborn and get him down to sleep. Molly continues to check in on us and provide support. After our experience (and continued support) We are definitely planning to work with Sleep Shore for further sleep help & training as our son grows!”

-MOM OF A NEWBORN

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