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Advantages of Swaddling Your Baby
Swaddling babies a very popular tradition around the world in many countries, but less common in North American or western European families. Pediatricians have been researching the affect that swaddling has on your baby and have been astonished at the results. They have found that what we in North America call “colic”, simply does not exist in most countries. Why? Because they resolve the problem of their crying baby by swaddling them firmly in a blanket to give them a sense of security.
For some infants, being bundled up in a soft blanket may be all it takes to settle them down. Swaddling keeps your baby from flailing his arms around and startling himself. When they aren’t startled and can relax, they are able to concentrate on remaining calm and responding to your efforts in resolving their need.
The best blanket for swaddling is a large square, not a rectangle, Infants need to be wrapped very tightly for the technique to be effective. At times some babies may seem to struggle at first, as they push against the blanket to find the limits, but most come to happily anticipate being bundled and relax as soon as they are positioned on the blanket.
Another advantage to swaddling is that it may help your baby sleep better. Studies from the Washington University of Medicine show that this technique may add 1-2hrs of extra sleep per day. This study also showed that babies who are swaddled tend to fall asleep more
Concerns about swaddling — that it can restrict breathing, cause hip problems and lead to overheating — were also considered when the above study took place. Results show that the infants’ oxygen levels remained the same and that there were no problems regarding hip joint development so long as the legs were left loosely in the blanket.To avoid overheating in warmer weather, ensure that your baby is only wearing a diaper when swaddled. No clothes or undershirt. Also, your infant’s head should never be covered. Researchers found that a baby’s temperature was not significantly increased when these guidelines were followed.
So what is the correct way to swaddle your baby?
• Spread out the blanket in a diamond shape and fold the top corner down.