Looking at whether newborn babies need to be swaddled or not.
Sometime in the first few hours post-delivery, after your newborn has been cleaned and checked and is placed in your arms, chances are, your little bundle will resemble an actual little bundle… or a little baby burrito… all wrapped up in a swaddle blanket. You’ll marvel at that calm little creature who has been in the womb this entire time who is now cooing in your arms. That snug blanket effect is called swaddling. Swaddling mimics the sensation of being in the womb and most parents find that swaddling is the best way to keep their baby soothed as they get used to life outside of the womb. But do babies and newborns have to swaddled? Keep reading to find out more about swaddling.
Do babies need to be swaddled?
Most parents find that once they get the hang of swaddling, they find that their baby is calm, soothed, and may even sleep better. But swaddling isn’t for everyone and newborns don’t have to be swaddled. The idea behind swaddling is that it is comforting to your baby as they adjust to life outside of the womb. If however, your baby doesn’t take to the swaddle – seems fussy or uncomfortable, and/or you find it restrictive or cumbersome, or are simply having difficulty with it, it’s not the worst thing in the world. There are other options out there that can help to soothe your newborn. The Dreamland Baby weighted sleep sack can be used starting at 8lbs and the gentle weight from your baby’s shoulders to toes helps to naturally reduce stress and give your baby the feeling of security and comfort – similar to that of the swaddle.
Why should newborn babies be swaddled?
When done properly, swaddling helps to soothe a baby, comfort them, and help them sleep more soundly. With safety being the primary concern when it comes to baby sleep, the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) says that your baby should only ever be put to sleep on their back, and with nothing else in the crib. No extra blankets or sheets or toys, nothing but baby in their swaddle or sleep sack. If your newborn has been swaddled for sleep, it’s a good time to transition to a sleep sack once your baby starts to roll over on their own – at around 2-4 months. Like swaddling, a sleep sack helps to regulate body temperature and eliminates the need for any extra blankets in the crib.
What determines if a baby needs to be swaddled or not?
Some parents find that if their baby is having trouble sleeping or seems irritable and uncomfortable during their awake time, that swaddling might help to soothe them. Trust your parental instincts though, because when it comes to whether your newborn needs to be swaddled, it’s ultimately a parental decision to make. However you put your baby down to sleep, creating a nighttime and naptime routine also helps establish a pattern and becomes a familiar “sleep time” practice.
What are the advantages of swaddling?
The advantages of swaddling are plentiful. Swaddling offers that snug feeling that baby is used to from spending 9 months in the womb. Some parents find that baby sleeps better and for longer stretches when swaddled. Some other benefits of swaddling include:
- Considered the “fourth trimester” swaddling mimics life inside the womb
- Helps flailing arms and legs that can trigger baby’s startle reflex (also known as the Moro reflex).
- That wrapped, tight feeling that helps baby feel comfortable, safe and secure
- Helps to regulate baby’s body temperature
What are the disadvantages of swaddling?
When it comes to swaddling, every family is different and what works for one baby may not work for another. If swaddling seems too complicated, too tricky and/or your baby just isn’t taking to it, it’s okay to decide not to swaddle your newborn. There are other options out there that can help soothe your infant and get them the sleep and comfort you all deserve.
Can newborn babies sleep unswaddled?
The most important rule of baby sleep is that they are put down on their backs for all sleep – naps and nighttime – with no loose or extra bedding in their sleep space. This will help to avoid the risks of suffocation. A wearable blanket (also known as a sleep sack) is a great and safe alternative to swaddling your newborn. Until baby is old enough to push aside anything that could obstruct his breathing, at around 1 year old, a sleep sack is a safe option for sleep.
Why should you give swaddling a try?
Generally speaking, babies like to be swaddled because that wrapped, tight feeling helps them feel comfortable, safe and secure. This could result in longer stretches of sleep, which means better sleep for everyone!
What are the benefits of weighted swaddles?
The Dreamland Baby Weighted Swaddle Sack was designed in collaboration with pediatricians, NICU nurses and Certified Sleep consultants. It has a built-in swaddle band so you don’t have to fuss with extra fabric. It is designed to help your baby feel calm, fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. The gentle weight naturally reduces stress and increases relaxation through deep-pressure stimulation to give your baby feelings of security and comfort. It also has a two-way zipper for easy diaper changes which comes in handy for those frequent, middle of the night changes. Best of all, the Dream Weighted Swaddle Sack can be worn three ways, both arms in, one arm in, or both arms out, to easily adapt to your baby's changing sleep needs and provide them with the security and comfort they deserve.