Why do Babies Love Being Swaddled?
Have you ever wondered why a baby settles so well in a swaddle? Or why they seem to sleep so much better when swaddled. To us as adults it doesn’t look very comfortable! But it makes the very young feel safe and secure. We explore the reasons why babies love being swaddled, and when it is time to transition to the next phase.
What is Swaddling?
Swaddling is wrapping your baby snugly so that the movement of their arms and legs is limited. It is important to learn to swaddle correctly, to prevent your baby being injured or harmed. Wrapping your baby’s legs too tightly can cause hip dysplasia (forcing baby’s legs to lay straight can damage the delicate cartilage of the hip joints) and covering baby’s face can cause suffocation. Fortunately, staff at the maternity ward or hospital, or your midwife will be able to show you the correct way. Once your baby’s other needs are met, swaddling can help settle your baby when they are over stimulated, unsettled or tired.
Why do babies love swaddling?
It reminds them of the womb: The womb becomes a snug cocoon in the last few weeks of pregnancy. Before birth, this snug feeling is all your baby will know. After birth, the world is big and loud and very open. So different to that cozy womb that muffles loud sounds. Wrapping your baby snugly can recreate the feeling of the womb and put them at ease.
It keeps them warm: Before birth, the outside temperature was not a factor to your baby. After birth, it takes several days for your baby’s internal thermostat to start working effectively. Swaddling will keep them snug and warm until that happens.
Removes the Startle Reflex: Your baby will not have control of their limbs until they are several
months old. Sometimes when they are startled by a loud noise, or a sudden movement, they will extend their arms and legs in fright. This can wake them if they are sleeping, or unsettle them if they are awake. If your baby is swaddled, they cannot involuntarily extend their limbs. They may not even wake completely, or will be able to self-settle if they are swaddled. This leads to a better rest time for everyone!
What is the next step?
When your baby reaches one month old, it is recommended to stop swaddling them during the day so that it does not interfere with their mobility and development. You can still swaddle them at night and during nap times if it helps them to settle, until they are approximately two months old.
But what can you do after that if your baby still enjoys the snug feeling of a swaddle?
The Angel Sleep Sack from Jaxs and Co is the perfect solution. It is a sleep sack that is designed especially for babies that are transitioning out of the swaddle. It allows baby to have enough movement to safely roll, but still have that slight restriction in the arms that helps to soothe your baby back to sleep. It is a perfect intermediate step between the snug wrap of a swaddle, and the complete freedom of no restrictions. An added bonus is that you know your baby will be warm enough at night, and free from the dangers of loose blankets. Read more about the Angel Sleep Sack here www.jaxsandco.com. When your baby outgrows the Angel Sleep Sack, the next step again is the Hands Free Sleep Sack which allows your baby’s hands to be free to grab things.
Most babies will love the secure feeling of being wrapped in a swaddle. But it can be really hard to transition away from that security if there is not an intermediate step. The Angel Sleep Sack is the perfect transition solution to keeping your baby warm and settled at sleep times.