Sound, peaceful and consistent sleep is something that all parents wish for their newborns - but it's not always that easy!
For hundreds of years parents have been using swaddling as a tool to help soothe fussy sleepers, and there's good reason why it's still such a popular method to help comfort your baby and aid their sleep.
Short sleep cycles, sleeping too lightly and waking at any noise/movement or other upsets such as colic can all contribute to broken sleep patterns. Wrapping your baby gently but firmly in a breathable fabric mimics the conditions in the womb, assisting the baby to feel safe and cocooned, and allowing them to obtain a deeper sleep.
Newborns have an active startle reflex and this can be a key contributor to them waking themselves, in some cases frequently- swaddling keeps them from disturbing their own sleep periods.
Top Swaddling Tips:
1. Look for a swaddle in a soft, breathable fabric to stop baby from overheating. 100% cotton swaddles will keep baby at the correct temperature. Try 100% cotton jersey if you prefer to work with some extra stretch and wriggle room for bub. Quality fabrics will save you money as they will retain their shape wash after wash.
2. Consider your environment when dressing your baby. If it's a warm day, light layers might be enough clothing for under your swaddle wrap. If it's cool, layer clothing up prior to wrapping.
3. When your baby is swaddled make sure you can fit two to three fingers in-between the fabric and bub's chest. Wraps should be firm - not too tight. Arms can be positioned beside baby or gentle across their chest and firmly wrapped- however, legs should be covered loosely and able to wriggle for healthy hips.
4. Your baby should always be positioned on their back - as soon as they begin to show signs that they are ready to roll (usually around the two month mark) it's time to switch to a sleeping bag that allows the arms to move freely.
5.Nurses and Midwives are expert swaddlers! If you can, try to have a quick lesson before leaving the hospital.
6. Swaddle wraps are extremely versatile. Other than wrapping baby they can be used as a breathable pram cover or blanket, a lightweight bassinet sheet, a breast feeding cover or a burp cloth. You'll be surprised at how often you end up using them- it's worth popping a few on your baby gift list!
Correct swaddling is an easy and safe way to comfort, soothe and help settle your little one into a peaceful sleep- and when baby sleeps well, you'll enjoy your waking hours together so much more.
Now get wrapping that snuggly, little bundle!
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