The Do's and Don'ts of Swaddling
You can imagine how uncomfortable it is for a baby who is used to a warm liquid environment where they don't even have to breath to suddenly be pushed into a completely different world where they have to wear clothes and use their own nose and mouth. It is therefore understandable why many of them will just cry whenever they are not asleep.
You can try to make them more comfortable by mimicking the position and environment of the womb by swaddling the baby. It is a very helpful way of getting your baby to sleep for longer and calm down, but only if it's done properly.
Here are some Do's and Don'ts that will help you swaddle your little one the right way:
For some reason, many mothers assume that their babies are cold all the time. It's not uncommon to walk to a park or store and find a baby wrapped up in several layers of clothing, all just to ‘keep them warm’. When swaddling a baby, don't wrap them up unnecessarily. Keep them warm if you live in a cold place but let them cool off if it's warm. Remember that comfort is the key and if the baby is uncomfortable, you are doing more harm than good.
DO SWADDLE SNUGLY
You want the blanket to be just tight enough to hold the baby comfortably without squeezing them. If it is too loose, the baby may drag it up to her face and suffocate herself. Also, don't tighten it too much that it restricts their movements. If you swaddle them too tightly especially around the chest, you will be making it harder for them to breath. You should watch over them the whole time so that you are able to notice any signs of discomfort. If you can't do it yourself, find someone who can help you with it.
DON'T TIE THEIR HANDS UP
Babies don't like being held down, they much prefer a baby rocker. They would like to be be able to move their hands and legs any time they want to. When swaddling them, therefore, be careful to leave their hands free
Also, as mentioned earlier, loosen the swaddle just enough to let them kick and move their legs as much as they want. You should also loosen it around their hips and back to reduce the risk of them getting hip dysplasia and other joint and bone problems.
DO SWADDLE THE BABY AS EARLY AS YOU CAN
As mentioned earlier, babies have a rough time getting accustomed to this world after being in the womb for so long. The sooner you start swaddling yours, the smoother the transition will be. Do check to make sure that they are comfortable. As a precaution, it is not advisable to swaddle a baby after they learn how to roll over. This is because they can easily suffocate themselves when they roll over on their stomach.
Conclusively, swaddling is a great way to get a baby to sleep for longer, but only if it is done properly. Be careful as it can prove to be more disastrous than helpful when done the wrong way.