What is swaddling?
Swaddling simply refers to the old-age tradition of wrapping a baby on your body using a piece of cloth or blanket. It is a controversial subject considering that several authorities have voiced serious concerns about its safety. Such authorities state that swaddling your baby increases the risk of suffocation, reduced breastfeeding sessions, and reduced weight loss. The argument here is because swaddling makes a baby very calm to a point where he/he sleeps. Indeed swaddling your baby allows him/her to sleep for hours on end.
Baby swaddling is also opposed on the basis that it increases the risk of a baby’s developing hip dysplasia because of the extended period a baby is carried. It is also believed that babies who are swaddled most of the time end up developing acute respiratory infections because they remain cuddled most of the time.
Despite the risks and concerns, swaddling your baby can be the best way to make him/her feel comfortable. Indeed, you need to swaddle your baby in case he/she is unwell or when it is extremely cold because swaddling provides for the calming and pacifying effect that you baby needs at such times. You only need to ensure that he/she remains safe when swaddled.
Swaddling is a technique you need to master. The safest way to swaddle your baby is to make use of a large cloth that is warm and soft or a cot blanket. Place either on a flat surface and form close the ends in to form a diamond shape. This you do by bringing toward the center two ends to meet at the center. Place your baby in a lying position before bringing the two other ends toward the center to cover the baby. Carry the baby on your back or the front before tying the latest two ends to secure the baby while leaving the baby’s head exposed and the legs positioned in M position.
The reason why swaddling is calming is because it creates an environment similar to the environment in the womb. It is therefore very important that you swaddle your baby so that he/she remains a position similar to the position he/she was in while in the womb. It is also important that you leave his/her hands-free to move especially when he/she needs to breastfeed. It may be necessary to always swaddle your baby facing you instead of on your back because of the need to breastfeed.
In order to address concerns raised by earlier mentioned authorities, do ensure that the swaddle is not very tight. It should be a bit loose to allow your baby free movement. His/her hip position should also be in M style with the thighs being at a right angle position to his/her body. You should not allow your baby’s legs to remain straight because of the risk of encouraging the development of hip dysplasia.