Over the centuries mothers swaddled their babies to promote better sleep or to assist in settling. In fact there are recorded images on frescoes from Egyptian times depicting swaddled babies. Now this natural instinct has been validated by scientific proof.
Why do babies like to be swaddled?
While medical professionals teach swaddling to new parents as a way of settling an upset baby, any baby can enjoy the benefits of a cocooned and warm sleep. Your rest is important too, so knowing that scientific studies have proven swaddling to be a positive factor in SIDS risk reduction can help you to sleep well too. There are many variations and wrap styles of a swaddle. So, when deciding on the perfect sleeping garment for your baby, the health benefits need to be considered. Hip placement and movement are essential for healthy hip growth. Having a swaddle that is snug but still allows movement is the optimal choice when deciding to swaddle. Your little one may rest easier having their arms up in the swaddle and enjoy access to their hands for self-soothing.
What age should you start swaddling your newborn?
We recommend you swaddle your baby from day one to establish positive sleep cues and build a familiar sleep rhythm. The secure wrap feel can remind your baby of being in utero and provide comfort, allowing them to sleep soundly. Introducing a swaddle early on in sleep cycles can help develop a healthy sleep foundation. When your baby grows and is ready to transition to transition bags and transition suits, the nurturing feel of a swaddle wrapped around them will still be familiar. And you won’t have to worry about them kicking off blankets and leaving them cold.
Benefits of Swaddling
1. Swaddled babies sleep better
The study, "Influence of Swaddling on Sleep & Arousal Characteristics of Healthy Infants" evaluated whether or not swaddling influences infants' arousal to noise. The results showed swaddling increased infants' sleep efficiency (longer periods of sleep) & non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, leading to deeper, more peaceful sleep.
2. Swaddling may help reduce the risk of SIDS
Swaddled infants spontaneously awaken less often from sleep... The researchers assert that since swaddling helps excessive crying, it may encourage parents who normally place their babies on their stomachs to prevent crying, to instead swaddle their babies & place them on their backs. Back sleeping may also prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Swaddling may be helpful in regulating babies body temperature… overheating has been attributed to increasing the risk of SIDS.
It is more difficult for swaddled infants to flip onto their tummies during sleep.
The physical restraint of swaddling presumably prevents infants from turning prone (onto their tummy) during sleep before they have gained experience in turning to prone & back again when awake.
3. There are health benefits of swaddling in premature babies
Preterm infants have been shown improved neuromuscular development, less physiological distress, better motor organisation, & more self-regulatory ability when they are swaddled.
4. Swaddled babies soothe better
When compared with massage, excessively crying infants cry less when swaddled & swaddling can soothe pain in infants.
So swaddling has been proven to help keep your baby safe & asleep for longer periods of time. This is why an overwhelming percentage of hospitals teach new parents various ways to swaddle their new babies. Swaddling is also helpful when trying to settle a particularly upset baby, & not just for sleep time. Give swaddling a try you will love it!
Why you should swaddle your newborn with Love To Dream swaddle range
With the ultimate in health, comfort and coziness in mind, Love To Dream range of sleeping garments include swaddles, transition bags and transition suits, sleep bags and sleep suits to cater for newborns, toddlers and children up to 4 years of age. Getting the right start with the right swaddle has been made super easy with our selection of unique designs.
For the simplest way to swaddle try a LOVE TO DREAM SWADDLE UP™. The innovative swaddle that also allows your baby to sleep in their natural position with ARMS UP™. ARMS UP™ means your baby is not deprived of access to their hands for self soothing, which can also help them sleep longer!
SWADDLE UP™ can be used from birth, so it is a good idea to pack one in your hospital bag! Our newborn size is suitable for bubs weighing 2.2-3.8kg. Shop here.
"Swaddling, A Child Care Practice: Historical, Cultural, and Experimental Observations". Earle
L. Lipton, Alfred Steinschneider, Julius B. Richmond Pediatrics Mar 1965, 35 (3) 521-567
“Influence of Swaddling on Sleep & Arousal Characteristics of Healthy Infants” American Academy of Paediatrics May 5, 2005
“Swaddling: A systematic Review” Paediatrics Volume 120 Number 4, Oct, 2007