Swaddling your baby to sleep may be beneficial. A lot of people still wonder whether they can swaddle their newborn as the nurses did. I must admit that my husband was a lot better at making our burrito than I was. My kid was born in the cold winter, therefore, keeping her cozy and warm was my priority. However, she did not love it, and she always kept breaking out of her swaddle. I am sure that many of us used to experience this.
Thus, in this article, I will show you the way to avoid baby breaking out of swaddle as well as the suitable time to stop swaddling.
Why Does Swaddling Help?
Your newborn has spent nine months inside the womb with only a little room to move. Thus, the womb created such a snug feeling, which allows your baby to sleep and wake up easily when he/she is inside you.
When your kid is out of the worm, that feeling is lost, and swaddling can re-create this snug and secure feeling. Your newborn is born with a strong startle reflex, and this can usually wake him/her as he/she gradually drift off to sleep in case you do not swaddle, or create the snug feeling by holding him/her in your arms.
Why Does Your Newborn Break Out Of Swaddle?
According to a Harvard research, your babies actually cry more and more if they’re wrapped loosely. A swaddling’s secret is to keep their arms snug while still let the blanket loose around their hips and knees so that they can open and bend easily.
Swaddling with bent arms
Some experts claim that if your infants have their hands up high, they can easily suck their fingers. However, wrapping them with bent arms is often a disaster! This allows their hands to wiggle out and makes them cry even more. Moreover, it also makes the entire wrap to unravel.
It is true that within the last two month or the last month of pregnancy, the arms of your baby are always bent. Nevertheless, during 2 weeks of birth, their arms relax naturally, becoming much straighter during sleep and calm times. (Even though they still snap back into their bent position while crying).
Allowing the blanket to touch the cheek
When the blanket touches the baby’s cheek, it fools her/him into thinking that it is the breast. This will set off a rooting reflex and make her/him cry frustrated when she/he cannot find the nipples. Therefore, you should keep the blanket off your infant’s face by preparing the swaddle to look like a neck sweater in the V-shape.
How To Swaddle Your Infant Properly
Here is a detailed step-by-step guide for you:
Place a blanket on the flat surface in the diamond position forwards you along with 123 Swaddle Tip Tag on the upper side of your right hand.
Fold the top’s corner down about six inches and then, place your infant in the center of this blanket with his/her neck at the fold.
Beginning on the left, bring the first corner over, then snugly tick behind your baby. Make sure that the knees and hips of your baby are in a bendable froglike position inside the swaddle. Don’t overextend or straighten the joints of your baby.
The bottom corner should go up and over the left shoulder of your baby and behind his/her back. The baby’s weight will allow keeping the swaddle in a secure state. The blanket shouldn’t touch the cheek of your infants because this may stimulate their rooting response and wake them up.
Keeping your squirmy infant swaddled securely is such a real challenge. So, my suggestion is to ensure that their arms are flush at their body’s sides. In case their elbow is bent, or if they have some wiggle room there, they may break free (or even fight the swaddle ineffectually and this will certainly defeat the aim of using it).
Claiming that you already have that down, the next suggestion is to allow the legs of your baby out. Their legs do not need to be swaddled, there aren’t any advantages to it (other than providing warmth, which is able to address in other ways). Letting their legs out also allows you to put your swaddled baby in the car seat and essentially, swaddle your infant safely in the swing.
However, since it relates to babies in Houdini, keeping their legs “unswaddled” can remove their ability for kicking their feet to loosen, dislodge, etc. their swaddling blanket. Even little kids’ legs can do much to mess up a high-quality baby wrap, thus, keeping their legs out if their swaddle can remove this issue.
Tips to Enhance Safe Swaddling
Here are some useful tips to enhance safe swaddling:
- Always remember to check the temperature: You should always be aware of your home temperature. The swaddle can count as a clothing layer. Thus, you will never want your infant to overheat. At any time, when your baby seems red, hot or flush to the touch, you’ll need to get rid of a clothing layer. Swaddling your baby in only a diaper is OK. An ideal temperature of an infant is about 68 – 72°F.
- Arms down not crossed: When swaddling your baby, you should let their arms down to the body’s sides and not crossed forwards. The sole exception to this tips is for the preemies. The fact is that preemies should be swaddled with the arms on their chest.
- Keep the blanket below their shoulders: The blanket shouldn’t be close to the face of your baby. It is a safety issue, and it may cause rooting reflex for your baby if the blanket rubs his/her cheek.
- Loose around legs: You should ensure that the blanket’s wrapped part is above the legs of your infant so that he/she is able to move them around.
- Use a blanket, which is big enough: A 40×40 blanket is an ideal choice to help you get success in swaddling your baby
When Will You Stop Swaddling?
I highly recommend that you should swaddle your baby through the four-month sleep regression if it is possible. This means that you will be less likely to see the sleep regression, and in case you have experienced this, you could settle your infant to sleep with hands-on suitable techniques if still swaddled.
In case your baby begins to roll back-tummy, then you will need to “unswaddle” immediately as well as invest in an appropriate safety sleep for a couple of months in order to prevent your infant from rolling back to tummy in his/her swaddle in bed.
Luckily, most of the babies do not do this until they are 6 months old when they are able to cope with no swaddle easily. However, unfortunately, some smart kids are able to do this when they are 3 or 4 months old.
In case your infant is not rolling, and he/she is over 4 months old, and you think that he/she is ready to “unswaddle,” then, you should try one arm for a couple of days to ascertain whether your kid is ready. If your baby can cope well, you can remove his/her second arm and then, transfer to a suitable sleeping bag.
If your infant is 6 months old and you are swaddling him/her, then you can “unswaddle” definitely at this stage, he/she can sleep well, so do not worry.
The startle or more reflex happens at birth and usually occurs right before your newborn is about to sleep or get up. It causes the baby to startle suddenly, which may wake him/her up or make it harder for him/her to sleep. And in this case, swaddling is such an ideal solution. I hope that those useful guides above can help you keep him/her snuggly sleep before the baby breaking out of swaddle later.