Know the Uses, Benefits and Risks of Swaddling Blankets for Your Newborn Baby
Swaddling blankets help the newborn baby sleep for long hours and also prevents colic. If improperly done, it is also linked to SIDS and Overheating in the babies. Do it with care.
Almost every new parent has a question in mind with regard to swaddling blankets. Are they good? Does my baby need it? Are there any risks involved? How can I use swaddle blankets for my baby?
Well, if I say that such concerns are endless then perhaps I won’t be wrong. As parents our first and foremost responsibility is towards the health and comfort of our baby. These blankets help in letting your baby sleep for long hours and this is what all parents’ desire.
These are primarily meant to restrict the movement of the baby and also provide him with a comfort zone while he lays asleep. The baby feels warm and protected inside the swaddle and these are also known to prevent colic in babies.
This post will help you out in knowing the many uses and benefits of such types of blankets. It will also let you know about any of the risks involved while swaddling your baby. So read on to know if you have become a proud mamma or dad recently.
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A Historical Overview of Swaddling Blankets
If you have been thinking that baby swaddling is only a recent phenomenon then perhaps you are wrong. It is an age old practice which according to ‘Wikipedia’ was invented in the Paleolithic age.
This was quite popular in Ancient Rome and Greece where babies in swaddling clothes have been unearthed. During Tudor times too, the baby was wrapped in linen bands from head to toe. This was to ensure that when the baby will grow he won’t suffer from any kind of physical deformities.
It was in the Seventieth century that the opinion of the scientists towards swaddling underwent a change. This was basically due to the ignorant attitude of the wet nurses who would leave the babies in swaddle for long hours without comforting them or washing them.
Is Modern Day Swaddling Slowly Becoming a Need for Babies?
With time and advancement however, these swaddling blankets have once again came back into fashion. These are now available in cotton receiving blankets, muslin wraps as well as specialized ‘winged’ baby swaddles to name a few.
In modern times these have become quite popular as a means of soothing irritable babies and helping the newborn sleep for long hours. Now the medical community too has started favoring swaddling as a means of avoiding Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in the infants.
A secure swaddle is a must since a loose or ineffective swaddling may not serve its purpose well. In the same way an undersized blanket can be kicked by the baby too!
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Prime Benefits of Swaddling Your Baby
Here are some of the prime benefits of swaddling your baby:
Baby is able to sleep for a longer period of time. This is so because a newborn baby is used to being snuggled tight in the mother’s womb and so swaddling helps him feel that he is still inside the tummy.
Swaddling also prevents crying amongst the infants. When the newborn moves his arms and legs it might upset him and this may cause overstimulation too. When the babies become over stimulated, they start crying in order to block out the stimuli. However if the baby is swaddled, his hands and legs movement is restricted thus less stimulation and less crying.
- The mothers too find it easier to breastfeed their baby when he is swaddled.
- It is also known to reduce the risk of colic in infants.
- It ensures that the baby sleep on the mother’s back and hence sleeps properly and with comfort.
Are There Any Risks Involved With Swaddling?
One of the major risks involved with swaddling is overheating. If you are using multiple blankets that are either too thick or made from fluffy fabric then it might create overheating. So the right type of swaddle blanket is a must.
A few of the studies have even linked swaddling to respiratory infections and if not done in the right manner it could even cause hip dysplasia.
If the head of the babies is partially covered it might lead to overheating and thereby cause hyperthermia.
Some of the doctors also question the sense of ‘wrapping your baby tightly’ and hindering his movement. They ask how much is it good from the baby’s development point of view since babies need to move and most importantly they need to put their hands in their mouth as a natural process.
However to the question- to swaddle or not to swaddle a general consensus exists as of today: the benefits of swaddling far out-weight the risks involved. Also, if the baby is properly wrapped in the right kind of swaddling blanket then certainly there is nothing much to worry about.
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