All you need to know about swaddling: insights from the specialists
Swaddling has been known to prevent babies from being disturbed by their own sudden movements—termed as the startle reflex. However, if your baby seems comfortable without being swaddled, it’s not a mandatory practice. There isn’t a rule that insists on swaddling babies.
If you choose to swaddle, here are some recommendations from specialists to ensure it’s safe and beneficial for your baby’s growth:
- Use swaddling mainly for sleep time or to soothe an agitated baby; it’s equally important to let babies have ample floor time for unrestricted limb movements
- Concentrate the firm part of the swaddle around your baby’s arms, while ensuring their legs and hips have space to move
- Some babies prefer a swaddle that allows them to reach their hands
- Opt for light materials like organic cotton muslin to prevent your baby from overheating
- Ensure the top of the blanket doesn’t cover their face
- Confirm that your baby’s chest can expand freely while breathing; this might seem evident, but it’s crucial to avoid an overly tight swaddle
- Cease swaddling your baby before they start to roll onto their belly or side, a milestone typically reached around 4 to 5 ½ months.
Keep in mind: Always place your baby on their back and on a flat surface when it’s time to sleep (instead of a swing or infant seat). This is crucial for their growth and development.