Some studies have shown that swaddled babies wake less frequently and sleep longer than non-swaddled babies. There is limited evidence that wrapping babies helps to protect against sudden unexpected deaths in infancy. However, there is no evidence that it is harmful if you wrap your baby safely.
Swaddling protects your baby against their natural startle reflex, which means better sleep for both of you. It may help calm a colicky baby. It helps eliminate anxiety in your baby by imitating your touch, which helps your baby learn to self-sooth.
Yes, you should swaddle your newborn at night. The startle reflex is a primitive reflex that is present and birth and is a protective mechanism. With any sudden noise or movement, your baby is “startled” and her arms will extend away from her body, she'll arch her back and neck.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents keep their babies swaddled for 12–20 hours per day for the first few weeks after birth. This relaxes babies. Swaddling a baby correctly also protects her from overheating, injuries and sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS.
Unswaddle during “awake” time
Don't leave the baby swaddled all the time, simply use it as a signal for sleep. Allow some room for free movement when they are awake and you're playing. By keeping the swaddle for sleepy times you're creating associations that'll help your baby sleep better.
If you do swaddle, experts recommend stopping when your baby starts trying to roll over, which may happen at about 2 months of age. When you've stopped swaddling your baby, you can dress your baby for sleep in a nightgown, sleeper, or pajamas, over an undershirt and diapers.
Do not swaddle while feeding, as this can cause the baby to overheat. Swaddling during feeding can also suppress some of the baby's important reflexes. During breastfeeding, a baby who can move freely can latch on better and nurse more effectively.
An immobilized infant can't crawl into dangerous asphyxiating environments. Also, swaddling prevents infants from pulling bedding over their heads. Both are risk factors for accidental suffocation and/or SIDS.
It's thought by some that gentle, repetitive tapping on the bum is said to mimic the sound and rhythm of a mother's heart beat in the womb. If your baby was head-down-bum-up like most are in the third trimester, their wee bottom's are what was closest to Mom's heart in utero.
What to do Wait about 20 minutes or so — until your baby has fallen into a deeper level of sleep — before trying to transfer her to a crib or some other sleeping surface. Why it works When your baby first falls asleep, she's really just dozing. If you try to set her down, she'll wake up quickly.
Can I swaddle my baby with their arms out? Absolutely! Though many parents assume that you have to keep your baby's arms within the swaddle blanket, it's completely safe to have one arm or both arms out when they're sleeping.
The most basic way to tell if a baby is swaddled too tightly is to place two fingers between the baby's chest and the swaddle. If there is just enough room to fit two fingers of space between their chest and the swaddle then the baby is swaddled correctly — not too tight, not too loose.
Babies don't have to be swaddled. If your baby is happy without swaddling, don't bother. Always put your baby to sleep on his back. This is true no matter what, but is especially true if he is swaddled.
If your baby is swaddled, keep them swaddled throughout their night feeds. Or if your baby is older, keep them in their sleeping bag. If you need to do a diaper change before or during their feed, re-swaddle them again or put them back in their sleeping bag as soon as they are changed.
One of our nurse leaders in the mom baby unit at Sky Ridge Medical Center, Elizabeth Ferrill, demonstrates how to best burp your baby for results: With your baby swaddled, hold him or her outward facing away from your body, then pat and rub the back.
Swaddle for nighttime sleep and naps.
If tucking her into a little burrito blanket for hours overnight makes you nervous, know that as long as you stick with safe swaddling and sleep guidelines, swaddling at bedtime isn't any riskier than swaddling during naps.
If it suddenly seems like your baby is waking up more than usual, especially if they're waking up crying or fussy without needing to be fed, might be because they're getting uncomfortable in the swaddle. They may be trying to break free or get an arm out and wake themselves up in the process.
You should stop swaddling your baby when they start to roll over. That's typically between two and four months. During this time, your baby might be able to roll onto their tummy, but not be able to roll back over.
When do I stop swaddling? # There isn't a universal age for coming out of the swaddle; instead, you'll want to stop swaddling when your little one is showing signs of rolling. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), we typically see babies begin to roll around 3-4 months.
Allow baby to be exposed to some noise while napping. If baby is able to tolerate some background noise, he or she will be less likely to startle at sudden changes in noise or position.
A baby wakes up when put down because infants are designed to sense separation. Professor James McKenna, the world's leading expert on co-sleeping, explains: “Infants are biologically designed to sense that something dangerous has occurred – separation from the caregiver.