This title has so much to say, not just about swaddling your baby, but also putting your baby down in their crib on their back. Since the mid 1990’s doctors have been telling new parents the best position for a sleeping baby is on their back. So placing your baby in their crib, without plush items such as stuffed animals or even bumpers and on their back is the best way to prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). As a new parent, I was very uncomfortable with this position for fear of aspiration and chocking, so I would lay my baby on the side.
Later I realized this would not have worked if I swaddled my babies when putting them to sleep. What is swaddling, it is when you wrap your baby up in their blanket in a fashion so they feel tight and secure. Many new born babies need this tight position to settle into a good sleeping patter of rest. Ways to know if your baby needs to be swaddled, do they startle when crying. This is your first sign your baby may need to be swaddled. The arms stretched out and unconsoled crying is your baby telling your they need to feel secure the way it felt in the womb. So if you are struggling with your baby experiencing these moments, it is a great suggestion to learn the technique of swaddling your baby to help them learn to self-sooth at a very early age.
How to swaddle your baby is very simple and once you do it a few times you will be a pro.
First you need a large blanket and place it on a firm service, I like to use the changing table.
Place on point with the top folded down and lay your baby’s head just beyond the fold.
Second you will take the opposite end and bring it up to your baby’s chin. Then place your baby’s arms on their side and tightly tuck each side around your baby to create a tight snug fit.
Now here is the true test if you need to swaddle your baby, once you do this a pick up your baby and cradle in your arms, they will settle down and drift off to sleep.
With my 20 years of experience as a Special Education Infant Teacher I can tell you I have used this technique often and it works every time I have a baby that just needs to be swaddled. Please keep in mind not every baby has this need and you will need to listen to your baby’s cries, and action to pick up on their communication of just what they need to get a good night’s sleep (or nap).
Hope this helps and you can find some PEACE.