Baby swaddling involves wrapping a baby in a blanket or warm cloth to keep him/her warm in the early days of birth. In the first few days after pregnancy, a baby takes time to adjust to the environment. During this time, it is mandatory to keep the baby warm. Swaddle serves that purpose. What it also does is to prevent your baby from getting disturbed by his/her own startle reflexes. These reflexes are inadvertent and cause an injury.
In most of the hospitals it is a norm to swaddle the baby as soon as it is delivered and the nurses also ensure that the mother also apprised of this technique. Make sure that you swaddle a baby only after it has been fed.
After remaining in the womb for nearly 40 months, it is only natural for the babies to feel over stimulated and through swaddling you can simulate the tightness of a mother’s womb.
Swaddling is not a difficult thing to do, but with the baby involved, you should be very careful and make sure not to make the covering too tight. A very hard wrap can damage the tender knee and elbow joints and can also result in damage of cartilage in the hip socket. The damage can result in hip dysplasia and to ensure your child doesn’t suffer from it, make sure that there is significant room between his/her legs and the bottom part of the blanket. This will allow him/her to freely move the legs. To protect the arms, be sure to wrap the blanket gently.
Baby swaddling is required at all times for about a month after birth. After that, do not swaddle the child when awake as it can hamper the growth and mobility. It is however alright to swaddle the baby when he/she is asleep.
Swaddling a baby is very easy and you just have to keep a few precautions in mind. In this article, a stepwise process of swaddling a baby is detailed.