Swaddling is the technique of wrapping a baby tightly in a cloth or blanket. The whole thing has two ulterior motives:
On the one hand, the Moro reflex is supposed to be weakened by fixing the limbs to the body. This is innate and ensures that the baby suddenly spreads its arms and legs in the event of sudden noises and vibrations – even when the baby is sleeping or is about to fall asleep. The movement frightens it and is suddenly torn out of the relaxation.
On the other hand, the wrapped cloth should give the baby the tightness that it still knows from the cozy comfort of the uterus. It is the last aspect in particular that is also evident to most laypeople. After all, you can well imagine how overwhelming it must be for a newborn to suddenly be completely free in the big, cold world, without the warmth and protective limitation in mom’s belly.
The first time, it makes sense to ask the midwife for help: she will show you how to use the sheet or baby blanket correctly. The little ones are wrapped tightly in the blanket in just a few simple steps. These puck blankets can not only be used at home, they also fit in the baby seat. Wrapped up in such a cozy way, your little darling will feel completely at ease. Some puck blankets are also equipped with a hood.
Advantages and disadvantages of swaddling
Swaddling has many advantages for the baby, provided you use the right swaddling technique: It leads to a calmer and often longer sleep for babies. Research has shown that very restless babies cry less and relax better in a swaddle blanket. According to studies, swaddled babies have a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome because they cannot roll over on their stomachs. But there are now doctors who are critical of swaddling babies. According to some medical professionals, if the baby is wrapped too tightly, nerves can be pinched. But also the risk of hip dysplasia, a misalignment of the hip joint, can be increased by swaddling. In addition, experts complain that the tight wrapping does not give the babies enough space to breathe and cry.
Parents should therefore always supervise their babies and check occasionally whether they are sweating profusely. Parents should always seek guidance from a midwife the first time to avoid wrapping the baby too tightly.
When shouldn’t swaddling be done?
As tempting as it sounds to make babies sleep better by swaddling, this swaddling technique is not suitable for all babies. For example, babies who have to wear spreader pants due to hip dysplasia must not be swaddled. Babies should not be swaddled even if they have a fever and hot temperatures, as dangerous heat build-up can occur.