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Benefits of Swaddling

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Swaddled babies

Supine Swaddling Reduces Incidence of SIDS

  • • There is evidence that swaddled back sleeping infants have lower incidence of SIDS than unswaddled back sleeping infants as stated in the Journal of Pediatrics, December 2002
  • • When baby sleeps better on his back, parents are less likely to use the unsafe tummy position for sleep
  • • Swaddling helps sleeping infants remain on their backs

Swaddled Babies Sleep Better ®

  • • A Washington University study proved infants sleep better when swaddled
  • • Swaddled babies have fewer awakenings and twice as much REM sleep
  • • REM sleep is believed to be important for brain development
  • • When babies sleep better and longer, parents get more sleep, too

Reduces Colic and Fussiness

  • • Snug swaddling soothes babies by reminding them of being in the womb
  • • Swaddling helps prevent over stimulation
  • • Swaddling helps to contain baby's own jerky movements that can startle him or her awake
  • • Baby is able to self-comfort by sucking on fingers or hand if swaddled with hands near face – the normal infant has been observed post delivery to bring hands to face within 30 minutes
  • • Infants are inefficient at regulating their own temperature. Swaddling helps to keep infants comfortably warm when parents choose the appropriate swaddle blanket. SwaddleDesigns ® offers cotton flannel Ultimate Swaddle Blankets for cooler to moderate environments and cotton open weave Marquisette Swaddling Blankets for warmer environments

Can Help Make Breastfeeding Easier

  • • Baby’s extra movements are nicely contained when swaddled which can help baby focus and latch-on. Once baby has learned how to latch on and is nursing, take baby out of swaddle, so baby and mom can be skin to skin and tummy to tummy.
  • • Tucking baby's hands into the swaddle will keep baby's hands from impairing the latch-on.
  • • Use the blanket to drape over mom and baby for warmth. Skin to skin is best when learning to breastfeed.

Studies Report on The Benefits of Swaddling

"Infants sleep with fewer awakenings when swaddled, and swaddling may help sleeping infants remain on their backs, say researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis."

Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, December 2, 2002

"Now we have scientific evidence to support the age old belief that swaddled infants sleep better than unswaddled infants," Gerard said. "It helps babies stay asleep and so may help parents keep babies sleeping in the safer back position."

Claudia M. Gerard, MD
Washington University School of Medicine

"Epidemiologic studies suggest that swaddled and supine (back) sleeping infants have a significantly lower risk for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death) than unswaddled supine sleeping infants."

Pediatrics December 2002

"Efficient wrapping is magically soothing to most babies. Wrapping too loose may have the opposite effect. Your aim is to encase the baby completely so that her limbs are gently held in their preferred position and so that, when she moves, she moves as one complete bundle."

Penelope Leach – Your Baby and Child

"If your baby startles easily, his chin quivers a lot, and his arms and legs seem trembly, swaddle your newborn in a blanket, which contains and helps to organize these jerky muscle movements."

William Sears, MD- The Baby Book

"The frequency of startles was decreased with swaddling during QS (Quiet Sleep) and REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, and the frequency of behavioral arousals was decreased with swaddling during QS sleep. The duration of REM sleep almost doubled with swaddling."

Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, December 2002

"The long term effect of longer REM sleep duration in swaddled infants is unclear but may be beneficial. It has been suggested that REM sleep directs early brain maturation through control of neural activity."

Pediatrics December 2002

"New babies need twice as much REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep as adults. That kind of sleep is thought to play a crucial part in brain development."

Penelope Leach - Your Baby and Child

"Swaddling is the cornerstone of calming" and "It’s time for swaddling to make a comeback."

Harvey Karp, MD – The Happiest Baby On the Block

"Swaddling is soothing to baby because it simulates the feeling of being in the womb. She feels warm, secure and comforted," explained Laura Alexander, a maternal-child health nurse and parent educator at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco."

Baby Talk December 1998