But there is a way to help the newborn have a more restful and uninterrupted sleep. By using an old tradition of swaddling. Swaddling is wrapping the baby up tightly in a thin blanket for their night’s sleep. It involves wrapping their arms so that they remain still and close to the child’s body all night.
The theory is that this reminds them of the safe and secure home they had just before birth inside mommy. In all practicality it actually helps them sleep because it keeps their involuntary arm movements and jerks from waking them up. Watch a tiny baby and you will see flailing arms and legs almost constantly. They are not aware or making a choice to whip their limbs around, it is all very unconscious for the first several weeks.
Swaddling also guarantees that baby stays warm and covered all night. Worrying about the temperature and wondering if the baby is adequately covered is one of the things that keeps parents from sleeping, and urges them to get up one more time to check. The tightly wrapped baby will also stay on his or her back all night, which helps prevent SID occurrences.
There is a correct and incorrect way to swaddle a child, so it is advisable to go online and find some clear directions to follow. Some parents and experts suggest swaddling for the first few weeks and others say it is safe to do for as long as one feels the need. We already know that the crib should be empty of toys and extra blankets or pillows.
As the baby grows and picks up on the cues for bedtime, the routine of wrapping the baby up are helpful in preparing her for sleep. This also helps to establish that you are deciding when it is time for bed.
Swaddling is a sweet way to ensure that the whole family gets a good night’s sleep.