The more I read about swaddling, the more I feel like there should be some kind of adult swaddle. A decrease in anxiety, a feeling of being safe, a better night’s sleep… hell, sign me up!
Babies can be swaddled usually until around 4-6 months of age, as past that age they start being able to roll (not good because they could end up on their tummy) or pull a houdini and escape the swaddle. Up until this point though, it’s widely thought of to be a safe and effective bedtime strategy.
If you want to swaddle your baby, choose a soft, breathable fabric such as cotton to do so, as you don’t want baby to become too warm. There are lots of videos online that will walk you through how to swaddle your baby. I’ve included one at the bottom of the article.
For lack of research into if there is any benefits of adult swaddling, let me share with you the other reasons that I am a big fan of swaddling your baby at night…
It helps babies sleep better, for longer.
When I first researched swaddling years ago before creating the Matchstick Monkey swaddle , this was the benefit that got me googling “how to swaddle a baby”. Because being swaddled gives your baby the feeling of being back in the womb, baby feels soothed. This feeling of calm encourages your babies to sleep longer and more deeply.
There are multiple reasons why this benefit is important. If your baby sleeps longer, you sleep longer. The healthier and more rested you feel and the less hard work it feels like to be a parent!
It reduces anxiety
Babies don’t like to be left alone, it’s just natural that they would want the reassuring presence of a parent in their room with them. Because a swaddle mimics natural touch, they don’t feel so alone if they wake up in the night and are able to self soothe and fall back to sleep.
This was applied as much to me as a mum as it does to my little ones. I knew they were soundly sleeping, whilst the womb like swaddle ensured their anxiety levels also dropped.
It can help to soothe colic
If your baby is ill with colic, they will probably finding it more difficult than usual to get to sleep. The soothing feeling of being swaddling can help rest and relax your baby, getting them to sleep more quickly.
Swaddling stops scratching
Even though baby nails are small, as any parent can attest, they can be incredibly sharp and create uncomfortable and sore gashes in the soft skin of the face. Swaddling keeps nails safely away from this sensitive area while they sleep.
It makes sleeping simpler
If you swaddle your baby when they sleep, they don’t need other items in the crib such as pillows, toys blankets, bumpers etc... that could potentially be a suffocation risk. All you need is a swaddle, a mattress and a crib (or open baby box) and you’re done!
It’s a safe sleeping position
We’re often told that when baby sleeps on their back there’s a lower risk of SIDS. Babies are also in danger of rolling onto their stomachs if they get put to sleep on their side. The official advice is that putting them to bed on their back is always best.
The swaddling position encourages your baby to get comfortable lying on their back, whilst also reminding you that this is the safest position for them.
Tip: How to swaddle a baby
If you’re not sure how to swaddle a baby, this video might help!
I hope you found this article helpful, let us know about your experiences of swaddling your little ones, and if the benefits have applied to them too!