Why Swaddle?

baby health, health development, swaddle -

Why Swaddle?

Why swaddle?

Swaddling is an important part of caring for babies since centuries. It involves snuggly wrapping a breathable and soft blanket around a baby’s body which resembles the mother’s womb. Swaddling has without doubt shown to help many babies sleep better.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that when done correctly, swaddling can be an effective technique to help calm infants and promote sleep. Newborns should sleep for at least 12 to 16 hours in 24 hours to ensure a healthy development of their mind and bodies.


Ambrogio Lorenzetti's Madonna and Child (1319) depicts swaddling bands

Benefits of swaddling

Some of the notable benefits of swaddling are

  • Swaddling helps baby to counter their natural startle reflex (when babies suddenly wake up from their sleep and are visible startled). This means the baby would sleep without interruptions, and an uninterrupted sleep is the best prescription of growth for a newborn at that age.
  • Swaddling has shown to calm babies with colic complaints.
  • Swaddling keeps the baby’s hand from scratching his/her face and eventually rashes.
  • In winters, polyester quilts that are generally used as baby pull-over blankets can cause skin allergies and rashes. Here too swaddling is particularly helpful, if done with baby skin friendly fabric like cotton muslin, by creating a barrier between baby skin and the skin harmful polyester quilt.
  • Parents who swaddle their babies report longer and calmer sleeping routines, not only for the babies but also for them.
  • A primary reason for Sudden Infact Death Syndrome (SIDS) has been overstuffing the baby’s crib or with items like pillows, blankets, stuffed animals etc. Swaddling prevents the baby from rolling over and strangling itself. It keeps your baby on his back while he sleeps
  • Swaddling helps to take care of anxiety in the baby by imitating your touch, which helps your baby learn to sooth herself/himself


How to safely swaddle?

In the west nurses in hospitals teach swaddling to new parents. However, in Pakistan this is not the practice. However, here are a few tips to safely swaddle your baby

  • Firstly, Cotton Dimples recommends swaddling till the age of 6 or 7 months, after which the baby would generally like to be on his/her own and would have adapted to the sleeping patterns of the household.
  • Secondly, Cotton Dimpler mommies need to learn different techniques of swaddling the baby for different ages. For example, swaddling technique where baby has his/her arms tied up can continue till the age of newborn to 3 months. After that, swaddling techniques that keep the arms and hips of the baby free or at least not tightly bound, should be practiced.
  • Swaddle your baby using thin, breathable fabrics like cotton muslin. Cotton Muslin is the only fabric that is globally recognized as the most favorable for swaddling.
  • Wrap your baby firmly but gently (not too tightly). Post 3 months of age, tight swaddling that stops your baby's hips and knees moving freely is not recommended. Your baby’s legs should be able to fall into a natural position (like frog legs).
  • Most importantly, always put your swaddled baby to sleep on their back. Never put a swaddled baby to sleep on their front or side.
  • Swaddle blankets are not clothes, so it is advisable to keep the babies aptly dressed according to the weather.

Overall, swaddling is a baby care technique with a lot of benefits practiced since centuries. These same techniques have been practiced in one way or the other by our mothers and grandmothers as well. Platforms like this website and our other social media platforms are some limited channels which help support Pakistani moms perfect this art of swaddling. Do give your views on this blog.

Happy swaddling  J

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