For parents who are in search for the basic things their baby would need, there's a high possibility that your friends, family members, or nurses suggested that you get a swaddle blanket. For centuries, mothers have been practicing swaddling, because it's the best way for babies to fall asleep and sleep soundly. In fact, Eastern cultures have embraced swaddling for generations, and swaddling has been adopted by the US during the early 90s as well.
Here are the benefits of using swaddle blankets for babies.
1. It Restricts the “Startle Reflex”
Researchers found that swaddling has a number of benefits, especially with babies 4-5 months old. During this period, swaddle blankets are highly preferable because babies start to experience the 'startle reflex.' It's when the baby jerks his arm or legs in response to a falling sensation. Although it's completely normal, this can startle a baby and awaken him from sleep.
This is where swaddle blankets become quite useful. Research shows that swaddling restricts this motor activity and it mimics the security of a mother's womb. Thus, it comforts the baby. This results to lesser crying, more stable heart, and the ability to sleep peacefully.
2. Lesser Scratches
Unlike adults, newborn nails are sharp and they grow fast. With that, nearly all babies have the tendency of scratching their faces because of the jerky movements they make when sleeping. However, with a swaddle blanket, there's a lesser chance that he would scratch up her face even if he moves suddenly.
3. Soothes the Baby
Although swaddling a baby may not instantly stop her cry, or lull a baby to sleep, and the process of being swaddled with a swaddle blanket may even make a baby more frustrated, it's important to note that swaddling creates a foundation that would allow the parent to perform soothing techniques.
Basically, you have to start with the swaddle blanket, then give the baby a pacifier, turn on some white noise, or lull her to sleep until she calms down.
4. Encourages Neuromuscular Movement
A lot of people, especially parents, feel that newborns should have their hands free so that they will be able to practice using their arms and figure out how that can get their hands into their mouth and self-soothe. What parents are not aware of is that the movements of the newborn baby are often random and unintentional. So, once you immobilize their arms, you're actually helping the baby develop better motor skill. Thus, a lot of medical professionals actually suggest swaddling for premature babies.
5. Lesser Crying
Although babies cry regardless how comfortable they are, knowing how to soothe your baby can also be a great way to stop his crying right away. The use of swaddle blankets can help your baby feel snug and with that, he'd be crying less.
6. Better Sleep
With a swaddle blanket, rest assured that your baby would sleep longer while being swaddled. Just like what has been mentioned earlier, it prevents the baby from sudden movements that could disrupt their sleep. That's why they would be able to sleep longer, undisturbed.
|Small||3-6 months||24-28 inches||~12-19lbs|
|Medium||6-12 months||29-32 inches||~19-26lbs|
|Large||12-24 months||33-40 inches||~26-34lbs|
|12-24m||1-3 years||up to 39 inches||~26-34lbs|
|2/3T||3-6 years||up to 48 inches||~34-49lbs|
|4/5T||6-10 years||up to 56 inches||~49-87lbs|