So swaddling is back in fashion after the Duchess of Cambridge was noticed coming out of the hospital carrying a swaddled Prince George in her arms. But truly, in India and certain middle eastern countries, the practice never went out of fashion. It’s more of a custom here than a fashion statement.
When I was in the hospital post delivery, the next morning, the midwife took a large piece of muslin cloth (soft dhoti) and swaddled my baby. I was shocked to see this. I thought the woman was trying to strangle my new born baby. When I pounced upon her, she explained that this was an age-old custom which had lots of benefits.
When I came home, I saw my confinement nanny doing the same. By then I had realized and experienced the benefits of swaddling my little baby.
- Swaddling keeps your baby warm and cosy.
- The restricted movements in the swaddle cloth make your baby feel as if he is still in the uterus. So he feels safe and secure.
- Swaddling also controls the startle reflex of the baby. Thus, he sleeps peacefully and longer helping you catch your 40 winks or catch up on some work.
- A swaddled baby looks like a little bundle, easy to hold and carry.
- It also helps in management of colic which is a blessing for most parents.
Though there are cute and fancy swaddle cloths available in the market, you may make your own swaddle cloth at home. Just use a soft, worn dupatta or a light blanket. Swaddling looks complicated at first, but after a couple of tries, it’s quite easy. I would swaddle my little one twice, once after her morning bath after which she would sleep for 3 hours in one go and then another in the night after her feed.
Initially, the swaddling plan worked out fine. But just after a few weeks, my little baby started hating it. The little puny thing would struggle and somehow manage to free her arms out of the tight knot. That was when I realized it was useless to swaddle her anymore. But I have known people who swaddled their babies till 6 months of age and more without a glitch. It all depends on how comfortable your baby is being swaddled.
While swaddling the baby, just take care not to tie it too tightly that the baby feels hot and uncomfortable. Also, swaddle your baby once he is fed, sleepy and clean. It will make him sleep longer.
Do you or did you swaddle your new born? What are your experiences?