Babies have been traditionally swaddled for centuries. Various cultures dating back to ancient and medieval times report swaddling and the benefits of swaddling a newborn. You may have noticed your nurse, doctor or even midwife swaddling your baby in a thin blanket and they may have even recommended you to continue swaddling at home. One of the many benefits of swaddling is the gentle transition from a warm and cozy womb to the world.
The newborn stage is often referred to as the fourth trimester, as your baby is still developing and needs constant parental care. Fussier babies that need more support tend to respond well when parents mimic the womb using sound, swaddling, swinging them and offering a pacifier or nipple to suck. Not all babies need these interventions to be soothed, but they are great gotos on those sleepless nights and truly speak to the benefits of swaddling.
Your baby may be startled by a loud noise, a sudden movement, or feel like they’re falling. They might suddenly extend their arms and legs, arch their back, and then curl everything in again. Your baby may or may not cry when they do this. This is an involuntary startle response called the moro reflex. Your baby does this reflexively in response to being startled. It’s something that newborn babies do and then stop doing within a couple of months. Swaddling can help reduce wake ups and startling caused by the moro reflex. Studies have shown that swaddling during the newborn period can help support better sleep and less crying.
Swaddling is such a common practice that we no longer need to master the artform of baby burrito wrapping, but can use a swaddle wrap such as the Owlet Dream Swaddle. As a former sleep deprived parent, I know the struggle of bundling a crying baby in the middle of the night, only to have them bust out of it. A swaddle wrap has taken the technique and guesswork out of swaddling for a safe and easy application.
The Owlet Dream Swaddle helps you transition from swaddle to wearable blanket with a removable swaddle wrap. When your baby is 8 weeks old or begins to show signs of rolling, swaddling is no longer safe as your baby needs their arms to support them if they do roll. When your baby is ready, you can transition by swaddling with just one arm, then no arms and then moving into their Owlet Dream Swaddle with the wrap removed.
Not every parent swaddles their baby, and that’s ok! But if you find your baby is excessively fussy or startles out of sleep easily, a swaddle may be the answer to your sleepy parent prayers!