For the first 6 to 10 weeks of a baby’s life they don’t know that they have arms and legs so they do not understand that the things that move around their face and annoy them while they are trying to get to sleep belong to them.
Swaddling baby helps them cope with this and once you start to see your baby trying to reach for things and using their hands in the day, then this is the time you can try not to swaddle for sleep and use a baby sleep bag instead.
Baby sleeping, swaddling
I am a big swaddling fan. Your baby has been tucked up inside you and it got a bit snug towards the end of your pregnancy but he has felt safe and secure. Why not continue to make him feel warm, secure and safe by swaddling him for sleep.
Swaddling baby has been used for many 100 of years in many different cultures all over the world.
Baby swaddling also helps the more sensitive and easily startled baby get a good rest. Many babies at the point of entering sleep startle them selves awake. If they are wrapped up with a swaddle then this reaction is much less and does not usually cause them to wake.
It takes a few attempts to get the perfect swaddle , but once you have learnt how to swaddle then your baby will sleep much better.
While you swaddle your baby please make sure you keep the baby’s room at the correct temperature and use proper swaddle cloths so that you lower the risk of overheating.
Baby sleeping and temperature of baby’s room
The best temperature for baby sleeping should be between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius. As with most London houses this room temperature is often hard to keep and they are often much warmer in the summer months.
Make sure you add less clothing, or none at all if it is very warm, and use very light swaddles if baby’s room is warmer than the recommended temperature.
Keeping a window open at night to allow cooler air to enter baby’s room also helps cool it down. Keep the blinds and curtains closed in the day to help block out any very warm summer rays that may enter baby’s room.
Some families use a fan to keep baby’s room cooler. If you do, direct the flow of air away from baby as they can get a chill easily even in a very warm room.
Some houses do have air conditioning in the rooms. If this is the case, I tend to have it running on a very low temperature in the day to keep the room cool and then turn it off at night so that you and baby do not sleep with it running.
Air conditioning can dry out the inside of a baby’s nose and this can make them snuffly and make it more difficult for them to breathe through their nose.
If it is the winter months and baby’s room is too cold then using an extra heater to keep the room between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius is helpful.
Using a warmer swaddle cloth and one extra blanket is also helpful to keep baby warm. Make sure he has his vest and all in one on for bedtime and in very cold houses I have even put socks on baby’s feet and hands underneath his sleep suit to keep him warm.
Baby sleeping, swaddling a very windy baby.
If your baby suffers a lot with wind and finds it hard to burp then they may also find it hard to sleep.
Even the smallest trapped air bubble will make your baby wriggle, squirm and grunt his way through sleep and will disturb your sleep as well. A bigger trapped air bubble may also wake a baby when he comes into his light sleep if it is making him feel uncomfortable.
Make sure you wind your baby many times while feeding during the day and when you have finished each feed.
If it is a feed where a big sleep should follow, once I have swaddled baby for his sleep, I then lift him over my shoulder while swaddled to double check for any more burps. The action of laying him down and rolling him while he is being swaddled often moves any trapped air and once he has been burped over your shoulder while swaddled it often comes out.
Swaddling your baby helps a very windy baby’s tummy as it puts light pressure on his stomach and can help with tummy spasms even in a colicy baby. Many of my reflux babies have also slept much better while swaddled.
This really helps your baby and you to get a more restful sleep.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my swaddling baby page and that it has helped you and your baby get the nights sleep you both need.
Sadly there are some babies who will struggle with sleeping for several months and until they get the hang of it is exhausting, but with a good routine and being consistent with what you do you can be sure you are giving your baby the best start in learning how to go on the big sleep journey all by himself as soon as he is able to do so.
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