For countless generations, mothers have slept with their infants tucked close to their bodies, allowing them to nurse on and off during the night. More recently the tradition has changed to placing babies alone in their sleep location, on their back on a firm surface (due to SIDS), and attempting to get them to sleep through the night without waking or feeding. Though babies are not designed to sleep through the night, they eventually adapt to our desperate demands -- when they would be much more comfortable in a soft, snug swaddle. The following excerpt from Isis baby guru and RN/BCLD Nancy Holtzman’s series on swaddling shares expert information on the time-honored tradition. She explains why swaddling works and how it can help your baby get a more restful night’s sleep.
Why does swaddling work?
Babies, like all humans, will take several deep breaths every few minutes to bring more oxygen into their lungs. But with newborns, this deep breath often triggers a small startle reflex, making the arms jerk and flail out. Watch your sleeping baby: you’ll see somewhat irregular breathing, and will notice that sometimes he’ll startle, then return right back to quiet sleep. Other times, perhaps in a lighter sleep stage, he’ll startle, which will cause a second startle, and ultimately will startle himself awake and cry…
You can continue this tradition with the softest swaddles and fashion-forward prints that say as much about your style as they do about practices that bind mothers together around the world. 47" x 47" pre-washed 100% cotton muslin or 100% organic cotton muslin swaddling wraps from Aden & Anais.