Swaddling is an age-old practice that helps babies to sleep longer and sounder. When done properly, swaddling can be the single most important sleep tool a mother or daycare provider can master.
Some key benefits to Swaddling:
• Swaddling helps to mimic touch, which is so important for your baby.
• It also recreates the confinement felt in the womb easing the transition from "womb to world."
• Swaddling prevents the startle reflex (arm jumping) so baby sleeps longer without intermittent wake-ups from having free arms.
• Swaddling also helps to maintain the "back is best" sleep position.
• The most important benefit is a good sleep pattern for mom and baby.
Known risks with traditional swaddle blankets:
• Traditional swaddle blankets, when wrapped too tightly, can reduce necessary movement in the hips causing hip dysplasia.
• Strong babies can easily break out of traditional swaddling blankets which unravel and cover baby's face (potential suffocation risk)
• Blankets too thick or layered can cause overheating, which can be linked to SIDS.
• Swaddling with a blanket is not an easy technique to master; parents and caretakers can swaddle baby incorrectly (too tight for example).
"The good news is in today's market, there are many great options!" says Karen Barski. A perfect example is her invention, the Woombie, which is a peanut-shaped swaddle sac that requires no wrapping and is designed to gently hug baby while allowing for natural movement.
Features of the Woombie that eliminate multiple swaddling risks:
• 4-way stretchy fabric cocoons baby but allows for hip movement.
• The Woombie will not unravel like traditional swaddle blankets. Prevents issues such as startling, face scratching, overheating and dangerous loose unraveled blankets from covering baby's face.
• Light and breathable - new Woombie Air technology allows for excess body heat to escape creating the first ventilated swaddle.
• Easy for mom to use: just put baby in and zip (2-way zipper for easy diaper changes); moms who swaddle their babies are less likely to put their babies to sleep on their stomachs when exhausted.
Five safe swaddling tips for parents and caretakers:
· Always place your swaddled baby on his/her back to sleep.
· Use a swaddle where baby can have good hip range of motion- this will prevent hip issues.
· Use a swaddle that will not unravel - this will prevent blankets from ending up covering baby's face.
· Once baby is actively rolling, consult with your Pediatrician for next steps. Also, try an arms-free swaddle to help the transition such as the Convertible Woombie
· Don't over-swaddle your baby or double swaddle - be mindful that overheating baby is linked to SIDS.