Over the centuries mothers swaddled their babies to promote better sleep or to assist in settling. In fact there are recorded images on frescos from Egyptian times depicting swaddled babies. Now this natural instinct has been validated by scientific proof.
Various medical studies into the effects of swaddling have been performed in the past few years. Did you know that:
The study, "Influence of Swaddling on Sleep & Arousal Characteristics of Healthy Infants" evaluated whether or not swaddling influences infants' arousal to noise. The results showed swaddling increased infants' sleep efficiency (longer periods of sleep) & non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, leading to deeper, more peaceful sleep.
Swaddled infants spontaneously awaken less often from sleep... The researchers assert that since swaddling helps excessive crying, it may encourage parents who normally place their babies on their stomachs to prevent crying, to instead swaddle their babies & place them on their backs. Back sleeping may also prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Swaddling may be helpful in regulating babies body temperature…overheating has been attributed to increasing the risk of SIDS.
It is more difficult for swaddled infants to flip onto their tummies during sleep.
The physical restraint of swaddling presumably prevents infants from turning prone (onto their tummy) during sleep before they have gained experience in turning to prone & back again when awake.
Preterm infants have been shown improved neuromuscular development, less physiological distress, better motor organisation, & more self-regulatory ability when they are swaddled.
When compared with massage, excessively crying infants cry less when swaddled, & swaddling can soothe pain in infants.
So swaddling has been proven to help keep your baby safe & asleep for longer periods of time. This is why an overwhelming percentage of hospitals teach new parents various ways to swaddle their new babies. Swaddling is also helpful when trying to settle a particularly upset baby, & not just for sleep time. Give swaddling a try you will love it!
For the simplest way to swaddle try a Swaddle UP by Love To Dream. The innovative swaddle that also allows your baby to sleep in their natural position with arms UP. Arms UP means your baby is not deprived of access to their hands for self soothing, which can also help them sleep longer!
SOURCE: “Influence of Swaddling on Sleep & Arousal Characteristics of Healthy Infants” American Academy of Paediatrics May 5, 2005
SOURCE: “Swaddling: A systematic Review” Paediatrics Volume 120 Number 4, Oct, 2007