Babies don’t listen. So no matter how much you beg, plead, coo, and otherwise “reason” with your baby about their need for sleep, they don’t understand. But if they could understand and talk, then they would almost certainly shock you by telling you something that most parents don’t understand, which is: Babies Are NOT Designed or Meant to Sleep Through the Night!
It’s totally true. As adults and after years of conditioning, we simply assume that sleeping through the night is a NATURAL condition. This is why we all assume that our babies should also naturally sleep through the night and if they don’t—well, then there must be something wrong with either us or possibly the baby. In rare cases, there is a problem and the baby’s crying is their way of communicating this with you, the parent. But in most cases, the baby is perfectly healthy and simply rejecting your attempts to change or alter their natural sleep patterns. Here are just a few facts to consider:
Fact 1: The natural sleep cycle of a newborn is literally 2-3 hours of sleep followed by 2-3 hours of activity and then the cycle repeats.
Fact 2: Sleeping 8 hours or more through the night is a CONDITIONED activity of human children and adults.
Fact 3: Your baby will NOT sleep through the night until they have been conditioned, or trained, to do so.
In fact and given enough time, your baby will naturally be conditioned to sleep through the night as their cognitive skills improve and they start to mimic their parents’ sleeping habits. Unfortunately, this “natural conditioning” may take up to 18-24 months—unless, you know the simple step-by-step psychological system for “reprogramming” your baby to sleep soundly through the night.
Swaddling Your Baby – Does it solves the sleep problem
Chances are, if you are delivering your baby in a hospital, he will be handed to you swaddled. Most babies simply sleep better when they are swaddled. They are used to be in a very tight environment when they are in the womb, so it’s natural that they feel safe if those circumstances are initially the same when they live “out here”. Swaddling help to calm your newborn baby. It is an art of wrapping your newborn baby with a blanket that magically soothes your baby. It makes the difference between them able to sleep properly without any disturbance. Being wrapped in a swaddle up gives your newborn babies a feeling of warmth and security and that helps them to be calm. But you should know, how to swaddle your baby properly and also you have to buy blanket of good quality. Not all swaddling blankets are created equal, and few are just way better than others. There are some best swaddles in UK that not only keep your baby calm, but also protect her skin.
Here are some other reasons why swaddling works well:
- In the beginning you will notice that your baby’s arms and legs jerk. This feels like “free-fall” to them, and it startles them and upsets or even wakes them up. When you wrap up your baby, you avoid this issue.
- Swaddling makes it easier and more comfortable for your baby to sleep on her back and decrease the risk of SIDS.
- You avoid that your baby is scratching himself with his sharp finger nails.
While most parents give up swaddling after the first few weeks or months, the SIDS risk is actually highest between two and four months, so a swaddle at that age would be even more beneficial! The reason most parents give up swaddling after a few weeks is because by that age almost all babies move around enough to get out of a typical swaddle. But there is a solution! Swaddle your baby during nap times and at night, but allow him to move around freely the rest of the day. That way your baby knows that “sleep is coming” when he gets swaddled. It’s just another cue helping him to know what’s coming – which is very beneficial, as you will see in the section “Bedtime routine”.
Benefits of Swaddling
Parents are generally overwhelmed by the square swaddling blankets. While we now have the scientific evidence to prove it, swaddling’s ability to soothe and calm babies has been known around the world for centuries. Swaddled babies sleep longer and sounder. The movements of his arms and legs cause the baby to startle. Most babies wriggle out of such swaddles as soon as they are wrapped.
- The oldest archaeological evidence of mothers swaddling their babies begins in 4000 B.C. with the migrating peoples of ancient central Asia.
- Swaddled babies experience less anxiety.
- This is upsetting to the baby and causes over stimulation.
- This is where ease of swaddling becomes a must in a new parent’s tremendously busy life.
- The ancient Greeks and Romans swaddled.
- Swaddling prevents unnecessary wake-ups due to the startle reflex.
When they are over stimulated, newborns cry in an attempt to block out the stimuli. Swaddling may interfere with beginning breast-feeding. There are even biblical references to the practice. Swaddling eliminates the need for comfort items in baby’s crib – no pillows, bumpers, blankets, stuffed animals, etc. (using these items in crib have been linked to SIDS).There are many benefits to swaddling your baby, but incorrect swaddling can lead to serious health problems like hip dysplasia.
When they are swaddled, the jerky arm and leg movements are kept to a minimum, resulting in less crying. In the precious moments after a baby is born, newborns are often examined, swaddled for warmth, and handed back to Mom so she can work on beginning to breast-feed. Several studies have linked swaddling to a higher risk of respiratory infections and, if done improperly, hip dysplasia. Follow our tips to avoid these risks and get the most out of swaddling your baby. Many people feel that a newborn needs to have their hands free so that they can practice using their arms, figure out how to get their hands into their mouths so they can self-soothe by sucking on fingers, etc.
But in a small study, researchers noted that babies who got more skin-to-skin contact with Mom within the first 2 hours after birth took to the breast earlier and suckled better at their first feeding when compared to the swaddled newborns. Swaddled babies may overheat, especially if their heads are partially covered, which can cause hyperthermia and even death. After years of encouraging parents to use swaddling as a way to calm infants, pediatricians are cautioning them against using incorrect methods that may do more harm than good. However most of the movement of your newborn baby’s limbs is actually unintentional and random. There is ongoing debate over whether swaddling prevents infants from waking easily, hinders weight gain or, most troubling, increases the chance of SIDS.
How to Swaddle Your Baby
Soothe your newborn baby with three simple swaddling techniques. Doing a nice, snug swaddle is an essential skill of parenthood. Place baby’s right arm alongside the body, slightly bent. Bring one top corner across to tuck under her bottom, and bring the bottom point up to tuck into this wrap. Watch and follow step-by-step instructions for the diamond swaddle, hands-out diamond swaddle, and the square swaddle.
It helps settle a baby when he’s overstimulated, prevents him from being disturbed by his own startle reflex, and keeps him toasty until his internal thermostat kicks in. Take the same side of the swaddle and pull it securely across baby’s arm and chest, tucking the fabric under the baby. You can wrap the other top corner around her and tuck the corner in to secure in the material at her neck. Lay a blanket, preferably one that is meant for swaddling, in a diamond shape. Leave the left arm free.
Take the 3rd corner across and all the way around behind baby, tucking the tail of the blanket into the fold in the front. Fold top corner down. Since swaddling is confining and may restrict a baby’s motor development, a full-body swaddle is not recommended after the baby’s first 60 days. Avoid having the blanket touch baby’s cheek. Place baby on top. This can stimulate baby’s rooting response and wake baby.