Swaddle wrap, swaddling is a common method of infant care practiced since hundreds of years ago. Although swaddling is encouraged among certain groups of people to provide a snug environment for the baby, recent studies have suggested that it is not the best way to care for a baby. Although it could be effective in keeping the infant warm and encouraging long REM sleep, scientific research has shown that swaddling a baby is not as effective as skin to skin contact, especially in the first few months of life. There are also physical and psychological effects on babies and parents caused by swaddling as the baby is unable to bond with the mother in a natural way.
Swaddling used to be viewed as a good method to soothe crying infants. However, scientific research and extensive studies have revealed that if a quiet, consistent care r outline is provided to a crying infant, it will help soothe the baby. Swaddling is only one of the ways to do so. Therefore, although swaddling has its benefits and provides a certain degree of comfort to babies, it is not necessarily the best way to provide comfort and security to babies.
On the other hand, many negative effects of swaddling have been ascertained. Swaddling poses a risk of overheating the baby with blankets that are too thick. Poor swaddling techniques can also cause the baby to become uncomfortable in layers of fabric which are not wrapped tightly and comfortably around the infant’s body. In the infant’s early months of development, lung compression is another physical risk associated with swaddling, and this could lead to respiratory infections. Developmental dysplasia or displacement of the hip is also a potential physical risk caused by swaddling which is too tight. These risks become greater if incorrect swaddling techniques are used.
Mothers yearn to see their babies and hold them in their arms the moment they come into the world. Infants who are separated from their parents immediately after birth, and who are swaddled instead of cradled by their mothers in the first few hours after birth will miss out on that precious bonding experience. Babies who are unable to get the physical assurance of a mother’s embrace after birth experience insecurity, nervousness, excessive crying, and sensitivity to disturbances if they are separated from their mothers. Therefore, even if parents decide to practice swaddling during certain times, it is vitally important that mothers provide loving physical touch to the infant through skin to skin contact whenever possible.
A Colic Infant and Swaddling
First of all, what is a colic infant? Colic infants are babies that will cry in a painful scream for hours at a time reoccurring for at least three times a week until they are about 100 days old. You, as the parent/caretaker, do sense that your infant is in pain. It is not a cry of hunger, lack of warmth or affection, but it is an excruciating scream. Your first instinct that your infant is in pain is absolutely correct.
Gas could be a major reason for your infant’s painful screams. Your newborn’s digestive system is relatively new. Your colic newborn’s body is still figuring out how to digest the nutrition coming through the mouth. Gas builds up in your infant because things just aren’t processing as fast as a mature digestive system. The build-up of gas causes major discomfort and pain to your infant.
One method to release the gas is swaddling. Swaddling is a way of wrapping an infant with a clothe or blanket. Swaddling has been used throughout history for number of different beliefs, but I believe that swaddling your colic infant can help gently push out the gas.
Place a receiving blanket on the ground or flat surface. Take one corner of the square and bring it towards the middle of the blanket (the corner should point to the center of the blanket). Then, place your colic infant on the folded edge you just made. Your infant’s feet should point down to the opposite corner. Take that corner and bring it up on your newborn. Then, take the left flap and wrap it snug against your child. Focus on the baby’s belly area. Lastly, take the right flap and do the same as you did with the left. Remember, wrap your colic infant snug but not too tight.
The method of swaddling has greatly helped my colic infant boy.