Sometime ago now I recently recorded a series off the Living Channel called “Bringing up baby” which follows 6 sets of British parents as they follow 3 different parenting gurus – Truby King from the 50’s, Dr Spock from the 60’s and the Continuum concept from the 70’s. The huge differences in the approach to parenting was really interesting as the programme followed the couples in the first 3 months of their babies lives. It is amazing that in just 3 decades there was such a huge difference in techniques and advice. I don’t know about you but I found there is a lot more acceptance nowadays of being able to choose the approach that works best for you and your family. In fact this show seemed to reinforce this attitude with all of the babies settling after 3 months but the degree to which the parents social and love lives got back on track really differed!
It seems swaddling/wrapping babies is one of several techniques that have been in and out of fashion right throughout history.
There is well researched and documented evidence to show that babies respond well to the reassurance of boundaries and ‘nesting’. For centuries children in different cultures have been lovingly swaddled and wrapped in gauze, slings and in materials of different kinds.
Wrapping helps maintain womblike conditions and helps contain sudden involuntary movements which can often startle very young infants awake, promoting safer and more restful sleeping. It can become part of the pre sleep association for babies; they associate being wrapped with the security of sleep. This is particularly the case if the wrapping experience is a pleasant one, accompanied by quiet soothing sounds of singing or shushing or soft music. It can be an empowering settling technique for both mother and baby.
However some research cautions against swaddling especially with issues like the swaddling becoming loose and posing a suffocation risk; over heating or on the other hand having the swaddling too tight which may interfere with breathing or natural, necessary hip movement. Therefore make sure that you use ‘breathable’ natural fabrics and consider using the Safe T Sleep Sleepwrap over any swaddling or sleepwear to reduce all these risks. I liked to wrap my children in cotton Muslin for the first 3weeks-3months but they were little Houdini’s and I found that the Sleepwrap helped to keep the muslin swaddling in place which meant that I didn’t need to be as firm with my swaddling technique and the swaddle wrap couldn’t unravel. When they were ready to want their arms up I simply ditched the swaddle and just used the Sleepwrap…so easy!
From Maria at the Safe T Sleep family