Benefits of Swaddling a Baby
Infants who sleep swaddled wake up less often, and experience an average increase of 50% in REM sleep. Throughout REM sleep, the infant is also much more likely to return to sleep after startling awake. This reduces the need for a parent to assist in helping the infant return to sleep. A well rested baby means well rested parents! (Source: Gerard)
Other Swaddling Benefits:
Swaddled babies experience less anxiety.
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)
Swaddling prevents face-scratching.
Swaddling mimics touch, which is important for baby especially when they wake up at night.
Swaddling helps maintain the back sleeping position and also reminds tired parents to place baby on back to sleep.
Swaddling soothes babies with colic (again, when swaddled, they feel secure and safe just like they felt in the womb).
Swaddling in the hands-over-heart position is the preferred sleeping position for babies; in this position they learn to self-soothe and can get back to sleep on their own.
Swaddling benefits parents too — when baby sleeps more, mom and dad sleep more!
- REM Sleep Increase
- Waking Up
Lonstein, Joseph S., Regulation of anxiety during the postpartum period, Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, Volume 28, Issues 2-3, August-September 2007
Urs A. Hunziker, MD, and Ronald G. Barr, MDCM, FRCP(C), Increased Carrying Reduces Infant Crying: A Randomized Controlled Trial, From the Department of Pediatrics, The McGill University-Montreal Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, http://www.portareipiccoli.it/trial_hunziker.htm, retrieved 22 September 2010.
Anisfeld, E., Casper, V., Nozyce, M., & Cunningham, N. (Oct., 1990). Does Infant Carrying Promote Attachment? An Experimental Study of the Effects of Increased Physical Contact on the Development of Attachment. Child Development, Vol. 61, No. 5, 1617-1627.
Alison B. Wismer Fries, Toni E. Ziegler, Joseph R. Kurian, Steve Jacoris, Seth D. Pollak, Early experience in humans is associated with changes in neuropeptides critical for regulating social behavior, PNAS, November 22, 2005 vol. 102 no. 47 17237-17240