Saturday, June 11, 2011

Introduction to Swaddling from aden + anais

If the idea of swaddling is daunting, never fear.  Our partners at aden + anais have provided valuable information on the benefits of swaddling with muslin fabric and simple step-by-step instructions. 

The practice of swaddling goes back nearly as far as human history, itself. The oldest archaeological evidence of mothers swaddling their babies begins in 4000 B.C. with the migrating peoples of ancient central Asia. The ancient Greeks and Romans swaddled. There are even biblical references to the practice.

Swaddling’s ability to soothe and calm babies has been known to mothers around the world for countless generations. But while the evidence of its benefits has been clear to women for thousands of years and across every continent, today we can turn to science for proof that swaddling is one of the most gentle, effective, and beneficial practices for mothers and their children.


In 2002, the medical journal Pediatrics published a study that explained why babies who are swaddled sleep more peacefully by preventing spontaneous movements (called reflex motion) from waking them up continually during the night. The same year, the Journal of Applied Physiology wrote that swaddled infants stay in REM sleep (the most restorative, deepest sleep) longer than those who were not. There is growing evidence every year that swaddling may indirectly help prevent SIDS, as well.


Swaddling is said to be as familiar to babies as it is to their moms because it recreates the secure and cozy feeling of the womb -- and using swaddles made of organic cotton muslin only enhances that blissful feeling. Muslin is a finely-woven breathable fabric believed to have originated in Bangladesh during the Middle Ages. It's delicate, yet durable weave, makes the fabric stretchy, and therefore ideal for swaddling, as the natural give" allows the blanket to be tucked snuggly around a baby without being overly restrictive.


The lightweight muslin also permits air to circulate around the baby's body, while still providing comfort and warmth without the worry that the baby may overheat in moderate weather (great lightweight fabric for summer).  Cotton muslin is also a workhorse fabric, in that wraps woven from this natural fiber stands up to repeated washings only becoming softer -- and better -- with age.


Of course, all the scientific evidence in the world is no substitute for the experience of millions of Mothers through uncountable generations: that swaddling in muslin is one of the most loving, gentle, restorative acts a mother can perform for her child. 


THE BASIC SWADDLE
STEP 1

Lay the swaddle in a diamond shape and fold the top corner down to form a triangle. Place your baby in the center of the folded area with their head just above the fold of the swaddle. Ensure that your baby’s shoulders are still below the fold.
  STEP 2

Place your baby’s right arm slightly bent at the elbow flat against their body. Take the left side of the swaddle and bring it across your baby’s chest. Ensure their arm is securely under the fabric. Tuck the edge of the swaddle under their body to ensure a secure swaddle.
  STEP 3

Fold the bottom of the swaddle up & over your baby’s feet.
  STEP 4

Finally, place your baby’s left arm slightly bent at the elbow against their body, take the right side of the swaddle & bring it across your baby’s chest. Tuck the excess fabric underneath your baby to secure the swaddle.

Information provided by aden + anais.  Organic swaddling blankets are a great add on to baby registries or as a baby shower gift.  To purchase organic cotton muslin swaddling blankets in a variety of prints, visit http://www.organicbabygiftboutique.com 

Live Well & Be Healthy 

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