Many parents say their baby doesn’t like to be swaddled. I don’t have empirical evidence to prove it, but I’ve spoken with enough sleep experts and have had enough experience myself to know that usually that is not true. Parents don’t like to see their baby scream, so when they swaddle their baby and the baby screams, they assume their baby doesn’t like to be swaddled. Being wrapped like a burrito doesn’t look very comfortable, after-all. And therein lies the mistake! Just because something doesn’t look comfortable to me or you, doesn’t mean it’s not comfortable for baby. Swaddling recreates that cozy womb-like environment that is familiar to baby and that’s why, usually, if you give your baby some time they’ll calm down and realize they love the swaddle.
In fact, not only does swaddling help with sleep by recreating the womb environment, it also helps by preventing the moro reflex. The moro reflex is a reaction wherein when a baby is startled – say by a noise – they extend their arms and legs away from their body and usually end up hitting themselves in the face resulting in loud screaming. Lastly, swaddling may prevent babies from turning from their back to a face-down position, potentially protecting them from SIDS.
Needless to say there are many reasons to love swaddling. One of the reasons I use the Snoo is because it allows you to safely swaddle till around month 6 (whereas if you’re not using the Snoo you have to stop at around month 2-3 or whenever baby starts rolling over).
With all that said here’s a look at swaddles that are miracle workers for helping with sleep.
Sharon Feiereisen is a freelance lifestyle writer and the managing editor at Momtastic. Her work has been published in Time Out, Newsday, The Knot, Teen Vogue, Business Insider, Real Simple and Hamptons Magazine among many other print and online outlets.