The Swaddle Wars
A while back, Dylan Dreyer from the Today Show had recently had her first baby (a boy!). At the time, I was pregnant with my first boy, too. She shared a video of him on social media. He was in his bassinet, swaddled, and waking up. It was the most precious thing, and I immediately wondered, “What kind of swaddle is that?” So I did something I rarely do. I went to the comment section. I just wanted to see if perhaps Dylan answered the questions all the mommas were asking, “What type of swaddle is that, and where can I get one?”
Instead of finding the answer to my question, I was shocked to find how many people were shaming Dylan for swaddling her three-month-old baby. The comments I read could be defined as bullying. I was shocked at how strongly so many people felt against swaddling a baby.
Reading the comments on that post taught me two things. First, don’t ever read anything in the comment section. Second, always be informed before making a judgment.
Since then, I have had friends share with me that some of their family members have also questioned whether they should be swaddling their baby. Who knew this was such a hot button issue?
Babies have a startle reflex called Moro that causes them to wake, especially in the first couple months. Swaddling helps babies sleep by preventing their arms from flying up and causing them to wake. Swaddling babies helps them feel secure and cozy, as they were in the womb. Often times, swaddling helps babies sleep for longer periods.
Babies can be safely swaddled for sleeping until they begin rolling over. Always check with your health professional before making any decisions regarding your baby’s sleep habits. And always trust your health professional and your own parental instincts before trusting the judgments of others with loud opinions.
Wendy is a mother of four who lives in central Illinois where she blogs at TheMessyMom.net.