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(c) 2010 By Deborah Beasley, ACPI CCPF

Swaddling newborns is an ancient practice stemming from numerous world cultures.  Many are familiar with the term swaddling from the Christian Bible narration of the birth of Jesus.  “…and she wrapped him in swaddling bands and laid him in the manger.”     I recall watching my grandmother wrapping my younger infant cousin’s snuggly in a receiving blanket more than 40 …uh-hum, years ago.  Hospital pediatric nurses instructed me how to swaddle my own children.  But, why do we swaddle our newborns, and are there risks to the supposed benefits?

Swaddling has been a common and popular parenting practice for infants in the United States and is a tradition which crosses many cultures.  Native Americans used a cradle board, or papoose to swaddle their infants for centuries, and some continue to carry on that tradition today.  Some form of swaddling was used in the Inuit, Asian, African, European, and Native South American cultures for centuries, and is still commonly seen throughout many countries.

Among the reasons for swaddling infants are parents claims of  it’s soothing affects and enhanced ability of their infant to sleep longer.  In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of Child Health Care on the effects of swaddling on excessive infant crying (June 2009): stated that “Swaddling did not add an extra benefit… except in the three days after the start of swaddling.”  The study also stated that parents who established consistent “routine daily childcare”, and provided “a quiet environment had the same positive beliefs and feelings about the reduction of crying as parents who used this and added swaddling.”  (Journal of Child Health Care, June 2009)

With proper precaution and instruction from a qualified professional, swaddling your newborn can bring comfort and calm to you and your baby in the first weeks of life.  And, let’s face it:  they’re just so darn cute when they’re all bundled up!

Tip:  There are several ways to safely swaddle your baby.  Search ‘How to swaddle your baby or newborn’ on YouTube for further instructions and support!


Deborah Beasley is a Certified Parenting Coach, author, presenter, and mom of seven living in New Jersey.   Deborah offers a variety of services, including phone coaching. Check the AUTHORS tab on this site for a FREE COACHING OFFER.  Find more on Deborah on her website at: www.TogetherAtLastFamily.com

Recieve your choice of a FREE article entitled: Seven Ways to Promote Safe and Healthy Development in Your Preemie or Medically Fragile Infant; or, Six Ways to Promote Strong Bonds With Your Infant.  Request these articles by name from the Contact Deborah page at my website.