SWADDLING AND SLEEPING
Eat, sleep, poop. Eat, sleep, poop. Repeat.
That’s pretty much the routine of your little bundle of joy for the first 2 months or more of her life. And if you’re lucky, there’s some sleep in it for you, too.
All that sleep is necessary, by the way.
Babies grow when they are asleep. Our bodies do their developing and healing when at rest, so you could say that sleep is necessary for all of us. (Ask any mother of a newborn how important HER sleep is!)
Science has shown that the more sleep, and the better we sleep, the better that sleep is for our bodies.
However, infants are notoriously BAD sleepers, for all the sleeping they do. Their little bodies jerk them awake in what are known as hypnagogic startles.
Their unaccustomed ears stir them awake at strange noises. Or the noisiness of the womb can’t compare to the quiet world of the hushed nursery. The big, empty crib seems fathomless in comparison to the cramped, snugly world they’ve left behind on the inside.
In short, they don’t sleep well, or for long periods of time. And when Baby ain’t sleeping, ain’t nobody sleeping.
Swaddling can end all of that. It forms a nice, tight cocoon to remind them of the womb. It can calm and prevent those nasty startles. And it can induce a sleep deep enough that they don’t notice the noise, or lack of it.
Some opponents say that those deep sleeps can actually bring on SIDS. And this may be true in babies old enough to roll over, old enough to obstruct their airways. But in younger babies, without the rollover abilities yet, that deep sleep can do wonders.
It helps them to grow, helps them to develop. And helps Mommy regain her sanity and civility once again.