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The Benefits of Swaddling

Swaddling your baby — wrapping her snugly in a blanket -- is a practice that provides a calming effect and can help her sleep.

RELATED: The Great Swaddling Debate

Correct Practices

Even though swaddling provides recognized benefits, understanding the risks can help maximize its positive effects. On the website HealthyChildren.org, the American Academy of Paediatrics notes that swaddled babies must be placed on their backs to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. You should stop swaddling your baby when he's developmentally ready -- at around 2 months of age -- to start rolling over. If he rolls onto his stomach while swaddled he could suffocate.

Security and Comfort

When you were carrying her, your baby felt the close comfort of your body around her. In the end of your last trimester your growing baby was tightly cramped inside of your uterus. Even if that position seems uncomfortable to you, your baby felt secure in her snug space. Swaddling can recreate that feeling, providing your baby with a sense of comfort, according to the website KidsHealth. This can soothe her and lessen her startle reflex.

Sound Sleep

Swaddling your baby may help to induce sleep, according to the authors of "Swaddling: A Systematic Review," an article published in the journal "Pediatrics." Not only can swaddling soothe your baby to sleep, but it may also prevent him from waking as often as he would without the snug wrapping. According to the website KidsHealth, the soothing nature of swaddling can limit the startle reflex. This means that your baby is less likely to wake himself up.

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Cut the Crying

If your baby cries constantly, swaddling may decrease this unwanted behavior. According to the article in "Pediatrics," full-body swaddling was shown to decrease the amount of crying in babies 3 months old and younger with brain injuries or issues to a greater degree than another well-used technique -- infant massage. Although this research focuses on infants with medical problems, swaddling can benefit a healthy baby -- and the parents -- by soothing the child and reducing the amount of time spent crying.

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