Coming from a strong background in infant mental health, my hesitation about some of the newer swaddles that pin the babies’ arms down at their sides is, that the ideal position for their limbs, not only for soothing but also for neurological organization and regulation, is to bring them into what we call their “midline.” Picture a baby in the fetal position or you in “child’s pose” at your yoga class. Bringing everything to the center helps what Dan Siegel, MD, author of “Parenting from the Inside Out, “ calls the middle prefrontal cortex of the brain to reach an optimal state of integration. From this state, your baby is better able to access moving to either sleep or a calm awake state. This is what we mean by “regulation.”
Additionally, pediatric orthopedists are more likely to support a swaddle in a natural position, with elbows bent, hips and knees flexed for proper joint development. This is the exact position the Woombie creates.
- Prevents startle reflex Promotes & enhances motor development by allowing baby to stretch and move their limbs
- Prevents face scratching & keeps “busy” hands away from face & pacifier
- No loose blankets to ride up and cause potential suffocation
- Very easy to use & encourages back sleeping
- No more worry of the swaddle coming undone, which can lead to potential blanket suffocation
- May see a marked improvement in colic symptoms.
- Prevents overheating, which has been linked to SIDS.
- Adaptable for one or two arms or legs free swaddling, handy during transitioning (see photos below).
Important Safety Rule: An easy way to know when to immediately remove any type of swaddle is as soon as your baby can roll in either direction. Swaddling is a wonderful temporary way to help babies regulate and sleep better during the early months when we have to put them on their backs to sleep. Once they can roll, we want them to be able to roll in both directions at will. Our ultimate goal for them is to be free to move around the bed and find their preferred sleep position.