What is swaddling?
Swaddling is the ancient practice in which we wrap our baby in a thin blanket or cloth .This helps them to feel safe and secure. Many parents
have found swaddling helpful to keep their babies calm and to reduce excessive crying. Research have found that infants are quieter, sleep more, and have lower and more stable heart rates when swaddled. When done correctly, swaddling is a wonderful and safe way to keep our babies calm and comfortable.
What are the benefits of swaddling?
- Swaddling helps to recreate the feeling of security that a baby had in the womb (uterus).
- A swaddle helps to mimic the soft pressure of a mother’s touch, and helps baby have longer, more restful sleep with fewer disturbances. Also it is found that babies fall asleep quickly and for a longer time when swaddled.
- Swaddling moderates The Moro Reflex : Another benefit of swaddling a baby is that it helps alleviate the effects of the Moro reflex also called startle reflex, is a normal neurological response which causes a newborn to feel as though they are falling. Babies experience this within the first 3 to 4 months of life (which is an indication of a healthy infant) but can disturb your baby’s sleep. Swaddling helps prevent those spontaneous movements, allowing for a peaceful sleep.
- Another important benefit of swaddling is that it can have a wonderfully and therapeutic effect for a baby suffering from colic (difficulty to
digest food which leads to excessive pain, gas and fussiness ). As it applies a light pressure to baby’s belly providing relief for them.
- A swaddled baby can’t scratch their face. This is best for the babies who refuse to wear mittens or cover their hands.
Remember one of the secrets to a happy, calm baby: Swaddling
What are the risks of swaddling ?
Swaddling has tons of benefits but if done in a right way. Improper swaddling can increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS: sudden infant death syndrome, when a baby dies for no clear reason).
So its very important to know the right way to swaddle your baby.
- Use a thin cotton or muslin cloth.
- Swaddling your baby too tightly may affect there mobility and development. Always give them plenty of room to move their legs and feet.
- A swaddled baby should always sleep on their back. Stop swaddling your baby as soon as they shows signs of rolling on side or tummy.
- Its better to swaddle from birth. Don’t introduce swaddling at two to three months as this will lead to discomfort.
- Always follow a pattern/ schedule to swaddle your baby, so that your baby becomes familiar with the feeling of being swaddled.
- Swaddle your baby firmly, but not too tightly. Your baby’s legs and feet should be able to move freely, and bend at the hip.
- Don’t swaddle for too long or the whole night as this may increase their body temperature and increase the chances of SIDS.
What are the steps for a perfect swaddle?
- Start by spreading a thin cotton blanket on flat surface, with one corner folded down.
- Lay your babies face-up on the blanket with head above the folded corner.
- Straighten left arm, and wrap the left corner of the blanket over babies body , then tuck it between right arm and the right side of her body.
- Then tuck the right arm down, and fold the right corner of the blanket over their body and under left side.
- Fold the bottom of the blanket loosely and tuck it at the upper side.
- Make sure that the swaddled cloth is not too tight.
How long should you swaddle your baby?
Keeping your baby swaddled all of the time can restrict their motor development and mobility. This can also limit their opportunity to use and explore their hands. So it is advice to swaddle your baby only for nap/ sleep times.
Do not swaddle your baby while breastfeeding
Babies need their arms and hands free while feeding because research shows that babies actively use their hands to locate the nipple area, which
promote milk letdown and latch properly. Having your baby’s hands free will also allow you to notice their hunger signs.
How to choose a perfect swaddle cloth?
Some people really find this difficult or challenging to find a perfect swaddle blanket for their little ones. This totally depends on personal choice, as some parents prefer a larger, thin, muslin or cotton blanket, while others like a thermal blanket . Some parents prefer pouches, pockets or zippers, to swaddle in which you actually don’t have to learn right wrapping / swaddling techniques.
As long as your baby is swaddled safely and securely, use whichever blanket or product works best for your family.
A premature baby is advised to swaddle as they have less weight and need their body to be kept warm. Also better sleep will help them to develop more and a good swaddle will also make them fell like their mother’s womb.
Also swaddle your baby only for the first 3-4 months of their life or stop immediately when they start rolling.
Happy Swaddling !!
Identifying numbers can be a great learning experience for toddlers. Many a times our kids starts recognizing numbers but skips few in between. And this is absolutely normal as expecting too much at these young age is not right. Give them time and they will learn everything smoothly.
Also sharing some number recognizing activities which i have done with my kiddo to make him learn and engage throughout the day.
CHILDREN LEARN AS THEY PLAY .
MOST IMPORTANTLY IN PLAY , CHILDREN LEARN HOW TO LEARN.
Recognizing Numbers is the first step we should focus on. Later we will work on sequencing them. Sharing some activities which are a great hit at my home.
1. SAND SENSORY ART
Playing with sand is always a hit among kids. Use wet sand to develop pre-writing skills. Its a bit messy but the best way to make kids learn.
My son loves sensory bin activities ,so first preference is that.
- I took a piece of paper, wrote numbers from 1-10. You can ask your kid to trace them or write too.
- Then i asked my son to paint the numbers with glue .
- My son covered the numbers with sand and spread it out.
- He played with the sand and the pebbles for a long time and then picked up the paper and taped it off.
- The sand was still there where he painted with glue!
For younger kids if tracing with glue is not possible them elders can help. Recognition is more important in the first go!!
2. PARKING WITH NUMBERS
This is a fun filled idea to help your little ones practice numbers, especially if they love little cars.
It is really simple idea .
- Draw numbers on some small pieces of paper and stick it on the toy cars/vehicles.
- Ask your little one to pick a car and recite the number on it.
- Or ask them to bring ” Second Number Car” and so on.
- This activity will develop number recognisation skills, gross motor skills, pincer skills with lots of fun.
3. POP !! THE NUMBERS
This sounds interesting , isn’t it? Bubble wrap has always been a fun material for kids we have done painting with it and my son enjoyed it a lot. So now i have decided to use it for teaching numbers.
- I have written numbers and alphabets both in each bubble.
- In order to pop a bubble, my son first has to tell me what’s on the bubble!
- This is really a great practice for recitation and also check the knowledge of your kids.
4. NUMBER TAM-BOLA
My toddler can recite numbers from 1-20 but sometimes he missed 6 in between or mix the number 6 with 9 and vice-versa. Which brought me the thought of playing number tambola.
- I took a thick piece of paper ,wrote numbers on it and placed it on the table upside down. So that only plane sheet appears at the top creating mysterious fun.
- I created a similar ticket as in real tambola and started by picking the cards placed on table one by one.
- He (my son) picked the card with number “5”.
- Luckly number 5 was in our ticket too and we cut it too. We played it same as we play tambola .
- It was really great fun !!
5. PIZZA WITH NUMBER TOPPINGS
My son loves pizza and hence this activity is a hit ! with him. Its very simple and easy.
- You just need 2 papers/ cardboard.
- Draw circle on both the cardboards .
- Write numbers on one and counting dots on the other. That’s all !!
- Match and count in a fun way.
6. COUNTING WHILE PLACING DOTS
Another super simple activity. This activity involves children counting out the value for each number and placing dot stickers in the image drawn on the paper with that number.
- All u need a paper, an image (As Christmas is close i have drawn pictures related to it, you can use any of your choice)
- Number written against each picture.
- Dot stickers and your are good to go !!
7. NUMBER RECOGNITION WITH PLAYING CARDS
We played a number match game with playing cards.
- I sorted out all the cards 2-10 .
- Placed few cards on the table and left the rest for my kiddo .
- Then i asked him to match the other cards . This was really great fun.
- Also he refused to match the same numbers with different colour and made another group for them.
8. HIDE AND SEEK WITH NUMBERS
Pee-ka-Boo is the mostly loved by every kid. Now its the time to play it with numbers.
- I have two sets of number flash cards , so i place one set over the table and hide the other (stick on the wall at several places) somewhere in the room.
- Pointing towards a number I asked my kiddo to find that number and match it with the card lying on the table, giving a little hint to boost there confidence and built interest throughout the play.
- This number hunt activity turned great as super active toddlers loved to run and find numbers. (If flash cards are not available create them by writing numbers on a piece of paper).
9. cOUNTING WITH BLOCKS
Blocks are staple in every household and can be used to play in various ways . I have written different numbers on each block and asked my kid to bring a particular block like “Bring the block with number 4” and he brings saying the number loudly. Later it turned into number pyramid.
10. LEARNING WITH PRINTABLES
There are various bright colorful and theme based printable through which number recognisation and counting can be made more easier. Or it can be made at home with some colorfull pens and paper. I have used Christmas tree counting printables from totschooling .
Hope you like the way I make my child learn . Do share your views !! And try these with yours kids too.