When researching infant sleep products, 9 out of 10 new parents hear a friend or a family member suggest that they should register for a great swaddle blanket for your baby that is soon to be born. And they would be right! A good and safe swaddle for babies can be a real sanity saver, because the first few months after the baby is born, your life turns completely upside down and your nights and days look the same.. and WHEN DONE RIGHT, SWADDLING JUST WORKS! It helps babies calm down, drift off to sleep, and if you are lucky, even stay asleep for longer periods.
Why Babies Need To Be Swaddled?
Most eastern cultures have embraced swaddling for generations. And although there is biblical mention of baby Jesus being in a swaddling cloth, swaddling as a practice was commonly and widely adopted in the western world as recently as in the 90's. However you will be surprised to know that researchers, Earle L. Lipton, Alfred Steinschneider and Julius B. Richmond, performed scientific experiment in the 1960's to prove the effects of swaddling and its role in calming infants. Their published paper can be found here. While you may have heard about some of the controversy surrounding swaddles for babies, what these researchers found is quite simple: infants are quieter, sleep more, and have lower and more stable heart rates when swaddled under the experimental conditions than the control group of un-swaddled infants. Despite the interest of researchers in swaddling, the practice never really took off until in recent years. Swaddling is now accepted as a safe way to help calm and comfort your baby, as long as it's done correctly.
By restricting motor activity and mimicking the security of a mother’s womb, swaddling comforts babies.This results in less crying, more stable heart rates and the ability to sleep through the Moro reflex or startle reflex, which is a normal neurological response of a newborn to a sudden loss of support causing them to fell as though they are free falling. This response is demonstrated in the first 3 to 4 months of the baby's life. Absence of this response before 3-4 months and the persistence of it past 5 months may signal neurological problems and need to be examined by a pediatrician.
Many babies up to 3 to 4 months, experience the free falling sensation when they are sleeping due to the moro reflex. This experience although normal can be jarring and awaken your baby, especially if they are in the light sleep phase. (Learning about your baby's sleep cycle, how they frequently cycle between light and deep phases of sleepwalk show you how different they sleep than us and may explain why babies easily wake up at times and at times could sleep through the loudest of sounds. Its a built in safety mechanism. Read here.)
10 Reasons Why You Should Swaddle Your Baby With the Zen Swaddle
Despite the articles written by controversy-seeking media, swaddling remains a practice that helps babies sleep better. We have to be thankful for the doctors and researchers who keep testing this age old practice to ensure that it is done in a way that is befitting the modern and busy lives of today's parents, where their baby may not always be in the same room as them to be monitored constantly as may have been the case in the past.
At Nested Bean we constantly apply these scientific learnings and make sure that swaddling is practiced safely. The Nested Bean flagship Zen Swaddle is a baby swaddling blanket with a easy to use form, innovative technology that mimics touch and a secure velcro closure plus many bonus features such as the 2-sizes-in-1 feature that helps it last 2x as long.
The nurses at the Covenant Children's Hospital have used the Zen Swaddle to care for full term babies in intensive care (not prematurely born). These nurses have found that the Zen Swaddle combines the benefits of touch with the benefits of swaddling and helps them calm easier, stay asleep longer and overall be more content.
Reason 1: Mimics Mother's Touch For Longer Sleep
It has been proven that touch triggers a self-soothing response in the human brain. It stabilizes our heart rate, blood pressure and lowers cortisol levels. It has also been proven that touch when simulated by applying gentle pressure using lightly weighted objects can also trigger a similar soothing response.
When babies awaken mid sleep due to minor disturbances, most times they are able to lull themselves back to sleep thus cycling from one full sleep cycle to the next. As a result the overall duration of sleep is increased.
Is your baby a great sleeper? No problem, you can still see the Zen Swaddle difference as it mimics your touch. You can enjoy spending quality time with your little one during your favorite sleep routine of bathing, nursing/feeding, swaddling and you can sing your little one their favorite nursery rhyme and before you know it, you will see them drifting into deep sleep. The Zen Swaddle has proven to cut down on the sleep routine by 20-40 minutes, when otherwise your baby would resits sleeping, thus requiring long minutes or even hours of holding them just waiting for them to fall asleep.
Reason 2: Lasts 2X As Long With 2-in-1 Design
Babies grow quickly. Many parents are left with clothing in small sizes that dont fit past the first couple of weeks. In order to help parents get more for their money, the Zen Swaddle is designed for longevity with multiple sizes. The inside pouch keeps legs secure in the first few weeks while the outer sack has room to grow in later months.
Reason 3: Easy, Safe and Secure With Velcro Closure
You don't have to be an origami expert to use the Zen Swaddle. Moms love its super soft fabric and its easy to use design that secures using a velcro. The quiet velcro is high quality such that it does not scratch, does not catch lint and yet stays secure. No more lose blankets in the crib.
Reason 4: Swaddle With Arms In Or Out
Zen Swaddle can be used arms free. So if you baby loves their arms free, you can still seek the benefit of touch that is unique to the Zen Swaddle. In the arms out position, the Zen Swaddle continues to add gentle pressure to the chest and sides and promotes safe and longer sleep.
Reason 5: Gentle Weight Eases Colic
White noise, an airplane hold or sleeping on top of the parent to add light pressure on baby's belly are common ways that parents survive the terrible time when colic strikes. The Zen Swaddle helps ease colic. Its lightly weighted center applies gentle pressure just where there is discomfort helping ease the colic pain and receive the much needed comfort.
Reason 6: Roomy At Waist Makes It Hip-Healthy
Swaddling done wrong can cause hip dysplasia. This is a syndrome where pressure on fragile hips, caused when infants are swaddled tightly around the waist, can contribute to permanent hip damage. The Zen Swaddle has a roomy design around the baby's waist making movements of legs and knees easy. This is a crucial sign to ensure the swaddle is done right.
Reason 7: Swaddle Construction Helps Moro Reflex
As covered earlier, the main benefit of choosing the swaddle construction for our patented touch technology is to help babies sleep through episodes of moro reflex. The Zen Swaddle maintains this benefit and takes it further by adding the intuitive and scientific benefits of touch.
Reason 8: Makes Transition To Crib or Bassinet Easy
You are not alone if you find it difficult to transition your baby from your arms to the crib. Somehow babies just know when they are placed on their own and away from your cozy hold and I dont blame them for it :). Many parents place their hand on the chest and stay there for a long time waiting for that sign when their baby would enter deep sleep. The Zen Swaddle makes this transition easier, as it continues to make the baby feel the security of your touch even as you move away from them, just briefly. Now you can attend to an older sibling or perhaps your own sleep with the extra time.
Reason 9: Available In Temperature Regulating Bamboo+Cotton
In their first few days of life, your newborn’s internal thermostat needs time to adjust to its new environment. The Zen Swaddle Premier in Bamboo Cotton blend helps keep your baby at the optimal temperature while their bodies learn to regulate their own temperature. The moisture-wicking property of Bamboo rayon helps maintain a constant temperature and prevents the baby's body from getting too hot or cold. Did you know that Bamboo is also naturally antimicrobial?
Note that it is recommended to maintain the baby’s room at a comfortable temperature of 65 to 70 F and avoid over-bundling with layers. After being swaddled, your baby’s skin should feel comfortable to touch and not too warm. So a simple onsie is the best recommended clothing under the Zen Swaddle or Zen Sack.
Reason 10: You Are Well Rested To Make Wonderful Memories
Research proves that severe sleep depravation past 6 months postpartum is the number one reason for postpartum depression. The Zen Swaddle helps make sure that you get the much deserved rest you need. By helping your baby sleep independent of you gives you time to be well rested, care for older siblings or take care of chores. Remember if you are happy, the whole house is happy.
Swaddling Is Very Effective And Safe If Done Right
Over the years, despite the many benefits of swaddling, this ancient practice has been receiving a lot of bad press from many prominent news publications. It has been associated with hip dysplasia to SIDS. Recently a few doctors warned parents the risk of SIDS in higher in swaddled babies when they start to roll over. Media did not emphasize on the rolling over part and created quite an uproar. This year one of the prominent doctors from the study reversed their statement and said swaddling when done safely is effective and safe. We covered this in depth in our blog article Swaddling Causes SIDS: The Myth.
AAP had also associated swaddling as a way to facilitate sleeping in the supine position (on their back). Swaddling in the supine position, is seen to reduce the risk of SIDS because an immobilized infant won’t be able to move or roll into a dangerous and potentially asphyxiating (that compromises normal breathing) environment. Also, swaddling prevents infants from pulling bedding or clothing over their heads by keeping their arms snug against their bodies. Still, it’s important to keep any loose bedding or clothing out of your baby’s crib to further reduce this risk. You can learn more about swaddling and SIDS here. You should also stop swaddling them the baby starts to roll. You can learn when to stop swaddling on this link.
If you’re expecting a new arrival soon, get your Zen Swaddle now and experience less sleepless nights once baby is here. If your baby is already a few weeks old- it’s not too late! Although many parents swaddle right from the get-go, you can always start swaddling when your baby is a bit older and still experiencing the moro reflex. Of course, the Nested Bean team is always here to help. If you have any questions about the Zen Swaddle, or swaddling in general, don’t be afraid to ask. E-mail us at email@example.com.