If I had a dollar for every time a new parent said to me their baby doesn’t like to be wrapped I would be extremely rich! It is a common perception that babies appear to dislike it because of the way they behave whilst being wrapped or once they have been wrapped. They struggle, appear frustrated, cry or at the very least screw up their face and make grunting noises. In actual fact what you are witnessing is your baby starting to wind down and the settling process being set in motion. Consistent settling techniques will soon encourage your baby to settle.
Wrapping is very important for babies under 12 weeks and here are some reasons why you should wrap your baby:
- He/she will feel secure. Being wrapped firmly mimics the environment in the womb. This is why firm wrapping is even more important in the early weeks.
- He/she has involuntary movements or reflexes (moro reflex being one of them) when very young. Firm wrapping helps your baby switch these reflexes off. Helping him/her to settle.
- Firm wrapping minimises these reflexes waking your baby up during lighter sleeping cycles. If not wrapped he/she will startle themselves awake.
- It will become a healthy cue for sleep if used consistently.
How long should I wrap my baby?
Up to 3 months: Firmly with arms down, away from his/her face.
3 to 6 months: Looser with arms up. At this age babies are gaining more control over their movements. You will find they will use wrapping as a cue to sleep, get their arms out and still achieve good quality sleep.
6 months onwards: A sleeping bag is recommended. Still giving the cue to sleep, providing a feeling of warmth and security but allowing movement. You will witness your baby moving around the cot. Sleeping in various positions.