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Swaddling Helps Babies Sleep

Written by Pathways Magazine   
Wednesday, 01 June 2005 00:00

A new study shows the time-honored tradition of swaddling might help babies sleep.

“In many parts of the world, infants are swaddled to sleep, with their bodies tightly wrapped in tissue cloths, sheets, or light blankets,” Patricia Franco, MD, PhD, and colleagues write in the May edition of the journal Pediatrics. The practice is reported to help babies sleep, and the researchers’ findings support that idea.

Babies Sleep Longer When Swaddled

In a study of 16 infants aged 6-16 weeks, the researchers found swaddled babies sleep longer and are less likely to wake up spontaneously. During the study, the infants spent several hours sleeping unrestrained and several hours swaddled with sandbags and bed sheets wrapped tightly enough to prevent them from moving their arms and legs. All infants were placed on their backs. The researchers found swaddling increases a baby’s total amount of sleep as well as nonrapid eye movement (NREM) or light sleep compared with when they were not swaddled.


Pathways Issue 6 CoverThis article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #06.

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