There are conflicting views about wrapping your baby. I believe it’s important to wrap your baby. The wrap ensures your baby feels secure and settles those busy hands when you’re breastfeeding. It’s helps to wrap when you feed and when your baby is going to sleep. In the first six weeks, the only time I wouldn’t have your baby wrapped is when he’s playing, changing his nappy and bathing of course!!!
I have invented a very nice, safe, practical wrap that I call “Cath’s Wrap”. It has helped lots of parents settle their baby and help him feel secure when he’s feeding and sleeping.
There are a few things you don’t do…you don’t wrap the baby’s legs straight and tight. The baby’s legs need to be flexed in ‘the frog position’.
The most important part of ‘Cath’s Wrap’ is to wrap the baby arms (firmly) in a light , cool wrap and allow the baby’s legs to be loose in the wrap. That is why I recommend large wraps of 140 cm x 120 cm (see Midwife Cath’s Shop)
Many mothers say to me that while in hospital they are given conflicting advice. Often they are told to unwrap their baby, make them ‘feel uncomfortable so they will feed better’. A baby’s arms needs to be wrapped and feeling warm, calm and safe while sucking otherwise this arms are all over the place. You need keep your baby in a wrapped position where he can actually move his arms, and not be restricted that’s when babies don’t like wrapping. What “Cath’s Wrap” does is enable the baby to move his arms up and down but still maintain the security of being wrapped. It is important to have the baby’s legs flexed and not wrapped firmly…the most important part to wrap is the arms.
No wonder women feel anxious about breast feeding when they are told to keep their baby cold, unwrapped and try not to get him to feel comfortable while feeding as he may get used to feeding while asleep. I am here to say that is not a c rime to feed your baby to sleep…what is the alternative??? Leave them crying??
A lot of people say to me, ‘my baby doesn’t like to be wrapped’. Oh yes he does! Babies need to be wrapped. Think about a baby’s life in the uterus. Your baby has been wrapped in the uterus all his life. He has lived his life in the uterus secure with a strong wall of muscle surrounding him. The wrapping provides the same environment.
Sometimes when you’re feeding your baby those two little hands get in the way. I’ve seen father’s hold the baby’s hands still while the mother feeds the baby. The wrap keeps your baby’s hands nice and secure so he can be flexible and move his hands without waking from his primitive startle reflex.
In the first six weeks, babies have no real control over their movements. They have a startle reflex. It’s a primitive reflex we’re all born with. Babies throw their arms out if they’re left alone. They are trying to hang on or grab onto something for fear of falling. That’s why I encourage you to swaddle your baby with wrapping. It keeps the baby nice and safe and secure. “Cath’s Wrap” works well for all babies.
The startle reflex decreases, as the baby gets older. By the time your baby is six months old, it is ok to remove the wrap, as they feel quite secure having their arms around them and their fingers in their mouth. You can start by removing one arm from the wrap, and then the other and putting the baby to sleep in a sleeping bag made for babies.