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Etymology: OE, swethel, swaddling band
1 long narrow bands of cloth once used to wrap a newborn.
2 a method of wrapping a newborn, especially a premature or at-risk newborn, that provides maximal comfort and containment.


Wrapping an infant snugly with arms covered in a blanket or cloth.


Wrapping an infant in soft materials to restrain reflex body movements and help the child to rest and sleep. It is a traditional practice used in the care of fussy or hyperactive infants, in whom it appears to have a calming effect on reflex motor activity.


Swaddled infants may occasionally suffer hyperthermia. In addition, the impact of swaddling on sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) may depend on the materials used and the position of the infant after his or her movements are restrained.
swaddle (swod′ĕl)
References in periodicals archive ?
Swaddling clothes were said to be a cloth tied by bandage-like strips, ensuring limbs would grow straight.
In addition, if the prone position is coupled with an increase in the infant's body temperature -- either because of swaddling clothes or a heated room--the risk of death increases further.
Like swaddling clothes for invisible babies, these elements formed a distressing pile of organic structures, thrown on top of each other as if in a collective grave.
And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
Pantagruel, Gargantua's giant son, who once got an arm out of his swaddling clothes and ate the cow that was nursing him.
Rhea, meanwhile, gave Cronos a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes, which he swallowed in place of Zeus.
You will find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.
And that in Aachen you'll find not only Jesus' swaddling clothes a sort of Biblical babygro but the loincloth he wore while on the cross.
John Henry Newman promoted the "elbow room" that developing minds need for maturation and he wrote against "dry old red-tapists," academics who wrap the baby so tightly in swaddling clothes that it has room neither to breathe nor to move about.
There were also weavers and tanners hawking their wares, Latin-speaking Roman soldiers on patrol, an Ethiopian slave boy tending to the needs of three kings, and, tucked into a quiet corner, a manger where a newborn baby in swaddling clothes was cuddled by young parents in the cold, winter wind.
His Son was sent from the glory of Heaven to become a living message - a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes.
And she brought forth her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.