Everyone knows what an unhappy baby sounds like. But nearly the instant he senses he's about to be wrapped in his blanket, there is an almost magical hush.
Medical professionals even have a textbook definition for the age-old practice of bundling your baby: it's called swaddling.
Swaddling is the art of snuggly wrapping a baby in a blanket for the purpose of either comfort or warmth.
As long as swaddling has been around, it's not a term people use a lot these days -- especially if they don't have children.
Melanie Weaver is a nurse and a midwife. She says there is plenty of research documenting the benefits of the practice.
"Babies who were swaddled or cuddled were more content, were less fussy overall," she says. "Being wrapped up in a blanket gives a baby a sense of security, kind of like they're back in the womb."
But there is a technique to swaddling. For example, placing the baby too high on the blanket could create a breathing hazard if the blanket is too close to the nose or mouth. Most birthing hospitals show new moms how to swaddle.
What moms may not know is wrapping their babies in a blanket is more than a way to calm them -- experts say the security they feel when they're all warm and snug, could lay the foundation for them growing up to be a more confident, emotionally healthy adult.
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