What Mary Read on the Way to Bethlehem

What does it mean to swaddle a baby?

Swaddling is the art of snugly wrapping your baby in a blanket for warmth and security. It can keep him from being disturbed by his own startle reflex, and it may even help him stay warm and toasty for the first few days of life until his internal thermostat kicks in. Most important, it can help to calm your baby.

Nowadays, you probably won’t leave the hospital without a little lesson in this technique. Try it, after you’ve made sure your baby isn’t hungry, wet, or tired. It can be used to help settle your baby down when he’s overstimulated or when he just needs to feel something close to the tightness and security of the womb.

Once your baby is about a month old you might want to stop swaddling him while he’s awake, as it may interfere with mobility and development in older babies. It’s fine to keep swaddling your baby for naps and nighttime if he seems to sleep better that way. He’ll let you know by crying or kicking when he no longer wants to be bundled up.

—text from the BabyCenter web site; image: Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s Madonna and Child (1319).

One thought on “What Mary Read on the Way to Bethlehem

  1. Taking care of a baby is a big job. Especially if parent’s are on their own. I wonder how Mary and Joseph handled all the stress and traveling during these first few weeks of Jesus’ birth. They get to Bethlehem… to Jerusalem by the 8th day and then on the road again to Egypt. If I got it right, that is A LOT of adapting to the circumstances… unpredictable circumstances somewhat. Wow. How they must’ve had to switch on and off walking… holding the baby … What about food and water? Did they have money for what they needed ? Was anyone from their families there when Jesus got circumcised? Did they know anyone in Egypt to help them when they first got there? Was Joseph able to find work?

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