Nothing feels more satisfying and relaxing for the babies than rocking in their sleep. A similar feeling of safety and comfort, like being in their mother’s womb. While most experts and pediatrics in India consider the cloth cradle to be a safe option for babies, new parents often worry about this pondering question: Is cloth cradle good for babies?
Well, the answer to the question largely depends on the type of cloth cradle you choose since each has its own set of pros and cons and there is no thumb rule for selecting the best cloth cradle.
A traditional baby hammock (jhoola) or the more recent cloth cradles; regardless of the type of bassinet or cradle you decide to choose for your newborn, these have been an essential must-buy for most new parents. This is especially true in India, where co-sleeping is a norm.
Traditional Baby Hammock (Jhoola)
Alternatively known as Jhoola in Hindi and Telugu, dhooli in Tamil or dola in Bengali, these traditional hammocks are the output of long cotton fabric, typically saree or dhoti. Both ends tied to the ceiling beams or staircase or attached to a spring, close to the floor.
Most elders are of the opinion that the traditionally styled cloth hammocks are great for swaddling, an age-old technique that makes the baby feel snug and secure and prevents from getting disturbed by their startle-reflex (little jerks in sleep).
Health Benefits of Using Traditional Hammock (Jhoola)
- Being hung close to the floor, the chances of your baby getting hurt by rolling out of the hammock are extremely low. Also, being tied away from the wall, chances for insects to easily reach the baby’s fragile body are rare.
- It can help the baby develop a nice, round-shaped head as against the flat mattress.
- Babies can enjoy a sound sleep by quickly associating the gentle rocking of the hammock with the movement they felt while safely nestled in the mother’s womb. Such kind of association can especially prove useful in the initial weeks of your newborn.
- Your baby can have a tough time adjusting to the new environment and temperature during the transitional period from mother’s womb to the outside world. At such times, a traditional cloth hammock made out of mother’s or grandmother’s old saree can make the baby feel safe since they can feel the mother’s scent and warmth.
- The traditional hammocks are usually made of soft cotton cloth which provides the warmth and softness required by the baby’s fragile body.
- These cloth hammocks hold the baby’s body snugly in place, making it difficult for them to turn around. It largely prevents the infant from the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
- The traditional hammocks usually fit the infant’s body shape. They provide required support to baby’s spine and neck. It can be an issue with the modern straight-backed cribs and beds.
While the older generation has an inclination towards the use of traditional cloth hammock, the modern moms have an affliction towards trendy cloth cradles.
While the traditional hammocks and cradles have been in use for generations, they have increasingly become a topic of issue and concern in the recent years with frequent reports of falls and injuries.
Trendy Modern Cloth Cradles
As against the traditional hammocks, the flat base modern cloth cradles are an excellent option for tending babies, especially at night, for feeding or diaper changes.
These cradles are also of great help when the mother/father is all alone and has to manage multiple things, without having to worry about the baby rolling out, as is usually the case with traditional hammocks.
Benefits of Using Modern Cloth Cradles
- A perfect combination of safety, simplicity, and fashion.
- Carefully designed to provide your baby a cozy and safe sleeping environment.
- Compact design usually with wheels allows you to move the cradle. Hence, you can attend to your baby anywhere and everywhere.
- Safety rear wheel brakes make sure that the cradle remains where you had placed it accurately.
- Safety lock function that limits the cradle from excessive tilting while rocking.
Please Note: While most experts and pediatrics in India consider the cloth cradle to be a safe option, do NOT leave the child unsupervised in the cradle or hammock.
Don’t Miss to check: Best Cloth Cradle for Babies in India
How To Choose A Safe Cloth Cradle?
Though traditional hammocks are subject to voluntary safety standards, you need to be careful when selecting a modern cloth cradle. Here are some points to help you make the right choice:
Safety Standards –
One of the most important things to look for when buying a cloth cradle is safety certification. Confirm that the cradle complies with all safety standards.
Weight and Age Restrictions –
Most cloth cradles can support a baby of about 4-5 months old. Thus, it is extremely important to check the specific age and weight limit of cradle stand and mattress before finalizing.
Always remember to evaluate the bedding for its firmness, softness, and comfortability. It may cause severe consequences on your baby’s fragile body.
- A fluffy or padded mattress appears to be a cozy option. They can pose a risk of suffocation by allowing the baby to sink into it. A good cradle mattress should not be more than 1 inch thick.
- Avoid mattresses made of harmful chemicals like foam mattresses. They often emit vapors containing toxic chemicals. These vapors increase the risks of SIDS, allergies, and asthma. Instead, opt for mattresses made of organic cotton fabric with organic filling inside. They are entirely safe and healthy for infants.
- Ensure that there are no gaps between the edge of cradle and mattress. Otherwise, it traps the baby in the gap.
- Go in for a U-shaped pillow for a proper supporting and shaping of your newborn’s head. Also, take note that the pillow is fixed to the mattress so that the baby cannot pull it over its face and there is no risk of suffocation.
Swing and Lock –
Babies love to be rocked to sleep just like they used to be in their mother’s womb. It is an essential factor to consider when buying a cradle. A swinging cradle can seem fun for the initial few weeks. But once the baby starts moving and rolling over, you need a swinging cradle with a lock function. It stops or controls the swinging whenever required.
Sturdy Support –
Always go in for a sturdy cloth cradle with an anti-tripping base. Whenever the baby is swinging or rolling over, the cradle is steady in its place. It is extremely important if you have big pets at home. These pets may accidentally trip or rock the cradle.
Ease of Installation and Portability –
An easy-to-install cradle can be an excellent option if you are always on the move and need to carry the cradle along. In such cases, go in for a lightweight, foldable cradle. It is easy to install without compromising on its sturdiness and safety.
The parents often face the challenge of attending to their babies while having to manage the household chores or office work (work-from-home mother/father). For all such parents, a cloth cradle with wheels can be an excellent choice since it allows you to move the cradle to your place of work quickly. However, if you opt for a wheeled cloth cradle, remember to buy one with safety rear wheel brake. It prevents the cradle from shifting from its position.
As a parent, it is for YOU to decide which cloth cradle to choose for your baby. The only important thing however that matters is safety, and a cloth hammock or cradle can definitely ensure that!
Don’t Miss to check: Best Cloth Cradle for Babies in India