Pucking – the idea and how it works

Whenever it comes to sentiments like Coziness and warmth, security, protection and comfort we look for and create a framework that is close to a cocoon in its characteristics.

This is how it goes

Of course, swaddling is not only possible with the wombys from casafeli, swaddling is rather an ancient swaddling technique, which has a long tradition in many cultures in different forms.

When pucking, one wraps a newborn in a cloth, blanket, or ready-made pucking aid such as the womby bag (pucksack) or womby wrap (puck blanket) and thus gives him the familiar – because in the course of the weeks of pregnancy increasingly tight – confines of the womb. The baby is then in his warming and security-giving cocoon snuggled up like in mummy’s tummy.

The own body perception

Being swaddled is so useful because in the first few months of life, your baby does not yet know exactly where his or her own Body boundaries lie. to feel this by limiting – this can calm your baby and thus avoid overstimulation. It is easier to fall asleep and the sleep period (well possible) is prolonged. The core time for pucking is During the first 3 months.

Moro reflex and supine position – swaddling helps!

Other pluses of pucking include: Pucked babies sleep better in the position recommended by pediatricians supine position and the pucking mitigates Moro reflexThe involuntary arm rowing that babies use to wake themselves. More below.

How long? And until when?

Two questions come up again and again: "How long during the day and night is it actually allowed to swaddle??" And: "Up to which month of life can I swaddle my baby??" For both questions there are no universal answer. With one restriction: As soon as your baby can turn onto his or her tummy while being swaddled, he or she has spit up. Otherwise: Trust your intuition! Your baby will show you when it wants more freedom and needs less restriction. More on this below.

Weaning from swaddling?

Basically there are two variants. Either the matter simply takes care of itself – or there are good reasons for you to make the decision to stop swaddling from now on. There can also be loud protests from time to time! However Tricks for a smooth transition. Below more about this.

Concerns and worries : Is swaddling dangerous?

Pucking is then of little use and in the worst case even dangerous, if a few essential points are disregarded. Some No Go’s are found when swaddling in the traditional way (e.g.B. by stretching and constricting the legs, which in all likelihood promotes hip dysplasia), others are based on carelessness or overconfidence (z.B. too loose or too tight pucking).

casafeli and the wombys stand consistently and unrestrictedly for modern swaddling, which is about, the baby and its needs to serve. This also includes, Legroom to give to avoid the possible development of hip dysplasia. More below.

When not to swaddle

What is too much is too much: That is why the right measure an warmth and confinement a must during pucking! Fever for example is an absolute exclusion criterion! Explained in detail below.

Swaddling with the wombys

Meaningful swaddling means swaddling your baby naturally and safely, appropriate for baby and situation. Here are casafelis wombys – available as pucksack womby bag or puck blanket womby wrap – well thought-out and above-average versatile puck aids that you can use at home and on the road. And what’s even better: the production of wombys is ecologically and socially fair: 100% organic cotton guaranteed!

Being swaddled means being held!


The Moro reflex


The Moro reflex – it’s also called the clamp reflex – is first of all a literally vital reflex. In 1918, pediatrician Ernst Moro took a closer look at this reflex that makes it difficult for many an infant to sink into a deep sleep.

In the very first seconds of life, the Moro reflex ensures that the newborn takes its first breath. Welcome to life!

The primal reflex exists so that the nervous system learns to deal with potential – perhaps life-threatening – danger.

Normally, the early childhood survival reflex fades again between the second and fourth month of life.

However, as long as it is still pronounced – or even lasts longer than expected – it can cause some unrest in your baby’s ability to sleep. And here the thing with the Pucken becomes interesting, because: The early childhood as for the time being persisting Moro reflex can be mitigated by swaddling by avoiding the typical movement sequence. But why actually the infant startles in its sleep? He is lying quite calmly! – It goes like this:

Once the baby is asleep and well on the way to drifting off into deep sleep, he often doesn’t do just that: drift off! Rather, it flinches as if it were losing its grip and falling into the depths. Sometimes this happens to some babies, and if it does, then without much effect: the infant sinks into deep, restful sleep anyway.

For other babies, however, this happens more often and then much more effectively. The fright is big. The system switches to alarm. The characteristic stretching/bending movement of the Moro reflex runs off. The waking up follows. And then, to make matters worse, the baby scares himself with his own flailing arms. It is for the time being not at all aware of the fact that the stormy flying objects directly in its field of vision are its own arms. And the sudden shock from your own movement comes. What happens? Your baby raises the alarm. Loudly.

At worst, numerous repetitions follow, depriving longer and longer of much-needed sleep, causing increasing frustration and exhaustion – and eventually leading to full-blown overstimulation.

What to do? Right: soften the Moro reflex of your baby by cuckooing it. This means that you wrap it appropriately tightly in a blanket or in a puck aid (for example, in a puck sack such as the womby bag), including the arms resting against the body in a natural position. The reflexive sequence of movements at the moment of fright is thus avoided.

Finally your baby – gently held – can drift off into a restful deep sleep.

The Moro reflex, specials

Above all others, sudden and surprising falling or leaning back into the supine position triggers the typical, lightning-fast sequence of movements of the Moro reflex: Accompanied by rapid, deep inhalation, the arms are first jerkily stretched in an upward movement. The fingers spread wide. Now – after a tiny moment of pause – the movement reverses: With a strong exhalation, the arms come back to the body and the hands clench into fists: grasping, so to speak. (By the way, the more violent the reaction, the more obvious the additional bending of the legs.)

The described sequence of movements is essential for the survival of active wearable devices (z.B. primates), because it ensures that the young animal clings to the mother’s body/skin in a flash in a dangerous situation. Which becomes necessary, for example, when the mother moves abruptly or the baby carrier, whose attention was on something else, notices her movement so late that he has to hold on immediately.

In terms of developmental history, this is interesting because the fact that the clasp reflex is still preserved in humans in the first weeks of life suggests that we humans, too, were not passive but active carriers in the past, unlike today.

Be that as it may, stress and danger are the cues for the existence of the Moro reflex. Red alert! – counters the baby. It feels a threat, and this feeling can be triggered in many ways: Hearing, seeing, feeling. Therefore, not only sudden movements are impulse-giving, but also various other stimuli: spontaneous light changes or unexpected temperature changes can be just as triggering for the protective reflex as careless picking up, ungentle touch, loud noises, shock or pain.

The Moro reflex is an immediate reaction to being startled. And the body’s reaction is absolutely complex: stress hormones are released, heart and breathing rates are increased, spontaneous movement and muscle tension are triggered.

As described here, this usually happens only during the first one to four months of life. The Moro reflex transitions into a mature startle reflex, it’s also called the fight-or-flight reaction.

In fact, the Moro reflex can even persist into adulthood – from the fourth month of life, it is called a persistent Moro reflex. It expresses itself naturally with the time somewhat differently than the early child movement sequence. For example, hypersensitivity to internal and external stimuli, increased alertness, pronounced anxiety, etc..

This perceptual disorder is quite debilitating for a growing child – as well as for an adult – because the symptoms have an impact on the entire behavior, sensation, ability to concentrate and social interaction.

How long and until when can you puke?

But now it has spat itself out!

Says who – ? You or your baby? your baby or the Internet? The Internet or your friend, mom-in-law, parenting magazine, midwife, pediatrician, playgroup leader…..

There are very different attitudes to the question of how long and until when a baby should be spit up. And many of these opinions have good reasons, follow understandable arguments. In this question there is simply no black or white, right or wrong. There is not just one, always the same baby that is swaddled – they are simply all different, these little new human beings! – and just as incongruous are the personalities and circumstances of the parents who cuckoo.

This is of course quite tricky. And tricky, because now I’m advising you: Decide from your gut! Trust your intuition and your baby’s ability to express her needs. – Beyond that, of course, you can still look at these issues a little more closely:

How long and until when, by the way, is not necessarily the same thing. Two questions arise from this, firstly: until when to swaddle in relation to the baby’s age?. And secondly – quite essential and far from controversial: How long and when to swaddle during a day. Let’s start with the latter.

How long and on what occasions do we spit up during the day and night??

Meaningful and baby-fair Puckening takes place in all first of all during the sleep phases. You are then welcome to swaddle continuously.

The cocoon gives your baby a familiar boundary, thus support – and warmth. In addition, if necessary, the swaddling softens the Moro reflex by slowing down its typical sequence of movements. The pucking promotes the supine position recommended for sleep and can prevent overstimulation for a variety of reasons (overtiredness, tummy ache, itchy skin, etc).) alleviate or avoid. Many babies find it easier to fall asleep when they are spit up and then enjoy a relaxed, undisturbed and deep sleep.

In addition, swaddling can be a sensationally helpful bridging measure for babies who prefer to be carried all the time. They tolerate being put down for a moment instead of being carried in the sling or in the arms when they are being swaddled. It can be invaluably restful! – and for a sibling, half an hour of undivided attention.

By the way, it is also very useful to temporarily swaddle an awake baby if he is very restless during breastfeeding, because this is not necessarily conducive to a full meal, which for well-known reasons should be taken without too many gulps of fresh air.

In any case, the times when a baby was also swaddled for large parts of the day are over – at least in Germany. I don’t know anyone in professional circles who advocates swaddling who would see it differently and recommend it.

This means that there is one exception: For a premature baby, this question has to be evaluated differently. Special needs require special measures, of course.

Up to what age cuddle?

This is a question to which there are very different answers. Some people commit themselves to a certain month of life: they say, for example, that they should stop swaddling after three months or after six months. I, on the other hand, am not in favor of a blanket definition. Our babies and their needs are simply too different for that.

In my experience, the core time for swaddling is in the first three months of life. After this time, the awareness of one’s own body limits is clearly developed, the babies orient themselves outwards and begin to discover their environment – and themselves. The need to be spat on will decrease as if by itself. Still, many babies love to be spit up to sleep for months after that. Sleep phases are rest phases anyway. No times therefore for movement-oriented discovery journeys. So go ahead! My opinion:

Let your baby decide. It will clearly signal to you when the time has come. Your baby can express itself and you can understand it!

Turning onto the belly is forbidden!

There is one thing, however, that is absolutely indisputable: if your baby can turn onto his stomach while being swaddled, then stop it immediately. Because to turn back spit-up: that’s high gymnastics!

wean off swaddling

From being gently held to great freedom

Many parents ask how they can break the habit of swaddling their baby again. Some people are really afraid of it, and in the worst case they don’t even want to start swaddling. I see it like this:

Either your baby decides on its own that it doesn’t want to be swaddled anymore and you realize that it feels perfectly comfortable in a sleeping bag – then you’re out of the game. The naturally grown urge to move and discover and simply the matured body awareness including the gained perception of own limits says STOP: "Don’t give me that wrap – !! I’m going to kick free anyway."

I am firmly convinced: this way is open to the vast majority of people. Trust in your baby, trust in its ability to express its needs and that you understand it!

The other possibility

You don’t want to spit up when your baby doesn’t even give the signal yet. I’m sure there are good reasons for this. However, for the next few days the adventure of sleep could become a little more turbulent! Especially if you act from one day to the next. But you know what I think:

If restless nights follow, then with good reason. Because what happens: Your baby protests – ! It may have asked for change itself? No! The fact is: Giving up a cherished habit is not so easy. No matter at what age. Least of all when, due to age, you can’t be convinced at all with rational arguments.

I think it is important to get to the heart of this basic idea. After all, a baby is a real living being, an individual even. Change is acknowledged. Expressing approval or disapproval. What else. Let’s not be deterred by this: Let’s embrace it! And let’s not try to avoid protest and displeasure from the outset. Resistance and freedom of expression also need to be learned.

Practically oriented

If you want to get your baby out of the pucking habit, then just do it gradually. Do it the gentle way, as long as there is no cause for a lightning storm.

You can do this by wrapping the puck sling or pucksack a little looser every day. But of course you have to make sure that your baby doesn’t pull any layers of cloth over his head – which could hinder his breathing! – I find pucking aids like the womby indispensable. In fact, due to the large Velcro application, they offer the option of leaving the wings looser only in the upper area, so to speak, to velcro funnel-wise. As a result, the baby has arm room, but the womby in the waist still adequately tight fit.

Alternatively, you can think about not swaddling your baby in a puck blanket or pucksack at all, but instead fix a blanket relatively tightly over the baby under the mattress. In this way you create a cocoon that continues to provide support, but in which there is much more room for movement of the arms. Again, keep in mind: The blanket should be tight enough so that it doesn’t end up over the baby’s face. An idea to ensure: take, for example, a bath towel or something in this format, which can be stuffed nicely far under the mattress!

Swaddling with your hands

Whenever I have just wrapped a baby in the womby, I put my hands by his side and gently cradle him. My hands then rest gently on the baby’s naturally bent arms, my open fingers expand the contact area. It is a very intuitive action and a great way to lovingly and mindfully nestle the baby into its cocoon. This contact is particularly interesting when you are swaddling an active, upset, tired, overstimulated baby. And of course this works without womby or puck blanket.

Try this – ! Do not use a puck sling or pucksack, put your baby in a sleeping bag in his crib – then cradle and puck him tenderly with your hands! Good night – and sweet dreams!

Criticism of swaddling

… is sometimes justified, but not valid for the wombys

And to make one thing very clear: casafeli and the wombys do NOT stand for wrapping according to traditional ways of pucking and by no means do I consider all wrapping methods to be appropriate and beneficial. Quite important in swaddling, for example, is to ensure legroom to eliminate the risk of hip dysplasia caused by swaddling: This is exactly what the wombys offer!

I would like to share my experience with you here and try to dispel one or two prejudices.

Vociferous concerns that ran wide

Ralph Frenken, a psychologist, educationalist and author, published a book in 2011 called "Tied Up Children". It deals with the history and psychology of swaddling. In addition to this, an article with the same title appeared in the December issue of the magazine "Psychologie Heute". This one explains: the practice of strict swaddling is experiencing a renaissance – and raises the question of who tight swaddling actually serves: the needs of the child, or perhaps the parents’ desire for rest after all?

Then, six months later, in July 2012, the Professional Association of Pediatricians and Adolescents (BVKJ) issued an unequivocal warning; it published a press release with the headline: Pediatricians and adolescent doctors warn against swaddling: "Swaddling is unnecessary and dangerous for babies".

In 2016, quoted in a newspaper article, it already sounds quite different from the mouth of Jakob Maske, Berlin press spokesman of the BVKJ and pediatrician..

So far, he does not see a reason to demonize swaddling: "Not all swaddling is the same", says mask. As long as the child is not deprived of any freedom of movement, there are rather advantages: "Swaddling can be helpful, for falling asleep and sleeping through the night, for example."

…but at that time I read all this first with great astonishment. I was speechless. Also terrified. Ralph Frenken’s article and the pediatricians’ observations did not match my experience at all – and certainly not what I associate with the term swaddling. The criticized aspects – at Frenken as well as at BVKJ – either do not apply at all to the pucking aids of casafeli (pucksack womby bag and pucking blanket womby wrap) – or they are such, which I myself can only judge as grossly negligent. In detail, this is what 2012 was all about:


The points of criticism in the statement of the BVKJ, which is still the basis of most of the articles warning against swaddling, can be summarized in four points. I relate this to swaddling with the wombys resp. on the rules to follow when swaddling in general:

Danger due to overheating

Basically, the ambient temperature must be taken into account when swaddling. The temperature of the room and the baby’s clothing must be adjusted to each other. Of course, high summer temperatures are completely unsuitable for swaddling a baby in multiple layers of fabric. Likewise, it is imperative to refrain from swaddling a feverish baby.

Danger due to constriction of the chest

wombys make it possible to swaddle the baby on the upper part of the body in an appropriately firm and body-hugging way. This is also important to prevent the baby from slipping in. The material is elastic organic cotton: casafelis pucking aids are not straitjackets – and should not be! I recommend giving the arms a natural, bent position, and it is perfectly okay for the baby to squeeze his arms out if he wants to.

In their above statement, pediatricians report being presented with babies who are spit up so tightly that nerves are pinched, breathing becomes difficult, and crying becomes impossible. So please do not pee – ! I am convinced that the medical experts did not make their statement without reason, yet I find it difficult to imagine serious regularity behind this observation, because my experience – and that of experts I know – is rather that parents tend to swaddle their babies too loosely.

Danger due to constriction in the form of lack of legroom

Hip dysplasia describes a deformity of the hip that can be congenital or acquired. The problem:

In contrast to the infant, child, adolescent or adult, the hip joint in the newborn consists of cartilage. As part of normal development, in infancy (3. to 9. The cartilage substance is continuously replaced by bone substance during the first month of life. This is done both in the acetabulum and in the femoral head of the thigh bone (femur). A correct position of the femoral head to the acetabulum is essential for regular ossification of the hip joint, since the forces and stresses generated by movements of the hip joint promote ossification. If the position of the femoral head and acetabulum is not correct (malposition), ossification of the malposition will occur without correction. Also, in some cases, the acetabulum and femoral head may not form properly in shape and size. In the medium term, this leads to poor function of the hip joint with subsequent damage and destruction (osteoarthritis). – Source: Wikipedia, hip dysplasia

The footmuff of the womby bag gives the baby freedom to move its legs, so swaddling with this pucksack does NOT increase the risk of hip dysplasia.

However, it seems that the manifestation of a congenital (primary) or. the acquisition of an acquired (secondary) hip dysplasia can then threaten if one swaddles traditionally: classical swaddling, namely with stretching and fixation of the legs (why this is so damaging is shown very vividly in this animation) – expert Dr. Tamara Seidl in an interview:

"From the pediatric orthopedic point of view, it is necessary to warn exclusively against the classical pucking, (… it) However, there is nothing to be said against the use of pucksacks in which the babies can move their legs freely and parents can achieve a sitting-squatting position by placing a towel roll under the baby’s legs, for example. In this sitting-squatting position, there is optimal growth of the entire hip joint."

assumption: flattening of the back of the head

In favor of a safe sleep, the supine position is explicitly recommended. There are babies who accept this more easily when they are swaddled. However, a baby lying in the womby can tilt its head to the side without hindrance. Here we recognize no difference, whether the baby has this freedom in the sleeping bag or spat in the womby.

More current articles are more differentiated

Over the years, there have also been other publications that vehemently oppose pucking and portray it as fundamentally dangerous. All articles known to me, however, refer without exception to the above-mentioned aspects, which are either self-excluding or do not correspond to the contemporary understanding of sensible, safe and baby-friendly swaddling (of course!) do not comply.

Fortunately, in the meantime I have also read examples that put things into perspective by contrasting the classic swaddling with the contemporary pucking, for example in the Hamburger Abendblatt in this article on the subject of hip development – it says there:

Experts consider puck-sack to be harmless
Seidl’s criticism is directed against the complete wrapping of the baby in cloths, with the legs stretched out and pressed together. The use of a puck sack, which only fits tightly on the upper body, but leaves the legs sufficient freedom of movement, is harmless. If the legs remained in a slightly splayed, bent position, the hips could mature easily.

A little tip on the side

A few years ago, blogger Pia Drieben wrote a wonderful polemic on the subject, and in it she gave a thorough shake to those who warn against traditional swaddling in the first place, but denigrate modern swaddling right along with it: Absolutely worth reading!

CORRECT swaddling is not a danger! – The be-all and end-all of swaddling is, of course, the correct application and the use of a swaddling aid that has been developed and thought through for this purpose.

Safe pucking, this is how it works!

Carefully and gently nurturing the baby’s needs – that’s our job! Around a baby safe and baby-friendly to swaddle, there are a few essential rules that we must take into account when swaddling. At a glance:

Avoid overheating!

Newborns are not yet able to regulate their own heat balance very well, so special care is needed here. A great tip is and remains the feeling in the neck resp. between the shoulder blades: Your baby should be warm there, but not sweaty. In addition, the following applies:

  • Clothing – Match the clothing and puck aid according to the ambient temperature. Tips for summer!
  • Headgear – No additional headgear in warm rooms or on warm days.
  • Fever – Never swaddle your baby when he has a fever!

Ensure free breathing!

  • Wrapping close to the body ensures that your baby cannot slip into the womby and is therefore a must!
  • Reasonably firm but does not mean life-threateningly cramped. I’m sure you can tell the difference exactly!

Allow free development!

Hours of diapering, even during waking hours, restricts the baby’s motor freedom – and thus development – and can be enormously frustrating psychologically.

  • Modern swaddling takes place in the very first place to fall asleep and during sleep instead of.
  • In waking phases it serves only the attempt to provide for calming – which can avoid overstimulation and is therefore a wise means.
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