People have been swaddling babes throughout history, and while the process of restricting infants' movements with a tightly pulled blanket may seem unnecessary and even cruel to adult eyes, babies actually find it comforting.
Studies have shown that swaddling reduces crying, lowers anxious babies' breathing and heart rates, and allows infants to sleep longer, with fewer interruptions. The technique has even been shown to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) for babies sleeping on their backs. What's more, any parent who practices swaddling can tell you that it makes little ones feel better. It has a naturally calming, almost sedative effect, which can be just as much of a relief for sleep-deprived parents as it is for fussy babies.