Definitions & Discussions

Swaddling Clothes
Holiness of God

Swaddling Clothes

[The angel told the shepherds...]
"This will be the sign to you:
You will find a Babe wrapped in
swaddling cloths,
Lying in a manger."
Luke 2.12

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance

Swaddling clothes <Greek: sparganoo>
Strong's #4683 sparganoo
from sparganon (a strip; from a derivative of the base of sparasso meaning to strap or wrap with strips); to swathe (an infant after the Oriental custom):--wrap in swaddling clothes.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Swaddle; Swaddling-band
..."Swaddle" has become the technical term for the wrapping of an infant in the Orient or elsewhere. The oriental swaddling-clothes consist of a square of cloth and two or more bandages. The child is laid on the cloth diagonally and the corners are folded over the feet and body and under the head, the bandages then being tied so as to hold the cloth in position. This device forms the clothing of the child until it is about a year old, and its omission (Ezek 16.4) would be a token that the child had been abandoned.
Public release date: 2-Dec-2002
Contact: D. D. Williams
Washington University School of Medicine

williamsdia at msnotes dot wustl dot edu
[Email address modified to prevent harvesting]

Swaddling may help sleeping babies remain on their backs
St. Louis, Dec. 2, 2002 --Infants sleep with fewer awakenings when swaddled, and swaddling may help sleeping infants remain on their backs, say researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. These findings are reported in the December issue of Pediatrics.

SIDS deaths have decreased nearly 50 percent since the American Academy of Pediatrics 1992 recommendation that babies be placed on their backs to sleep. But when infants reach 2 months of age, about 20 percent of parents in the United States place their babies on their stomachs to sleep because they say they appear more comfortable or to sleep better.

"That's also the time when babies have enough strength and are big enough that they can escape from the typical 'burrito' wrap style of swaddling," said Claudia M. Gerard, M.D., clinical instructor in pediatrics and lead author of the paper. "But in other cultures where swaddling is practiced, it's common to continue swaddling babies until they are much older."

According to Bradley T. Thach, M.D., professor of pediatrics and the study's senior author, swaddling is practiced almost universally in newborn hospital nurseries, and various traditional swaddling techniques are practiced in Turkey, Afghanistan and Albania. Swaddling may make a baby feel more secure and may limit the startle reflex, which may lead to full behavioral arousals. By allowing infants to stay asleep on their backs, parents would be less likely to intervene and change infants to the risky stomach-sleeping position.

This study examined the effect of swaddling on spontaneous arousals during sleep. Twenty-six healthy infants 3 weeks to 6 months old were alternately wrapped in a specially designed cotton spandex swaddle or not swaddled during daytime naps in a sleep laboratory. The cotton spandex swaddle did not restrict the baby's hip movement or breathing, but it did limit their breaking free of the swaddle.

After the infants fell asleep, the researchers evaluated rapid eye movement (REM) and quiet sleep (QS). These sleep states were determined by breathing patterns, eye movements and brain waves, and the number of sighs, startles and full arousals also were recorded. Infants who awoke during the study were lulled back to sleep by rocking, singing, feeding or given a pacifier.

The frequency of startles was decreased with swaddling during QS and REM sleep, and the frequency of behavioral arousals was decreased with swaddling during QS sleep. The duration of REM sleep almost doubled with swaddling.

"Now we have scientific evidence to support the age-old belief that swaddled infants sleep better than unswaddled infants," Gerard said. "It helps babies stay asleep and so may help parents keep their babies sleeping in the safer back position."

The full-time and volunteer faculty of Washington University School of Medicine are the physicians and surgeons of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient-care institutions in the nation. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.

Holiness of God

Exalt the LORD our God,
And worship at His holy hill;
For the LORD our God is holy.
Psalm 99.9


  • Absoluteness and Majesty - "Holiness" indicates that God is separate from His creation. "Holiness" thus denotes the absoluteness, majesty, and awesomeness of God-the-Creator in His distinction from the living creatures and universe that He created.
  • Ethical Holiness - "Holiness" further indicates that God is separated from sin and evil. Ethically, God Is Holy, Righteous, and Loving. God is morally spotless in character and action. He is upright, pure, and untainted with evil desires, motives, thoughts, words, or acts. God is the source and standard of what is right. God is free from all evil. He loves all truth and goodness. He values purity and detests impurity and inauthenticity. God has no pleasure in evil (Ps 5.4). He cannot condone evil (Hab 1.13). God abhors evil and cannot encourage sin in any way (James 1.13-14).

Holiness is a changeless characteristic of God's eternal nature.

  • God's goodness, justness, purity, and holiness ARE "holy" -- not by reason of an arbitrary act of God's will, but because holiness is an outflow of God's very nature and character.
  • God wills the good because He IS good. And because God is holy, He consistently hates sin and is repulsed by all evil without respect of persons.

The Holy Spirit is called "holy" not only because He IS holy, but also because His distinctive function is to produce holy living and holy love in God's redeemed people.

  • We are to seek to be morally spotless in character and action, upright, and righteous like the God we worship.
  • In fact, the definition of *sin* is that we "fall short" of the holy character of God, who created us to be in His holy image...

For all have sinned
And fall short of the glory of God

Because He who called you is holy,
You also be holy in all your conduct,
Because it is written,
"Be ye holy, for I am holy."

Rom 3.23; 1 Pet 1.15


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