Last week, The Journal of Pediatrics released a study that stated, “swaddling babies increased the risk of SIDS.” The media picked this swaddle thing up and ran a touchdown with it, but there are parts of this study they didn't share with you. As parents and caregivers, we have to be mindful of the things we read and watch. There may be some truth and there may none; but it definitely benefits both you and your family to dive a little deeper and check things out for yourself…or you can come visit me and I will save you some time!
(feel like reading? here is the study) Now let’s begin…
You should continue to swaddle your little one because swaddling alone does NOT increase the risk of SIDS. Swaddling can be done in a few different ways and for different reasons, all with the same end result. You baby may be calmer, sleep better, and even sleep longer when wrapped like a bean burrito! Get your technique down and make sure you are swaddling correctly and you could be on to something good if it’s what your baby likes! The American Academy of Pediatrics shares how here.
The study admits that the risk of SIDS was shown to increase when the baby is placed on their tummy or side to sleep…we already knew this fact, right? Babies should ALWAYS be placed on their BACKS to sleep (unless there is some medical reason that is followed closely by a physician). So the research is solidifying the very important fact that it’s the way you place your baby to sleep that may increase their risk. Tummy and side sleeping for newborns and infants (to a certain age) was a huge deciding factor and change that led the Safe to Sleep Campaign which began back in the 90s.
Did you know swaddling has an expiration date? I know, I know…you are pulling your hair out at the idea that you will have to find another way to get your infant to sleep so peacefully. But I promise it’s for their own good. Once your little one is able to roll over on their own, there is a great possibility that the blanket you use to swaddle could become a strangling/suffocation agent. They may not yet be able to maneuver their head and face to breathe adequately and well…you get where I am going with that. This is when swaddling can become very dangerous. Until then…Keep Calm and Swaddle On!
So, you see…the title of that study was enough to make you give up on the whole idea, but when done correctly and safely, swaddling is A-OK! I hope you have found some peace and that you feel more confident in your swaddling adventures. Keep your baby swaddled on their backs using an appropriate technique and once they reach that rolling over milestone…your swaddling days will be over! Until next time…