You might have heard of swaddling – and if you have just had your baby, the nurses might have taught you a lesson or two in swaddling. Swaddling refers to a technique where you wrap up your baby with a cloth. Being wrapped up in cloth in this specific way apparently lets your infant feel as if he or she is back in their mommy’s womb, and the warmth and security they feel because of this can let the baby sleep much more peacefully. Of course, if you have seen some pictures of swaddled up babies, the million-dollar question might come to your mind – is it safe to swaddle your baby?
To answer the question in the simplest terms: yes, it is safe as long as it is done properly (either with your regular cloths, or with special swaddles bought from baby shops online for example). To further expand on this statement, it is important to pay attention to the main reasons why swaddling, when done improperly, can be unsafe:
SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) – again, as a mom or a mom-to-be, you might have heard of this syndrome. It is a condition by which a very young infant – who is perfectly healthy – suddenly dies in their sleep. The probability of SIDS taking place, according to studies, is higher if your baby sleeps on their tummy. A swaddled baby, if somehow ends up sleeping on their tummy has a higher chance of dying as a result of SIDS. This is why a swaddled baby should always be kept on their back to sleep, and they must be constantly monitored.
Suffocation – a baby can also suffocate if not monitored properly. This can be due to loose and extra sheets in their crib or bassinet. If a baby is swaddled improperly, the cloth can come undone and can get over their face, putting the baby at risk of suffocation.
Hip dysplasia – this is a condition by which the hips of the baby experience an abnormal growth – the hip joint is not held within the socket of the hip properly, as in a dislocation of the hip. Family history and breech births can promote this condition, and girls tend to be more at risk, but swaddling can increase the risk if it the wrapping is too tight. Always make sure that two to three fingers can fit within the swaddle for extra space – this ensures it is not too tight.
When done properly, swaddling is a safe procedure that can promote a baby’s sleep. If you are very unsure, you can always resort to special swaddles such as the Love To Dream Baby swaddle – they resemble small sleeping bags.In conclusion, what can be said is that swaddling is safe, and yes, it is okay to swaddle your baby – but make sure to do it properly!
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