After nine months in the womb, your baby is used to tight spaces. In the the beginning, baby may feel insecure in his new world with nothing to push his arms and legs against. He finds the restriction of movement soothing. This is where swaddling comes in. Swaddling aids in sensory comfort. But, You want to make sure you swaddle safely.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), in 2011, the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education recommended against swaddling, saying it could increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). However, Dr. Glassy, chair of the AAP Section on Early Education and Child Care Executive Committee, says, “As everybody knows, babies are born and cleaned up and then put in a nice, tight swaddle to keep them comfortable and warm. They love it, you can see it on their faces.”
Because of this contradiction the AAP has not taken official stance on the subject, leaving the choice or preference up to parents. If you want to swaddle your baby keep these Safe Swaddling tips in mind.
1.Get the Right Fit
The blanket needs to be loose enough that a hand can fit between the blanket and the baby’s chest so the baby doesn’t have trouble breathing. But the blanket can’t be so loose that it unravels either.
2. Keep Their Hips Healthy
According to International Hip Dysplasia Institute a baby should never be swaddled with their legs straight. Babies should have their hips open in a frog-like position. This help aids the ball-and-socket of the hip to solidify in the early months of infancy. This is especially true for breech babies. Babies who stubbornly stayed in breech position are more susceptible to hip dysplasia or hip dislocation. Here's a video from the Hip Dysplasia Institute that exemplifies safe swaddling technique:
3. Keep Baby on His Back
Never place a swaddled baby on his stomach. This is really dangerous and will increase the chances of SIDS
4. Know the Risks
Parents should know that there are some risks to swaddling, AAP Dr. Moon says. Swaddling may decrease a baby’s arousal, so that it’s harder for the baby to wake up. “That is why parents like swaddling – the baby sleeps longer and doesn’t wake up as easily,” she said. “But we know that decreased arousal can be a problem and may be one of the main reasons that babies die of SIDS.”
5. Know When to Stop
According to the AAP, caretakers should stop swaddling their infant at age 2-months. This is about the time that many parents are going back to work. It is important to talk about swaddling with your selected caregiver. Two months is about when your baby is starting to move around more. Give them that freedom to grow and develop.
Bonnie Jean Feldkamp is a writer and mother of two. If you liked this posting please follow her on Twitter @writerbonnie or like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WriterBonnie