Is Swaddling Safe?

As I was watching TV the other night, a commercial for Huggies Little Movers Diapers came on.  It shows a baby being swaddles and eventually getting up and crawling around. I know that swaddling babies is just something that you do to protect the baby. But is swaddling a baby safe?

 I do not have a baby, nor have I ever swaddled one, but it seems like keeping a newborn baby swaddled is a good thing. For those of you who don’t know what swaddling is, it’s when the baby is cocooned up into a blanket so that they can’t force their way out.  It is used to keep the baby relaxed, warm and safe from its new reflexes. Babies move their arms a lot, so swaddling keeps the arms tight to reduce the probability that they will hurt themselves.

 Swaddling is mainly done to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which is the unexpected death of an infant. There is no definite cause to SIDS, nor is there a way to treat it. To reduce the probability of a child dying of SIDS, it is best to have the baby sleep on its back. Swaddling the baby helps keep it in place, so that the baby won’t move around and ends up on its stomach, and from grabbing anything that may harm it while sleeping. If the baby rolls over when sleeping, it’s more likely to “over-heat, have pauses in breathing, and re-breathe the air previously exhaled”.

Swaddling may be one of the better things for an infant, but there are some risks that go along with it. Babies can be swaddled too tightly and develop hip problems, respiratory infections, over heating and suffocation if the swaddle becomes too lose.

My opinion would be to keep swaddling babies. I believe that the pros out weigh the cons and keeping your baby safe from SIDS and from itself is the best thing for the infant. A mother should properly learn how to swaddle to reduce the risks. But swaddling is here to stay.

3 thoughts on “Is Swaddling Safe?

  1. Shannon Elizabeth Kress

    Swaddling became more popular after back sleeping was the popular thing to do. I think after the fad of putting babies on there stomachs to sleep was over, it is smart to swaddling to keep from stomach sleeping. Mothers have to use their common sense and mother’s intuition as well. This article is really interesting, and it is important too!

  2. Alexandra Aldarelli

    That swaddled baby is adorable! Swaddling is definitely a technique that mothers are still using today. Not only to keep their babies safe- but also to keep it calm and relaxed. Besides the benefit of safety, I also heard that swaddling a baby reminds them of being inside the womb, because leaving their little space after 9 months can be kind of a shock when they enter this big world where they are free to move about as they wish. Therefore swaddling a baby is also useful as a soothing mechanism. Overall the pros of swaddling clearly outweigh the cons, and unless a study is done to prove the level of harm that it could cause, I believe mothers will still continue to swaddle their babies whenever and for however long it seems necessary. You said swaddling mainly causes harm if not done correctly, so mothers should all learn the correct way and be comfortable swaddling, before they proceed to practice it on their actual babies. The only question that remains then, is how would anyone be capable of assuring that mothers have learned to swaddle and correctly- or where could mothers go to pick up the technique?

  3. Shannon G Mcclain

    Swaddling is definitely a common action among mothers in our society and I agree that it isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Unless substantial evidence develops that proves swaddling to be negative, I don’t think it will change. It could be the same situation as the “babies sleeping on their stomach”, where people did not realize it was harmful, but couldn’t figure out why. Obviously I really hope it doesn’t come to that though because that would be terrible. I agree with you that the pros certainly outweigh the cons, but mothers should still be taught properly, for safe measure.

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