Welcome to the world where the most confident of parents today have become perplexed by various child-rearing techniques! One of them being ‘Swaddling’. With various health hazards coming with it, parents today are confused whether to swaddle or not to swaddle their infant babies. Let’s understand the pros and cos of such a technique that has been religiously followed since time immemorial.
In case you are unaware, “swaddling” involves snugly wrapping infants in a blanket to restrict movement. Swaddled babies are said to be less fussy, sleep longer as they have the illusion of still being in the mother’s womb.
But, now the new parental question is whether to swaddle or not to swaddle, due to the alarming rise of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) due to it.
Let’s understand its pros and cons in details:
- It works magic when it comes to calm a cranky, fussy newborn.
- It helps baby provide comfort and sleep for longer.
The risks of swaddling outweighs the benefits of it.
- Once you are used to swaddling your baby, it becomes difficult to stop.
- If swaddling is done too tightly, there is a high risk of restricted breathing and respiratory infections.
- If your swaddled baby is unable to move or bend his legs, it may lead to hip dysplasia.
- It also brings in chances of body overheat, causing sweating, heat rash or even death, if not checked on time. This is mainly because they can’t move their arms and legs around to cool themselves off.
- Swaddling increases the chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), as its harder for the swaddled baby to wake up easily.
- Always make sure your baby is sleeping in his crib / bassinet / cot as these are safer options than on your bed.
- Avoid any “loose” sheet or blanket on your baby’s crib. For they may cover the baby’s face and lead to suffocation!
- Place your baby on her back to sleep, and monitor her that she doesn’t roll over.
- While swaddling, ensure that it isn’t done very tightly, or else, it may lead to abnormal development of hip joints (known to be hip dysplasia) or even, hip dislocation.
- Swaddle fabric shouldn’t be extremely loose, as it has the risk of covering your baby’s face, leading to SIDS.
- Swaddling always doesn’t calm a baby. So, it should be stopped once the baby is 2 or 2.5 months old and look for other ways to calm your baby instead.
What Can Be Done Instead?
- There is no rule as such that your “baby needs to be swaddled”. If your baby seems to be happy without swaddling, don’t bother.
- Sleep sacks comes to your rescue if you want to swaddle and also, ensure his safety.
- Look for other ways to soothe your baby, such as shushing, patting, holding, and rocking.
Products That Can Help Reduce The Risks Of Swaddling
- Video Monitor: Even if you want, you cannot always monitor your baby directly. And, if you choose to swaddle, supervision is a must. It’s a great option to install a video monitor if you wish to keep a watchful eye on him. This video monitor from Infant Optics boasts of 150 foot indoor range and an impressive 800 foot outdoor reception range. You will always be connected to your baby, no matter wherever you are in the house.
- Traditional Swaddle: If you want to swaddle, at the same time you want to ensure his comfort and safety, consider a sleep sack instead, as it lets the legs move and is safer for the hips. Best fit for 0-3 months, this sleep sack is 100% cotton and only restricts the hands. Its stretchy material will allow your little one to move around freely with comfort.
We understand that there being lot many contradicting opinions around, new parents are all perplexed.
Remember, the most important thing – your baby’s safety! Swaddling may not be entirely a bad idea. But, one has to make an informed choice.
And, if you’ve a baby who is a non-sleeper and keeps you awake all night, know about some of the hacks to put him off to sleep in minutes, here.
Hope this article gives you clarity on whether to swaddle or not to swaddle your newborn. Please share your thoughts and knowledge on this subject, in the Comments section below.