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swaddling=increase SIDS risk?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
We were told by our nurse yesterday at the NICU that once we get our son home they recommend us not to swaddle him.... even though they are swaddling him ALL THE TIME in the NICU because swaddling has shown an increase of SIDS .

She was telling us its a recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics and they are telling all of their parents not to swaddle. So I decided to research this a little because I have worked with infants for years and have always swaddled. The only thing I found online was that swaddling in loose blankets could lead to blankets covering the baby's face and overheating which could contribute to SIDS.

Has anyone else heard of this? My son loves to be swaddled and honestly I love swaddling and think that if we supervise him he will be fine. What do yall think?
post #2 of 6
I was warned similar things by NICU nurses before leaving with my DD, and... well, we swaddled at home.

I have poked around for actual warnings that the AAP has issued concerning swaddling and found none. I have found statements from other sources that say that the AAP warns against this, but nothing from the actual AAP. I'm not 100% convinced that they actually make this recommendation. Plenty of people seem to make it for them.

If swaddling was really dangerous, I don't understand why they would do it in the hospital, no matter how many monitors the baby is hooked up to. I mean, sure, they can watch breathing and heart rates and make sure things are okay, I still think it would be irresponsible of a NICU to carry blithely on with a practice that might provoke apneas, bradycardias, or other problematic events.

I also think that it's cruel to deny new parents, home with their preemie for the first time, the use of the comfort technique that the baby has become accustomed to in the NICU. Stopping swaddling cold turkey the day you go home is a guarantee that your first few nights (which are already going to be stressful) are downright hellish.

I think you should swaddle firmly, I think you should be aware of the possibility of overheating (use a light blanket if it's warm), and I think you should phase the swaddle out when your dc starts rolling over or squirming out overnight. For now, I think it's fine.
post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
I was warned similar things by NICU nurses before leaving with my DD, and... well, we swaddled at home.

I have poked around for actual warnings that the AAP has issued concerning swaddling and found none. I have found statements from other sources that say that the AAP warns against this, but nothing from the actual AAP. I'm not 100% convinced that they actually make this recommendation. Plenty of people seem to make it for them.

If swaddling was really dangerous, I don't understand why they would do it in the hospital, no matter how many monitors the baby is hooked up to. I mean, sure, they can watch breathing and heart rates and make sure things are okay, I still think it would be irresponsible of a NICU to carry blithely on with a practice that might provoke apneas, bradycardias, or other problematic events.

I also think that it's cruel to deny new parents, home with their preemie for the first time, the use of the comfort technique that the baby has become accustomed to in the NICU. Stopping swaddling cold turkey the day you go home is a guarantee that your first few nights (which are already going to be stressful) are downright hellish.

I think you should swaddle firmly, I think you should be aware of the possibility of overheating (use a light blanket if it's warm), and I think you should phase the swaddle out when your dc starts rolling over or squirming out overnight. For now, I think it's fine.


There are fantastic swaddling blankets which can ensure you get a nice, snug swaddle at home.
post #4 of 6
It's probably related to their hands being free to wake themselves up for a feeding. There is some evidence to show breastfeeding protects babies from SIDS because breastfed babies wake up more frequently and don't get into as deep a sleep. Babies use their hands to wake themselves up for feeds. If their hands are swaddled in so tightly, they can't get them out and then may sleep longer between feeds. You can swaddle a baby with their arms out. They don't recommend swaddling babies here any longer because of this.
post #5 of 6
Mamaki, I've heard lots of people suggest swaddling with the arms out, but what's the point of that? How does it help?

The whole point of the swaddle (from where I stand) is that it recreates the containment of the uterine environment. Your baby did not bonk herself in the nose and get upset in utero because she met resistance when she moved her hands. Until she develops a little more gross motor control, and gets a better grip on her nervous system, she'll stay calmer if she is helped to not bonk herself in the nose. If she's swaddled with her hands out, there's nothing keeping her from whacking herself in the face and flipping out about it.

I don't believe that babies need to use their hands to wake themselves up for feedings. Both of my babies were perfectly capable of waking up and yelling while firmly swaddled. Hands in, hands out - they woke up and let me know when they wanted to nurse.
post #6 of 6
ditto to all that. i am still swaddling my 8 month old former preemie (not every night anymore though). she wakes up just fine to eat. we actually stopped swaddling when she started sleeping through the night, and started again when she got more active and harder to wind down. definitely swaddle. just be aware that you're swaddling tightly enough and changing blanket size as the baby grows. a loosely swaddled blanket, or a blanket that is too small to contain them could be a potential smothering hazard.
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