Thanks for re-opening the thread, CM.
I'm gonna try to re-phrase my opinion non-sarcastically lol. (Sorry, it's just that when something really bugs me I tend to go into sarcasm mode- it's a defense mechanism, I suppose).
We used swaddling with my daughter when she was a newborn and up until she was about....I don't know, maybe 5ish months? And increasingly less so as the months went on. It was just one of the tools we used, so I am NOT like a swaddling activist or anything like that. Although I do highly recommend it, especially to new parents and parents of "colicky" or high-needs babies.
What I disliked about the posted piece and the articles it contained:
1.) the arguments used were pretty sensationalistic IMO. For instance, the comment about going into a hospital nursery and seeing rows and rows of sad little motionless, trapped, swaddled babies in plastic bins all lined up....wasn't that a little over the top? And even though there were one or two offhand "by the way"-type disclaimers that y'all weren't dissing swaddling as a whole- they didn't seem sincere in light of the rest of the articles.
2.) The studies presented that supposedly backed up the claims were dubious. I'd like to see more info on these "small studies". Such as who commissioned them and when, what were the objectives of the study/studies, and how many babies were actually studied. Because it looks to me like these were thrown together with the intent to bolster previously-held opinions.
3.) Where's the middle ground? There are only two kinds of parents focused on in the piece- a.) those who swaddle their babies constantly and put them off in a corner, unloved and neglected, and b.) those who "trust their instincts" and don't swaddle at all. I have actually never known either of these kinds of parents. All of the parents of small children who I know, both IRL family and friends and online friends, are either enthusiastic about swaddling as a tool to help soothe over-tired babies (most of them are in this category), or they are the one or two mamas I know who tried swaddling, but their LOs didn't respond well to it so they stopped. In other words, I don't think the articles were very representative of parenting reality.
Also, in this same vein, those "alternatives to swaddling" that were mentioned in the piece? Why were those listed as alternatives? When I swaddled my daughter I can't remember very many times that I didn't swaddle and then hold and rock her, sing to her, nurse her, or let her fall asleep on my chest/belly while wrapped up. I think that's more common than not.
4.) I don't AT ALL like how this information is probably going to make some people, (especially the aforementioned new mothers or parents of colicky/high needs babies), feel like they have lost yet another useful tool because it's not "AP" enough. Swaddling, "shushing" and softly bouncing (which IMO is in the same family as rocking and walking with baby in arms) are tools that have been recommended to ME and to countless other mothers on this very forum, over and over and over again. They're recommended because they've been tried and tested and they work.
5.) And finally....this is not a personal attack on Peggy or on anyone else, but I really do have to agree with what several people have said above: it seems as though we maybe have run out of NEW things to talk about/debate about/dissect for discussion around here, so because the practice of swaddling is pretty mainstream it was chosen to pick apart. I can't say I know exactly why. To start controversy, and thus lead to more discussion/more board traffic? Simply because swaddling IS mainstream now, and some of the more crunchy members here maybe have developed a knee-jerk reaction to it for that reason alone? I'm not accusing anyone of anything. Honestly I'm not, because I simply don't know. But I have to say that my "sincerity/insincerity?" radar was pinged by this piece.