Can you swaddle TOO much?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 12-09-2009, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
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My DS is 9 weeks old (3 weeks adjusted - he was born at 33w6d). Unlike my DD who hated being swaddled from day 1, he LOVES it. It is the only way he will sleep, and he still sleeps quite a bit (is only up about 4-5 hours total in a 24 hour period). So, my question is, if he is swaddled 19+ hours a day, is that bad for his development? Should I just save the swaddling for night hours? Though then he will be fussy and cranky and not sleep during the day. It's kind of nice that he loves it so much, but I'm concerned it may be too much. Thanks for any insight.

Mama to Kelsey born at 35w6d on 11-05-04 & Troy born at 33w6d on 10-03-09
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#2 of 10 Old 12-09-2009, 09:56 PM
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I swaddled my guy whenever he was sleeping. I still do, when I can, and he's almost 3 mos. He just sleeps better when he's swaddled.

I don't worry about his development because he gets plenty of exercise while awake, kicking his legs, swinging his arms, lifting his head, etc.

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#3 of 10 Old 12-10-2009, 01:38 AM
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My Miracle Blanket instructions said not to swaddle more than 10 hours per day, but my DD's 'night' lasts at least 12, so I've been wondering about this myself.

I've been swaddling the babe at night, but was just tucking a blanket around her for naps. The blanket was snug enough to keep her from startling awake but I didn't feel like I was still swaddling her. Maybe I'm just deceiving myself. Now that she's older she doesn't need the swaddle during the day, but I still let her stay bundled up for her whole night time.

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#4 of 10 Old 12-10-2009, 01:48 AM
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I'm sure there's a good amount of research out there about this.

I personally am nervous about swaddling too much because babies do so much growing in their sleep, and I wouldn't want to cause problems like hip dysplasia by having positioned in only way for most of the day.

Just like you need to position their heads different ways to prevent a flat back of the head, I tend to think it's best to let their joints move when they sleep as well.

Then again, my boy also does much better in a swaddle. We use a Woombie at night occasionally, then just let him cat nap during the day in various places and positions.
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#5 of 10 Old 12-10-2009, 02:31 AM
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I swaddle my son all the time even in his naps. He's ten months. He's still okay to where he should be meeting his milestones. I asked his dr. (we use a pediatric chiropractor) and she said that's fine. Then again he gets adjusted at each milestone that he meets. Plus he sleeps on his side always has. If I didn't swaddle him then his arms would flop everywhere and he'd never get any sleep which in turn neither would I. Right now he's at a point where I swaddle him to sleep and usually by the middle of the night he'll have broken away from his swaddle but still be asleep. Hth
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#6 of 10 Old 12-10-2009, 12:56 PM
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Dr. Sears says that you can swaddle too much and it can adversely affect the development of the hips. He says babies need to sleep with legs in a "frog" position. That is probably why the miracle blanket says no more than 10 hours per day. I would think if you went over that a little, no problem, but maybe keep in mind that some time each day should be without the swaddle. Mine loves the swaddle, too, so I hear ya on the benefits to the baby and parent on swaddling!!

Birthed a beautiful baby boy, Ethan, 11/11/09.
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#7 of 10 Old 12-10-2009, 01:41 PM
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I suggest wearing your baby in a tight Moby wrap during the day and swaddling at night. My 4mo DD also needs to either be swaddled or wrapped tight in a carrier. I think that babies that young still need to be carried a lot, even if they're sleeping. Touch effects them, even if they're not awake.

ETA: I read an article about parenting in Mongolia.. They swaddle their babies nearly 100% of the time for the first 3mo. They don't seem to have any negative long term consequences to it (it's necessary because of the cold). However, they do wear their babies once they're swaddled up.

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#8 of 10 Old 12-10-2009, 02:25 PM
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If you swaddle in such a way that your baby doesn't have free movement of his/her hip joints, yes, it can negatively impact hip development. My daughter was born with hip dyslasia, so I did read up on it a bit. I can't remember where I saw this information, but I read that cultures that practice intensive swaddling (like Mongolia) have a higher rate of infant hip dysplasia. Their bones are still pretty soft, and movement of the hip joint is how that joint gets shaped properly. I'm sure many people swaddle for large chunks of the day without problems, but it definitely would increase the risk.

Living the good life and walking a path of peace with DH and DD (4/09)
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#9 of 10 Old 12-10-2009, 02:27 PM
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I swaddled my DD until she was about 9 months old for both night time and nap time. She is now crawling etc (and meeting all of her milestones). I thought it would be really hard to "wean" her from it, but she is doing great (it has been about a month since we retired swaddling). I think you just have to do what works for you and your little one!
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#10 of 10 Old 12-10-2009, 02:38 PM
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I swaddled my now almost four year old until she was about a year. It was the only way she would sleep without getting herself all worked up and unable to sleep. She's totally fine developmentally. She runs and plays and jumps and dances.

I think that they just want to make sure it isn't like a 24 hour a day thing and mainly a CYA thing? JMHO.

Sandra SAHM to Kayleigh and welcoming Emily January 2010
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