Swaddling - Dr. Sears says its bad? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 30 Old 01-25-2005, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,
I'm preparing for a new baby and started reading Dr. Sears' The Baby Book. There is a paragraph in it where he says that new research has shown that swaddling inhibits the proper development of the hip joint. It is best for baby's legs to be unrestricted in a frog position, i.e. feet drawn together with knees splaying out, which they assume naturally. So, while swaddling is OK to do for a couple of hours every few days but its not a good idea to do it for prolonged periods of time. Anyone have any info or thoughts on this? I always thought that babies like to be swaddled and its a good idea. Now I'm confused.
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#2 of 30 Old 01-25-2005, 02:35 PM
 
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Hello,
It is best for baby's legs to be unrestricted in a frog position, i.e. feet drawn together with knees splaying out, which they assume naturally.
nak

this is how ds2 is usually when i swaddle him most successfully/with the best results.
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#3 of 30 Old 01-25-2005, 02:38 PM
 
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IMHO, every baby is different and if swaddling seems to make your wee one comfy and happy, go ahead and do it. 24/7 swaddling is not really common in our car-seat culture, so it's unlikely you'll wind up swaddling for long uniterrupted stretches.

Dr. Sears has some good ideas, but remember that this is the man who thinks you should co-sleep with your 18 m.o. and nurse him/her all night long. CLEARLY, not all of his ideas work for all babies, although he tends to present them as if the do.
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#4 of 30 Old 01-25-2005, 02:38 PM
 
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Hmmmm..... I haven't heard about that! Well, I guess I'm ok, tho.... With my ds, I did a half swaddle. I didn't have a blanket that was perfectly square or big enough, so I used the largest I had and just made sure his arms were swaddled well. His legs were free and, while he slept, he would naturally froggy them. I think he still got the nice snuggly, swaddling feeling that he craved, tho. If you wish to follow Dr. Sears advice, maybe you can try that? Just swaddling the arms and letting the legs be free.
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#5 of 30 Old 01-25-2005, 02:54 PM
 
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Hmmmm.....I'm glad I missed that bit of advice in The Baby Book. I had about 4 weeks of miserable nights with DD until I bought 2 Miracle Blankets (regular blankets didn't get the job done) and swaddled her for nighttime and naps. DD had such a major startle reflex that the swaddle was the only thing that let her relax and fall asleep. Seriously, swaddling was a life saver for us. We swaddled DD for naps and nighttime until 7 or 8 months, and I'm confident the swaddling did not result in any hip development problems.
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#6 of 30 Old 01-25-2005, 08:00 PM
 
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This doesn't make ANY sense to me... Didn't all babies used to be swaddled pretty much all the time? By a whole bunch of human cultures in europe and america for years and years and years? I mean, historically speaking swaddling was considered just 'the way to do things'. So then how come they all didn't have serious hip joint issues?
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#7 of 30 Old 01-25-2005, 08:03 PM
 
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Any links for Miracle blankets?

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#8 of 30 Old 01-25-2005, 09:38 PM
 
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Here's the miracle blanket. http://www.miracleblanket.com/instructions.htm

it's been a lifesaver for us I plan to buy one for each friend that gets pregnant.

I guess I missed that section in The Baby Book too. Emma has been swaddled since 4 weeks (the first 4 weeks were hell as I wasn't swaddling) and I am just now starting to wean her off it.

I read, by the makers of the Miracle Blanket that by 4 months you should stop swaddling to allow for proper development of the joints.
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#9 of 30 Old 01-26-2005, 01:13 AM
 
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My first DS hated to be swaddled. I haven't read that book yet... guess I should soon...lol...this new one will be here any day.
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#10 of 30 Old 01-26-2005, 01:49 AM
 
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Not all babies like swaddling. Some flat out hate it. My oldest two did.

http://www.uhseast.com/122049.cfm
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Being white of northern European ancestry. DDH is rarely seen in blacks
If I remember correctly ethnically speaking African ethnicity typically use slings.

http://www.babyworld.co.uk/news/Oct0...2_cotdeath.asp
Quote:
the more quickly they went to sleep once swaddled. Their breathing rate increased slightly, but they did not experience any reduction in oxygen levels - and they could still flex their hip joints. If the swaddle material was thin they did not become overheated, said researchers
http://www.todaysparent.com/baby/hea...03_2224&page=1
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As for hip joint development, Karp says this is only an issue when a baby’s legs are held in a rigid extension when swaddled. “I recommend that the arms be snug,” he adds, “but the legs have flex room.”

With what I read on the web this is more of a case there is a right way and a wrong way to swaddle. The legs should not be ristricted.

I do not know when The Baby Book was written or last updated but there could be an issue of when it was published and further information gathered.
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#11 of 30 Old 01-26-2005, 02:52 AM
 
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my son is 2 now.. but when he was newborn he was happiest swaddled or nursing. bedtime and naptime he would cry unless wrapped up in a bundle.. i think that you will know what your baby likes when the time comes good luck..

 

 

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#12 of 30 Old 01-26-2005, 05:10 AM
 
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If your baby needs swaddling, do it! This is a practise that has been found across cultures and times and that says to me that some babies really benefit from it. My DD was swaddled until about 8 or 9 months old, suddenly she didn't need it anymore. In my experience, it was a real need, as much as cosleeping and breastfeeding were her other night time needs. Babies arent in that frog position in the womb are they? Or in a sling? Why would they suddenly need to be in just because they are lying down?
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#13 of 30 Old 01-26-2005, 08:12 AM
 
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Willow needs to be swaddled, but she's always been such a long baby (born at 21", now over 24"!) that i leave her legs loose. so she ends up frogging her legs out anyway. you can get a nice comfy swaddle going just on their arms, i use the "Happiest Baby on the Block" technique but leave the leg part out.

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#14 of 30 Old 01-26-2005, 11:46 AM
 
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I second the Miracle Blanket. It was a lifesaver for us when Alex started getting fussy in the evenings at around 4-6 weeks. It really calmed him down, and he is much more happy and secure today as a result of swaddling. I still swaddle him at night (he's 4 months) but not for naps anymore. The good thing about the Miracle Blanket is that you can swaddle them with their legs in or out of the pouch at the bottom, so they are free to frog or kick. We always left this legs out because he liked to do both.
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#15 of 30 Old 01-26-2005, 11:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie
Dr. Sears has some good ideas, but remember that this is the man who thinks you should co-sleep with your 18 m.o. and nurse him/her all night long. CLEARLY, not all of his ideas work for all babies, although he tends to present them as if the do.
Are you saying this is bad advice??? Co-sleeping and bfing on cue is bad advice for an AP community?

Back on topic, for my very active, very strong, easily startled ds, even swaddling was not enough. He'd squiggle right out of a blanket. I had to wear him in the sling, tightly strapped to my chest, for the first 3 mos, for either of us to get any sleep.
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#16 of 30 Old 01-26-2005, 01:11 PM
 
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Our ds needed to be swaddled. First it was just tucking the corners of a receiving blanket under him, then it went to wrapping his arms in a long cloth, and finally we were swaddling his entire body pretty tightly. He wouldn't sleep any other way. I think it's really hard for small babies to sleep on their backs and since that's what we make them do, swaddling can make it easier on them.
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#17 of 30 Old 01-26-2005, 01:27 PM
 
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Hello,
I'm preparing for a new baby and started reading Dr. Sears' The Baby Book. There is a paragraph in it where he says that new research has shown that swaddling inhibits the proper development of the hip joint. It is best for baby's legs to be unrestricted in a frog position, i.e. feet drawn together with knees splaying out, which they assume naturally. So, while swaddling is OK to do for a couple of hours every few days but its not a good idea to do it for prolonged periods of time. Anyone have any info or thoughts on this? I always thought that babies like to be swaddled and its a good idea. Now I'm confused.
IMO read the book, then when the baby comes take that book(and the others), toss them and do what works for your family.

My kids were all swaddled tightly while they were napping(or while my mom was around,lol). By the time they were a month old they moved around enough that their arms were out, by 2months they moved around enough that their feet were out and by then there was no point in swaddling them tight. I kept them in a Swaddle Blanket, but it isn't tight. It was more so when I was rocking them to sleep and they went on the bed they were not going against something cold that would wake them.

I babysit a 5month old who I swaddle. She is not swaddled tight and her legs are loose. It is the only way she will go to sleep for me and the blanket keeps her from waking when I put her down.
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#18 of 30 Old 01-26-2005, 01:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Smithie
Dr. Sears has some good ideas, but remember that this is the man who thinks you should co-sleep with your 18 m.o. and nurse him/her all night long.
I co-sleep with a 16-month-old and nurse him all night long...didn't think that was weird around here...
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#19 of 30 Old 01-26-2005, 02:31 PM
 
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My baby just turned 1 month old. He really likes swaddling (Happiest Baby style) but we've been able to do it w/his legs frogged. Lately he often has his legs straight anyway--is this unusually early for that?

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#20 of 30 Old 01-26-2005, 02:41 PM
 
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I nurse and co-sleep my 16 month old and plan to continue for awhile doing so, absolutely nothing wrong there, in fact, it's a great, healthy thing!

Dr. Sears does NOT say to nurse 'all night long'...makes it sound like he's a nut or something, he's not. He's a great pediatrician and a very loving father. But then again, what do I know? He's taken care of thousands, I have only taken care of 3 .

Swaddling is a good thing too. Like everything else, use it if you need it. One of my 3 children loved it, the others didn't. No biggee. Dr. Karp has a great idea going with the "Happiest Baby on the Block", his theories are very interesting and make sense in regards to what babies need!!!
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#21 of 30 Old 01-26-2005, 03:30 PM
 
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On the topic of Dr. Sears, I would like to say this: he is not some kind of guru that we should take all of his advice 100%.

As an M.D. , he is definitely good, and has good advice, that is not the usual M.D. advice. HOWEVER....

Even in his book he states - (paraphrasing) "..do not take any stranger's advice on dealing with your child. You know your child best. Take the parts that work for you from any given book, and leave the rest. The authors of baby books are out to sell you something.."

Well, folks, ...he's a stranger and he's an author trying to sell us something too!!

It's excellent that he advocates for co-sleeping, and breastfeeding on demand. But the fact that not all Moms may bf until their child is 2, or that not all Moms co-sleep until the child is 4, does not make them bad Moms! You take what works for you, AND LEAVE THE REST - even from "lord" ..ahem, *cough*... Dr. Sears.

He will be our generation's Dr. Spock. There will be somebody else for our daughter's generation, when they become Moms.
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#22 of 30 Old 01-26-2005, 05:51 PM
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My Lukas was not interested in swaddling at all. He kicked alot in my belly and kept right on kicking when he came out. Of course this is a reflex but I never saw the reflex stop and his movements take over. He really never stopped moving. He is 6 months and crawling and already working at pulling himself up. He was worn a lot when he was cranky. He's over 23 pounds now so I can't physically wear him anymore. At this point he doesn't even want to be held that much. He just wants to go go go. It all depends on your baby and you won't know your babies needs until he needs them. Read if you must but try to play it by ear the best you can.

Many blessings on you and your new baby.

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#23 of 30 Old 01-26-2005, 05:56 PM
 
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nak..

that's funny because my middle child, dayne, kicked and kicked like nuts in utero and STILL runs all over and is very active at age 4 and he was the one who didn't like swaddling. he, in fact, hates being held down, say when playing around with his sister, and feels likes he can't breathe (when he clearly is fine, he just gets claustrophobic i guess).
my other two loved swaddling, still like being held tightly and loved on, don't run around nearly as much, and are generally easier going.
hmmmmm......
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#24 of 30 Old 01-26-2005, 05:58 PM
 
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My ds always hated being swaddled We thought THBOTB technique was going to be a lifesaver (we watched/read it while pg) Turned out that ds only liked sucking on mama, hated being swaddled an was ticked off by shh-ing

About Dr Sears and co-sleeping/swaddling/expertise: he says in his books (baby book & nighttime parenting) that the best sleeping arrangement for any family is the one where everyone gets the most sleep

When your beautiful baby arrives try any idea that resonates with you, and stick with the ones that work
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#25 of 30 Old 01-27-2005, 12:54 PM
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If baby does not like swaddling... I'm pretty sure Dr. Karp suggest in the Happiest Baby book to do it anyway, so I'd say follow your own instincts as a mother.

My DD, Dharma, who is 5 weeks old right now, was swaddled in the NICU for 9 days and was pretty pleasant....but when I got her home I stopped swaddling because I wasn't sure what the point was. Then I saw how wild her arm and leg movements were when she cried, and how shallow her sleeping was, and I knew instinctively that wasn't promoting a sense of calmness or security. Still-- when I tried to swaddle her, she resisted. All the same, after I read the Happiest Baby, I started to swaddle her despite her resistance, and it's the best thing. She's sleeping better now and seems more at peace. Hope that helps!

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#26 of 30 Old 01-27-2005, 06:39 PM
 
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You just have to experiment regardless of what your plan is, to find the best fit for your baby. My baby startles easily but also hates being restrained in any way, shape or form, so though I thought swaddling would help him sleep, sheesh, it sure didn't. In lieu of swaddling I sort of prop him with the big poofy crib quilt, under his legs and around his chest, so he has the feeling of being held but is also free to wiggle about without fearing he is trapped.

I think the point of the remark about all-night nursing of 18 month-olds was simply as an example of something that is not going to work for every one. Frankly I don't care for my 8 month old nursing literally all night so I quite understand.
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#27 of 30 Old 01-27-2005, 10:42 PM
 
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"He's taken care of thousands, I have only taken care of 3."

See, this is what gets me about Dr. Sears. I have taken care of 1, lactation mama has taken care of 3, and Dr. Sears has taken care of ZERO. He has always worked full-time outside the home and he doesn't lactate AFAIK. When a mama tells me that she can get adequate rest while night nursing her toddler, I think that's fine and dandy. When Dr. Sears, somebody who has never in his life woken up at 2 a.m. to nurse a baby, lays down his no-so-subtle guilt trip about night nursing, I think he's being a self-righteous jerk.

IMHO, all the really good practical suggestions in his books come from Martha. Since she was/is a SAHM to eight, it doesn't surprise me that she has lots of good ideas.

Cosleeping and night nursing w/ toddlers is not weird or bad or wrong. It's also not the gold standard of parenting - it's just an option that works great for some families and not at all for others.
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#28 of 30 Old 01-28-2005, 12:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Smithie
Dr. Sears has taken care of ZERO. He has always worked full-time outside the home and he doesn't lactate AFAIK. When Dr. Sears, somebody who has never in his life woken up at 2 a.m. to nurse a baby, lays down his no-so-subtle guilt trip about night nursing, I think he's being a self-righteous jerk.

IMHO, all the really good practical suggestions in his books come from Martha. Since she was/is a SAHM to eight, it doesn't surprise me that she has lots of good ideas.

ITA
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#29 of 30 Old 01-28-2005, 03:13 PM
 
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Swaddling is indivual to each child. Some love it, some "hate" it, some don't seem to have a preferance. There is a reason why its quiet in the hospital nursery most of the time, the babies are swaddled and centered. It does work. I do think people often stop swaddling too soon.

I so wish I had known about proper swaddling with my DD. She would have probably slept better in the beginning. Everybody said "dont swaddle them too much its bad for their joints". These are the same joints that were all mooshed up in the womb... so who knows.

We swaddled DS#1 at night a lot the first year. Mainly just his arms. It really helped him to settle. He still gets wrapped in a blanket to help him settle or he"ll tuck his arms in between us to kind of snuggle in when we rock before bedtime. He sleeps sprawled across the bed at night. :LOL

I discovered the Miracle Blanket when DS#2 was about 3-4 weeks old. It's been an absolutely LIFE SAVER. Aidan really enjoys being swaddled. Sometimes he would really fuss and cry while I was swaddling him up but it never was long before he'd be as silent as a mouse quietly looking around. After about 8 weeks old I don't make as much effort to tuck his legs in. It's mainly the calm the flailing arms when he's tired.

I always do a modified swaddling with all my DCs (wrapped their arms) because it was the only way we could sometimes get them to sleep while nursing. It droves me crazy to constantly be "grabbed" around the throat & chest while nursing.

I agree with taking what advice works and pitching the rest. :LOL Also remember, you won't know what will work with your DC until you have that DC in your arms. Every child is different and has different wants and needs, you'll see the ones that work for yours. If you have a hospital birth... make sure to have one of the nurses really show you how to do a good snug swaddle. Or get a Miracle Blanket. I highly recommend getting one (it has a money back guarantee if you find it just doesn't work for you) actually get two if you find it does work... the time while its in the wash/dryer can be a nightmare. :LOL

To be clique... NEVER say never... you might be eating those words later.
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#30 of 30 Old 01-28-2005, 03:29 PM
 
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Huh, I didn't see that in the Sears book about too much swaddling. He is definitely in favor of some swaddling, I got the idea from a list of things that he said calm babies. (he and about 70 other experts!) We swaddled for some hours every day at the age when my ds liked it and then stopped when he stopped liking it. It wasn't too tough to figure out. You aren't going to swaddle 24/7 anyway, so don't worry too much about this.

B'sha'ah tovah on the baby.

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