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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.
Mummy to DD-8yrs (Jan-04), DS-5yrs (Dec-06) and DS2-19mths (Apr-11). #4 EDD July 26 2013
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