NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A new study raises concerns about a link between swaddling infants and an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
News 2 wanted to know whether parents should continue to swaddle their infants or stop altogether, so we went to a newborn nursery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center for answers.
There were parents there eager to learn the proper way to swaddle their newborn baby.
“Swaddling is comforting for a baby, so when they are crying or when they’re fussy, it can help them sort of self-sooth and calm down if they are swaddled,” Dr. Anna Morad.
But Dr. Morad says parents should stop swaddling by two months.
“You want your baby to be able to roll over; you want the baby to be able to bring their hands to their mouth. You also worry about hip health. So you really want them out of a swaddle as soon as they start rolling,” she explained.
If parents choose to swaddle, doctors recommend using a sleep sack or swaddle sack. Nurse Karen demonstrates the way to swaddle safely.
“Right now, we like to have her arms out, and one of the reasons we have their arms out is so when she’s fussing like this and we’re not around, she can take her hands just like she is and put them in her mouth and sooth herself while she is in here,” the nurse explained.
It’s important to remember that babies, whether swaddled or not, should always be placed on their backs.
The study showed swaddled infants who were placed on their stomachs or sides were twice as likely to die from SIDS.
The study does not suggest parents stop swaddling altogether, but it re-emphasizes that babies should always be placed on their back to sleep and never face down.