Swaddling infants was very common in the old ages but this trend is slowly picking up momentum again in the United States. The medical experts have opined that swaddling babies is actually beneficial with no real risks.
The new parents would love swaddling their babies as it helps them to handle a newborn better.
Pros Of Swaddling
When you swaddle a baby you are actually restricting the sudden movements of the baby and thus helping him/her to sleep better. There is no pre-defined age at which you stop swaddling your baby but it is usually determined to be 3 months. Swaddling actually mimics the uterus and the baby feels safe in the ‘protected environment’ which helps him/her to sleep better. Doctors recommend the use of white noise in addition to swaddling in order to promote sleep in the babies.
Medical experts do agree that swaddling helps to calm a baby and decrease the crying time. When you are swaddling a baby, he/she spends less time in crying. A research was done where babies were monitored and only one group was being swaddled. It was seen that swaddling actually helped to calm the babies and the crying time also decreased to a great level. The group of babies that was swaddled exhibited less crying and this was evident in the age group of one to seven weeks.
Less Accidental Suffocation
The Department of Pediatrics at University of Washington has inferred that swaddles babies are unable to crawl or pull the bedding over their heads. This drastically reduces the chances of accidental suffocation. The swaddled baby should always lie on his back to minimize the chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS.
Cons Of Swaddling
Development of Hip Dysplasia
Harvard Medical School has opined that though swaddling makes a baby cry less and sleep better, it is not free from certain concerns. The Harvard experts believe that swaddled babies have a high chance of contracting hip dysplasia. Almost 1/5th of the babies show signs of this ailment but it gradually fades away without any medical intervention.
There is no concrete evidence to show that swaddled babies are prone to hip dysplasia but the general feeling is that if there is a history of the ailment in the family then there is a high chance that the baby too will have this disease. In fact, it also affects babies who were in the breech position before the birth. Whether hip dysplasia is connected with swaddling of babies, is a matter of great debate till today.
Loss of Circulation
If you are thinking of swaddling your baby, then you should also know the correct way of doing it. You should not wrap the baby too tightly as it may cause loss of circulation or the baby can get heated up easily. This can lead to serious medical complications and pose serious health risks in the future. Always ask the nurse to show you the correct way of swaddling a baby.