Many parents swear by baby swaddling to calm a newborn and promote sleep. But baby burritos have gotten a bad rap recently, with headlines over recent daycare bans in some states, and new studies that link too-tight swaddles to hip dysplasia. But could something that's routine practice in hospitals really be so unsafe?
“Swaddling is soothing and pacifying, but studies show an increased risk of SIDS if a baby is placed on his stomach to sleep or if he rolls over onto his stomach" says Rachel Moon, MD, FAAP and chair of the task force that authored the American Academy of Pediatrics' safe sleep guidelines. "Swaddling may also decrease the baby's ability to arouse. Since we believe that SIDS is often due to an inability to arouse in the face of low oxygen environment, if swaddling decreases this, this may explain why swaddled babies are at an increased risk for SIDS."
Do you swaddle baby?