The Great Swaddling Debate

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Registered: 07-05-2005
The Great Swaddling Debate
Mon, 04-08-2013 - 8:19am

I don’t remember much about the first few months of my son’s life. It’s a collection of tidbits—our doctor yelling “It’s a boy!,” the “dun-dun” of 4 a.m. Law & Order reruns, painful nipples. But I do remember five things that were, I think, largely responsible for the fact that I am now a parenting columnist and not a patient at the Kingsboro Psychiatric Center. These were pediatrician Harvey Karp’s famous Five S’s for calming fussy babies: swaddling, side/stomach position, swinging, shushing, and sucking.

So I was surprised when I learned a few weeks ago (from Karp, actually, while I was interviewing him for my last column) that swaddling—the act of wrapping babies snugly in cloths or blankets, which inhibits the startle-inducing Moro reflex and calms them—is now illegal in child care centers in Minnesota and strongly discouraged in centers in Pennsylvania and California. This has created a ripple effect that is scaring moms away from the practice nationwide.

I swaddled all three of my children and honestly can't imagine not doing it!  Where do you stand on the issue? BTDT mamas- did you swaddle your other children?  Will you be swaddling this one?

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