Is swaddling dangerous?
This study shows that the only dangers are when swaddling goes wrong or when parents continue to swaddle babies after they have rolled onto their stomachs. Safe swaddling of babies is crucial! While the study discusses the potential risks of incorrect swaddling, it does not address any concerns about neurological effects or developmental delays.
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Research has not shown that swaddling can harm a baby’s growth!
The study clearly states that there is no evidence that swaddling affects motor milestone attainment in the short-term or long term.
A study that examined babies who were swaddled for longer periods of time (beyond seven months) found that there was no difference in their child’s mental and psychomotor development. Safety factors are the reason I do not recommend that babies be swaddled beyond the age when they can independently roll. However, there have been studies in cultures where swaddling has been done with infants older than 7 months.
Swaddling is a new concept.
This is a great question! The short answer is no Swaddling is a practice that has existed for hundreds of years.
Although some claim that swaddling was popularized by social media, I would like to remind you that swaddling has been a long-standing practice in many cultures and has been around for centuries. The popularity of swaddling in Western cultures has been due to the “back is better” guidelines that were introduced in the 1990s. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that swaddling was created in the last 30 year.
The study calls swaddling “an almost universal practice in child-care before the 18th Century.” Swaddling is a long-standing strategy to calm infants.
For me, even knowing all this history, it is not enough. I feel confident that swaddling is safe and beneficial for my baby when it’s done according to the safety guidelines.
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What is the best time to get out of the swaddle
You must remove the swaddle from your baby’s face when they start rolling. You can find my blog on transitioning from the swaddle if you have any questions.
Once your baby is out of the swaddle you can allow your baby to roll on their stomachs. For the first 12 months, it’s best to keep your baby on their back, and allow them to roll onto their belly.
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Cara, would your stance on swaddling change?
There was never any evidence-based research that showed concerns. We adapt as we learn, so I’m always open to new research. Also, I make recommendations based upon what the evidence-based science says is true.
Do I need to swaddle in order to use your classes
Science has shown that swaddling is safe when done correctly. In my newborn class, I encourage swaddling. In Navigating Months 3 and 4, as well as ABCs of Sleep, I discuss getting out of the swaddle. Babies who are still not rolling should not swaddle.
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If swaddling isn’t for you or your baby, I wouldn’t encourage you to do so. I want to give you tools that will help you and your family thrive.