To swaddle or not to swaddle? — The Bump
August 2015 Moms

To swaddle or not to swaddle?

Admittedly, I don't know much about babies. But I have read a couple books so far, such as 'The Happiest Baby on the Block', 'Bringing up Bebe' and 'Nursing mothers companion to Breastfeeding'. Some were very strong about the need to swaddle an infant up to 3-4 months during the night. I started to assume this was the norm and it sounded like the right way to go. Yesterday, I was registering at BRU with my sisters help (who is a RN in L&D and has extensive training in proper baby safety, etc and has 3 kids of her own) and she was appalled by the idea that I'd be swaddling. She said it is dangerous because they can wiggle and get the fabric up around their mouths and they are used to having the use of their hands in the womb and are calmed by being able to have them up around their face. I'm a little confused. I know I'll probably figure out what's right for us when the time comes, but do you all have opinions or strong feelings about this?
Me: 37, DH: 38: ttc 7 years, dx: unknown
10/11: after 2 years, saw a RE, FSH 5.4
11/11: BFP! (surprise after thyroid & normal hsg),
12/11: missed m/c after 7 week u/s, 1/12: D&C
6/12 IUI#1-IUI #3: clomid = BFP!, C/P
IVF #1(10/12) FSH 5.4, AFC: 16 long Lupron, 5R/5M/4F, all 4 made it to 5dt, 1 blast/1-8 cell transferred=BFN
IVF #2(12/12)AFC 21, MD lupron, 4R/4M/3F, 5dt of 1 blast and 2-8cell. BFN.
IVF#3(4/13) Natural start antagon protocol, 12R,11F. one PGS normal at day 6 transfer. BFN.
IVF#4 (11/13) C.CRM (ODW.U normal 8/13 Still no Diagnosis) EPP/antagonist. ER 13R/7M/6F. Only 1 made it to freeze. Abnormal. Looking into options of DE, Fresh vs frozen.
10/14 new local RE to look into what's next. CD3 FSH 4.7, AMH 0.9. Met with DE agencies and exploring options for feb/march 2015.
Surprise natural bfp (4 days before donor is signed). Beta #1 at 9dpo: 51.8, 2nd beta: 195 (25 hours doubling) @11dpo. 3rd beta (12/15): 516 (35 hrs doubling) 4th beta(12/17): 895 (58 hours doubling) 5th beta(12/19): 2120. U/S at 5w0d(12/22): one gestational sac with yolk sac. U/S #2 (6w0d)12/29. One little bean measuring 6w0d with HR 124. 3rd u/s(1/4)7w0d: baby measuring 7w2d. HR 134. 3/30: A/S at MFM went great except for low lying placenta. Verifi results are normal! Team Blue! Please send any positive thoughts our way! EDD:8/24/2015
Baby Will born 8/18. He's perfect.

Re: To swaddle or not to swaddle?

  • I am pro swaddle but DS liked having one arm out.
    Saratiff
  • GooblinGooblin
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    Try it. Baby will let you know if they don't like it. My first two hated it and would freak out more if I swaddled them. My daughter didn't care either way so I did it for a while.
    jillianmae2ndstarCaliforniaDream87PixelPosyGirlOnTheBeach
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  • I swaddled DS for 4 months. It was a life saver. He would instantly stop crying the second he was swaddled. I saved them for this baby but if she doesn't like it that's fine too.

    When he started to break out/move a lot that's when I stopped.

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    Saratiff
  • Babies like to be swaddled, it's like the womb. They have no control over their arms and legs for awhile so they hit themselves and startle themselves awake. I've never heard of swaddling being a suffocation hazard...
    Saratiffjlsweetslaurasuzanne2006GirlOnTheBeach
  • Kimk1616Kimk1616
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    edited May 2015
    I'm a FTM and don't know much about babies either. They make special swaddle blankets with Velcro or zippers if you're truly worried about suffocation. I plan to try them simply because I know I'm going to be a terrible swaddler!
  • bpwife&mamabpwife&mama
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    edited May 2015
    My son loved to be swaddled. I bought the swaddlers which Velcro and make it easy to swaddle them. I had to gradually get him out of sleeping in one around 4-5 months when he was breaking through them.
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    CaliforniaDream87
  • malonc2malonc2
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    At our breastfeeding class, the nurse recommended not swaddling immediately because this would not allow for babies to use natural reflexes, like the "crawling" reflex they use to get up and used to your breast when lying on your stomach. It calms them and you may think you have a perfect sleeping baby, but it is not what they are used to and in the beginning like to be skin to skin and not swaddled. Of course this is her opinion and as a FTM I'll have to do what works for me.
  • Swaddle, Swaddle, Swaddle!

    My kids wouldn't sleep without being swaddled.  They have virtually no control of their hands, so they end up hitting themselves in the face, scratching themselves, etc.  They were swaddled by the nurses in the hospital, so my L & D nurses and postpartum nurses had no problem with it.  I remember asking DD's pedi about it when she was 4 days old, she looked at me like it was a crazy question and said, "You have to swaddle them, how else would they sleep?"  What I really liked was the Woombie.  Imagine a sleep sac, but no arms (their arms are tucked inside) and its tight so it mimics the womb. 
    SaratiffCaliforniaDream87jlsweets
  • J&D2007J&D2007
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    Babies like to be swaddled, it's like the womb. They have no control over their arms and legs for awhile so they hit themselves and startle themselves awake. I've never heard of swaddling being a suffocation hazard...

    This. All of my nurses and pedi recommended swaddling and that was the ONLY way any of us got sleep (my son attempted to escape every time but that was the beauty of the A&A blankets). Very strange that your L&D nurses sister said that.


    I didn't realize it was such a controversy in the medical field, but I guess it has become one recently. Just a few quick searches shows how divided the medical community is about the safety and suitability for infants: http://aapnews.aappublications.org/content/34/6/34.1.full
    Me: 37, DH: 38: ttc 7 years, dx: unknown
    10/11: after 2 years, saw a RE, FSH 5.4
    11/11: BFP! (surprise after thyroid & normal hsg),
    12/11: missed m/c after 7 week u/s, 1/12: D&C
    6/12 IUI#1-IUI #3: clomid = BFP!, C/P
    IVF #1(10/12) FSH 5.4, AFC: 16 long Lupron, 5R/5M/4F, all 4 made it to 5dt, 1 blast/1-8 cell transferred=BFN
    IVF #2(12/12)AFC 21, MD lupron, 4R/4M/3F, 5dt of 1 blast and 2-8cell. BFN.
    IVF#3(4/13) Natural start antagon protocol, 12R,11F. one PGS normal at day 6 transfer. BFN.
    IVF#4 (11/13) C.CRM (ODW.U normal 8/13 Still no Diagnosis) EPP/antagonist. ER 13R/7M/6F. Only 1 made it to freeze. Abnormal. Looking into options of DE, Fresh vs frozen.
    10/14 new local RE to look into what's next. CD3 FSH 4.7, AMH 0.9. Met with DE agencies and exploring options for feb/march 2015.
    Surprise natural bfp (4 days before donor is signed). Beta #1 at 9dpo: 51.8, 2nd beta: 195 (25 hours doubling) @11dpo. 3rd beta (12/15): 516 (35 hrs doubling) 4th beta(12/17): 895 (58 hours doubling) 5th beta(12/19): 2120. U/S at 5w0d(12/22): one gestational sac with yolk sac. U/S #2 (6w0d)12/29. One little bean measuring 6w0d with HR 124. 3rd u/s(1/4)7w0d: baby measuring 7w2d. HR 134. 3/30: A/S at MFM went great except for low lying placenta. Verifi results are normal! Team Blue! Please send any positive thoughts our way! EDD:8/24/2015
    Baby Will born 8/18. He's perfect.
  • If you are really worried about suffocation, get an Angel Care monitor! That thing will go off if your baby stops breathing. Or rolls to the edge of the crib.

    Swaddling is great, I recommend it. Learn how to do it properly and when baby gets bigger you can swaddle under her arms instead.
    J&D2007CaliforniaDream87
  • It depends on if the baby likes it or not. I had every intent to swaddle my first, but turns out she hated it. To this day she still hates to be covered or confined at all. Just go with what baby likes.
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    J&D2007lifesabeach85
  • We did. Lo's reflex would wake him up if we didn't.
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  • My DD loved to be swaddled. I used the Miracle Blanket. Kind of pricy but I made it by with just two. I had some swaddle blankets that had Velcro, but if you're trying to change a poopy diaper and don't want to wake them, Velcro isn't the quietest. And you want them to be able to get their arms free if they'd like. As soon as baby can roll over, you stop swaddling. Then we used Aden and Anais sleep sacks that zip up, and I was never once worried about her suffocating with that.
    CaliforniaDream87Joie80
  • sschwege said:

    J&D2007 said:

    Babies like to be swaddled, it's like the womb. They have no control over their arms and legs for awhile so they hit themselves and startle themselves awake. I've never heard of swaddling being a suffocation hazard...

    This. All of my nurses and pedi recommended swaddling and that was the ONLY way any of us got sleep (my son attempted to escape every time but that was the beauty of the A&A blankets). Very strange that your L&D nurses sister said that.


    I didn't realize it was such a controversy in the medical field, but I guess it has become one recently. Just a few quick searches shows how divided the medical community is about the safety and suitability for infants: http://aapnews.aappublications.org/content/34/6/34.1.full
    No, it definitely is controversial.  My SIL who is a pedi says the only thing that should be in a crib is a fitted sheet, so no swaddling.  But she did swaddle her second and I think third because they didn't sleep well without being swaddled. 

    I guess you just have to look at it like this, unfortunately risks are a part every decision you will make as a parent.  Every time you put your baby in the car you are putting them at risk.  You just have to figure out what you are comfortable with.  My babies always slept in a bassinette right next to me for the first 6 months, so I felt comfortable with the extremely small risk I was taking by swaddling.  They did sleep SO much better.  DD went from waking every 1.5 hours to sleeping 4-6 hours in the Woombie, so that was a big deal for me. 
    Exactly. Controversy or not, we will be swaddling with A&A swaddlers while she is in her bassinet. I feel FTM's should wait and see how their newborns sleep without being swaddled before making this decision or saying "this is what I will do".
        DS born 8-16-2013
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    J&D2007sschwege
  • Joie80Joie80
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    edited May 2015
    My understanding is that swaddling is perfectly safe until baby starts to break out of it or rolling over. Then it can become a potential hazard. My daughter loved it and it was the only way we could get her to sleep a little longer. Her startle reflex always woke her up.
  • I'm a nicu nurse and in my experience babies love to be swaddled! It calms them down and helps them sleep. If your worried about safety halo makes a great sleep sack that is safe sleep approved
    laurasuzanne2006CaliforniaDream87SaratiffMiz_Liz
  • This is the first I am hearing of it being controversial- I was told from day 1 to keep baby swaddled by every single nurse - honestly I don't think DS would ever sleep without being swaddled in the beginning

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    laurasuzanne2006CaliforniaDream87Saratiff
  • We will swaddle if baby sleeps better that way and we will skip the swaddle if the baby fights it. Whatever we gotta do (within reason) to get some sleep in the early days is fine by me.
  • My hospital provided us with a Halo sleep sack for DS. Our nurse showed us how to swaddle with a blanket. Our pediatrician advised discontinuing the swaddling once DS could roll. We will swaddle if baby 2 likes it. If not, we will try to do what makes baby happy!
  • We attempted swaddling both of our kids... One liked it and the other spent all night grunting, trying to get his finger to his mouth, so we stopped swaddling him. I haven't thought much about it, but will probably start this one out swaddled and see how that goes.

    The only controversial issue I've ever heard of related to swaddling is that it can mess up their hips... Based on the swaddles we have, I'm not sure how that's possible...

    DS1 -6/25/11

    DS2 -3/23/13

    Missed MC D&C 8/26/14

    DD - 8/26/15

    LO#4 due 5/30/17


  • Thj417Thj417
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    With #1 I swaddled but within a week it was obvious baby was happier with hands out. I wrapped from underarms down. He was right next to my bed and never once wiggled out. I used swaddle design brand flannel and the swaddle me with Velcro closure. I'll follow what ever #2 is happy with - whatever helps her sleep through the night! (As is appropriate for her age lol)
  • DaddyMxDaddyMx
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    I bought the Halo oneS; some of you mention them; do you know why are they so good?
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  • My DD did not like to be swaddled. She slept perfectly fine without it. She was a July baby so given the 100 degree heat outside I didn't see the need to force her into liking it. She didn't like pacifiers either. Marches to her own beet I guess. I will give it a whirl with the new baby but it's on the bottom of priority list with the pacifier.
  • DaddyMx said:

    I bought the Halo oneS; some of you mention them; do you know why are they so good?

    They are easier to put on, leave their legs/hips free to kick and move, hold their arms in place to suppress the crazy startle reflexes, and baby usually has a harder time "breaking" the swaddle since it is velcro as opposed to a normal blanket.

    That being said, we did have a few incidents with my daughter when she was just starting to fight it that she managed to get the wrapped panels up over her mouth while they were still velcro-ed. We started swaddling one arm out at that point. Was a little scary... We will still use them with this baby but make sure to wrap low rather than right around the shoulders and start swaddling one arm out at first signs of fighting it.
  • It really depends on the baby. My first hated to be swaddled. She just had to have those arms out. So we swaddled her but left her arms out and she was ok with it. I have several of those "swaddle me" sacks, that Velcro closed that went unused. She did startle a lot but it never really woke her. I'm going to try with #2 and see how it goes.
  • I'm a pediatric nurse and this is truly a more recent recommendation that has come up regarding safe sleep and SIDS. In the hospital I work in we are absolutely not allowed to swaddle without a dr order and that is supposed to be used only if they are having low temps. The risk is suffocation from the blankets (which they wouldn't have even researched or came up with recommendations about if it never happened).

    With that being said, a lot of the reasons swaddling is unsafe is because of people who do not do it correctly! I see a lot of parents swaddle and leave TONS of blanket up around babies mouth/nose which can easily suffocate and they won't be able to roll away from. If you use the Velcro/zipper swaddle type blankets everyone is recommending here though that error is virtually impossible. I'm sure there is still some risk associated but swaddling with the sleepers made for it is much safer than a blanket.

    Just be cautious and pay attention to your baby! Some babies like people are saying sleep fantastic without swaddling but others won't sleep at all. Give them a chance without first and go from there.
    J&D2007
  • J&D2007J&D2007
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    I'm a pediatric nurse and this is truly a more recent recommendation that has come up regarding safe sleep and SIDS. In the hospital I work in we are absolutely not allowed to swaddle without a dr order and that is supposed to be used only if they are having low temps. The risk is suffocation from the blankets (which they wouldn't have even researched or came up with recommendations about if it never happened).

    With that being said, a lot of the reasons swaddling is unsafe is because of people who do not do it correctly! I see a lot of parents swaddle and leave TONS of blanket up around babies mouth/nose which can easily suffocate and they won't be able to roll away from. If you use the Velcro/zipper swaddle type blankets everyone is recommending here though that error is virtually impossible. I'm sure there is still some risk associated but swaddling with the sleepers made for it is much safer than a blanket.

    Just be cautious and pay attention to your baby! Some babies like people are saying sleep fantastic without swaddling but others won't sleep at all. Give them a chance without first and go from there.



    Thank you for that input. Maybe I'll just get a few of the Velcro type and see how it goes.
    Me: 37, DH: 38: ttc 7 years, dx: unknown
    10/11: after 2 years, saw a RE, FSH 5.4
    11/11: BFP! (surprise after thyroid & normal hsg),
    12/11: missed m/c after 7 week u/s, 1/12: D&C
    6/12 IUI#1-IUI #3: clomid = BFP!, C/P
    IVF #1(10/12) FSH 5.4, AFC: 16 long Lupron, 5R/5M/4F, all 4 made it to 5dt, 1 blast/1-8 cell transferred=BFN
    IVF #2(12/12)AFC 21, MD lupron, 4R/4M/3F, 5dt of 1 blast and 2-8cell. BFN.
    IVF#3(4/13) Natural start antagon protocol, 12R,11F. one PGS normal at day 6 transfer. BFN.
    IVF#4 (11/13) C.CRM (ODW.U normal 8/13 Still no Diagnosis) EPP/antagonist. ER 13R/7M/6F. Only 1 made it to freeze. Abnormal. Looking into options of DE, Fresh vs frozen.
    10/14 new local RE to look into what's next. CD3 FSH 4.7, AMH 0.9. Met with DE agencies and exploring options for feb/march 2015.
    Surprise natural bfp (4 days before donor is signed). Beta #1 at 9dpo: 51.8, 2nd beta: 195 (25 hours doubling) @11dpo. 3rd beta (12/15): 516 (35 hrs doubling) 4th beta(12/17): 895 (58 hours doubling) 5th beta(12/19): 2120. U/S at 5w0d(12/22): one gestational sac with yolk sac. U/S #2 (6w0d)12/29. One little bean measuring 6w0d with HR 124. 3rd u/s(1/4)7w0d: baby measuring 7w2d. HR 134. 3/30: A/S at MFM went great except for low lying placenta. Verifi results are normal! Team Blue! Please send any positive thoughts our way! EDD:8/24/2015
    Baby Will born 8/18. He's perfect.
  • We definitely had to swaddle... even in the rock n play sleeper. My son was so twitchy that he was constantly waking himself up. He was a swaddle ninja though so he would work his little arms out of cloth swaddles, the swaddles from Summer Infant that had the velcro tabs. So we eventually ended up with woombies and he loved them. He had the freedom to move but couldn't escape or startle himself. I love them and will be getting more in smaller sizes for the little girl when she comes. 

    www.woombie.com


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  • WeringWering
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
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    You basically swaddle the baby until they start kicking/punching out of it. My daughter was swaddled through 4 weeks. After that she was kicking out of it so we stopped. Yes, there is a suffocation risk with swaddling when they start moving around a lot. Your swaddle should NEVER be near their mouth, though. Tight and secure with the entire face showing.
    CaliforniaDream87
  • Babies like to be swaddled, it's like the womb. They have no control over their arms and legs for awhile so they hit themselves and startle themselves awake. I've never heard of swaddling being a suffocation hazard...

    As an L&D nurse, I can say that this statement is true! If you've heard of the 4 S's, this would be key! Swaddling and shh-ing are much like the womb, often calming babies.

    That being said, it is also important to swaddle CORRECTLY. There should not be excess fabric bunched up top or fabric that is loose enough that the baby can wiggle down into it. The purpose of the swaddle is to be snug and should be from the shoulders down. 
    acorlew201
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