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Safety Tips


What is swaddling?

"Swaddling is an age-old technique for keeping an infant warm and secure. To swaddle your baby, spread a receiving blanket out flat, with one corner folded over. Lay your baby face-up on the blanket, with his head resting on the folded corner. Wrap the left corner over his body and tuck it beneath him. Bring the bottom corner up over his feet, and then wrap the right corner around him, leaving only his head and neck exposed. Don't cover your baby's face with the blanket, since that could overheat or suffocate him. And make sure you don't wrap your baby too tightly, or his circulation could be cut off.

Swaddling creates a slight pressure around your baby's body that gives most newborns a sense of security. A newborn may even sleep better when swaddled because he's less likely to jerk awake when he startles. Some babies, though, don't enjoy being swaddled." -

Can swaddling reduce the risk of SIDS?

Recent research indicates that swaddling may reduce the risk of SIDS in infants for a bvariety of reasons. For example, swaddled babies sleep better, allowing parents to put them to sleep on the backs rather than on their stomachs which reduces the risk of SIDS (Journal of Pediatrics 2002; 141:398-404). Swaddled babies also sleep better with fewer spontaneous awakenings and longer REM sleep, yet are more likely to experience cortical arousals from outside stimulation. (Journal of Pediatrics 2005; 115; 1307-1311)

How can I safely swaddle my baby?

  • Swaddling should be comfortable for your baby. Wrap your baby snugly but not too tightly. Try to simulate the womb experience - remember that your baby's movement was limited there but not completely restricted.
  • Allow your baby's legs to curl into the fetal position - do not try to force your baby to be straight as a board when wrapped.
  • Do not overheat your baby when swaddling. Dress your baby lightly under swaddling wraps. Keep room remperature comfortable.
  • Discuss with your pediatrician when your baby should no longer be swaddled to ensure appropriate motor development.
  • If you feel there is any risk your baby could possibly roll from the back to stomach position while swaddled, discontinue swaddling.



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