- BETTER SLEEP! This is what many parents know intuitively and why they swaddle their babies in the first place. Swaddled infants startle less, arouse less often and sleep longer.
- Benefits for PRETERM infants: Swaddling is thought to help with a preterm infant’s brain and motor development. It is also found to be more effective than a pacifier for pain control.
- Overheating: There is a hypothetical risk of hyperthermia if an infant is swaddled too tightly and left in a hot room
- SIDS if swaddled baby is PRONE: If the baby turns over into his or her tummy and is unable to move because the arms are swaddled
- Vitamin D deficiency: If the baby is swaddled, only the face is exposed to sunlight, a source of Vitamin D.
- Acute respiratory Infections: Some studies have correlated respiratory infections to swaddling
- And lastly development dysplasia of the hip (DDH)
Developmental Dysplasia of the hip happens when the bones of the hip joint don’t line up properly. The hip joint or socket is still developing when a baby is born and needs the head of the hip bone to help it do this properly. When a baby is swaddled too tightly the hip bone may not sit correctly in the hip joint leading to DDH. The best way to prevent this is to swaddle the baby in a way that allows the hips and legs to move freely – as demonstrated in this video from the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.
For more information, please see this Hip Safe Swaddling handout- Courtesy of Dr. Sharon Yong from King Edward Pediatrics.