Safe Sleep & Healthy Swaddling

Swaddling is a soothing technique that can help to calm your infant and promote better sleep. Because newborns have an immature nervous system, and an active Moro reflex, swaddling prevents infants from frequent awakenings and therefore lengthens their sleep. While swaddling has been around for hundreds of years, there are several important things to remember when swaddling your baby. First, babies should never be swaddled once they demonstrating the ability to roll, around 3-4 months. In addition, recent evidence has shown that tight swaddling over the legs can increase infants’ risk for hip dysplasia. It is now clear that safe swaddling must leave room for infants’ hips to flex and extend freely.

The AAP recommends parents follow a few safe sleep recommendations:

  • Do not have any loose blankets in your baby’s crib. A loose blanket, including a swaddling blanket that comes unwrapped, could cover your baby’s face and increase the risk of suffocation
  • Keep your baby’s crib free of soft bedding, bumper pads, wedges, toys and pillows
  • Your baby is safest in their own crib or bassinet, not in your bed. Co-sleeping increases the risk of SIDS
  • A cool environment (room temp 68-72 degrees) with good airflow is ideal