As you guys know, each week, practically, there is a new research study, report or survey that comes up with a health conclusion that most likely conflicts and contradicts a previous study.
Here we go again! A new study says that swaddling a baby may lead to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
For those who are unfamiliar, SIDS is an unexplained sudden death of an infant in its sleep before the age of one. The cause is really unknown, but recent conventional wisdom, based on researchers, is that being placed on the tummy combined with being overheated are causes. There is also a school of thought that pillows, crib bumpers and stuffed animals may lead to suffocation.
So in recent history, women have been told to rid their cribs of bumpers, blankets, stuffed animals and to instead swaddle their newborn babies and place them on their backs.
Why the swaddle? Babies have several reflexes including a startling reflex where they jerk their arms outward or above their heads when they feel they are not secure. Swaddling them in a blanket gives them a feeling of being snug and secure similar to the way they were in the womb prior to being born.
The study in the journal Pediatrics states that swaddling increases the risk for SIDS in about 1/3 of the cases of pooled data from four observational studies of SIDS and swaddling that included 760 SIDS cases and 1,759 controls.
However, the lead author of the report, University of Bristol in England research associate Anna S. Pease said that the results should be interpreted with caution given the fact there are so few studies in this area and there is limited evidence.
“We already know that side and prone sleeping are unsafe for young babies, so the advice to place children on their backs for sleep is even more important when parents choose to swaddle them,” she told the New York Times.
The risk also increased with the age of the infant, according to the study.
“We suggest that parents think about what age they should stop swaddling,” Dr. Pease said. “Babies start to roll over between four and six months, and that point may be the best time to stop.”
There you go new parents! New information to keep you worried. Good luck. I know so many women who do not sleep normally because they constantly wake themselves up to make sure their babies are still breathing.
The SIDS anxiety is real and with this news, we can assume it is going to get worse. le sigh.