Is swaddling dangerous? Really?

by Jessie K on March 15, 2013

First Week Baby Pix 023My brother and his wife recently had their first baby — congratulations, Dave and Erika! — and it’s safe to say that my brother’s quiet, comfy world is being dismantled and put back together Strawberry Shortcake-style as I write this.

If you have kids, you know what I’m talking about. Remember before you had your first child and friends and family warned you how bat-stressed and sleep deprived you were going to be those first few months? And you kind of nodded, thinking about what you were going to eat that night, half listening but not hearing what was being said?

And then the baby came and wondered how you were going to survive 18 years of this? Continue reading here.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Janelle March 15, 2013 at 10:19 pm


When my kids were newborns about 10 years ago, the nurses told me to keep one arm out of the swaddle so the blanket wouldn’t ride up and suffocate the baby. Don’t know how that’s viewed now. But I agree with you, so much of this stuff is CYA and fear of litigation.
Best of luck to your brother and sister-in-law, and congratulations on their new baby. It WILL get easier and babies are so wonderful if you’re able to step back a bit for a moment when you’re not too exhausted.

Julie March 16, 2013 at 9:19 am


Swaddling was our saviour. That and the exercise ball and my husbands ability to bounce on that thing – holding the baby tight to his chest while singing softly whatever came to mind. I can remember it like it was yesterday. These things you don’t forget. We called it the granny hour. Around 6pm until? It’s when we needed sweet little calm and lovely ‘Granny’ to come save us from our baby. LOL
btw—I’d have another if age werent a factor.

Molly O March 16, 2013 at 11:43 am


It’s just like the warning that cosleeping and home birth are more dangerous than the alternatives. They’ve cherry-picked the data. Most cosleeping deaths are when infants are left in an adult bed alone (which I would argue isn’t even cosleeping) or when the parents are impaired by drugs and alcohol. It can be perfectly safe to cosleep if you know what you’re doing. I just don’t understand why medical associations have blanket policies against cosleeping, rather than educating parents on how to do it safely if they choose (especially since a lot of people end up doing it at least at some point out of desperation).
Same with home births, a recent study that came out supposedly showed that home virus were much more dangerous than hospital births. But they included unplanned home births which are a totally different story.
Like here isn’t enough stuff for new parents to worry about!

Olga March 17, 2013 at 1:02 pm


I actually thought that newborn are not as difficult as “they” say. I actually found it quite relaxing (i swear I am not cray). But 6-8 months old is really really hard. My son was determined to hurt himself in 1000 ways I couldn’t anticipate. It was totally exhosting and stessfull. I am happy he is getting a bit smarter about now at 9 months.
As for swaddling, here in Canada, all doctors , nurses and midwives reccomend it, so it’s the first time I hear about the “dangers”. Also, midwives and doctors are totally ok with co-sleeping, nurses not so much for some reason. I had my pedeatritian tell me what co-sleeping can actually protect against SIDS, which is true if you do your reaserch. I think modern perents have it easy, we have lots of reaserch available to us, and we can educate ourselves fairly easily. It’s just a matter of commiting some time to do your research.

Olga March 17, 2013 at 10:50 pm


typing on iPhone with one hand is really hard, sorry for appalling spelling.

Jessie K March 18, 2013 at 9:17 am


I guess it just depends on the baby. My brother and his wife are having their souls sucked from them right now. Apparently, baby Ruby doesn’t stop crying. But neither did June when she was first born. I keep telling my brother it will get better but I have a feeling that advice is sounding a bit pat right now! I feel for them!

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