The Swaddling Debate

DSC_0138-2Every now and then on Facebook a debate gets heated. Well on a group I am on some moms are talking about swaddling their newborn babies. Here is a wonderful link that a very experienced IBCLC and author of many breastfeeding books goes into detail about why swaddling is NOT a good idea for breastfed babies especially ; http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/blog/tag/swaddling

I will share that I have been a lactation specialist  for over 18 years and breastfeeding mother for 21 years. I have worked with many moms and made many home visits. I will have a mom call and explain how her baby will not stay awake or sleeps for hours or falls asleep at the breast after a few minutes. Or mom is engorged often.

When I arrive baby is most always overdressed or swaddled in a blanket. Yes babies will sleep when bundled its warmer and they just sleep too deep. Early breastfeeding cues are missed. Why? Because baby can not get his/her hands to her mouth. Babies suck on their hands in utero. Baby will fall asleep at the breast because they are overheated.

A quote from HealthyChildren.org :

“Parents should know that there are some risks to swaddling, Dr. Moon says. Swaddling may decrease a baby’s arousal, so that it’s harder for the baby to wake up. “That is why parents like swaddling – the baby sleeps longer and doesn’t wake up as easily,” she said. “But we know that decreased arousal can be a problem and may be one of the main reasons that babies die of SIDS.”

The first thing I do when I arrive for a home visit is have mom get the baby down to a diaper, take the blanket and drape it over both mom and baby and have baby on moms bare chest. That is where baby should and needs to be. Not wrapped up like a burrito and placed in a crib or swing.

me and sebastian on beach in fleece

Baby wearing , all the time in any weather is possible.

Wearing your baby in a sling or woven wrap  skin to skin….you can tend to your home and other family members. Breastfed babies need to nurse often and on cue so momma won’t get engorged, mastitis ,and baby gains well.

I learned very fast as a first time mom that my babies HATE footed pajamas. They hated not being able to get their hands in their mouths, I was sent home being told to bundle and use those  baby mittens….now I know why I had so many breastfeeding difficulties. While this is just ONE recall on infant mittens keep in mind they are all a risk http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2011/Nurses-Choice-Recalls-Holiday-Keepsake-Newborn-Mittens-Due-to-Choking-Hazard/

Moms follow your heart….hold your baby…People are shocked when I share  I wore my newborns ALL day long in a sling. I RARELY laid them down. I even showered with my baby in a mesh sling…It was easier and baby was safe and happy and got a shower also. Motherhood is not easy. You do what you must do for your baby…

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This is my Sebastian (my youngest of 6) , I did kangaroo care in the NICU in 2009. This is how I held him all the time even at home, with a blanket over us both, until he was bigger…  nicu kangaroo

 

We all do the best we can as parents with the information we are given at the moment. Always follow your instincts!

 

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