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WHY I STILL RECOMMEND SWADDLING by DR. MCALLISTER

Posted on 06 June 2016

You may have heard about the recent warning against swaddling that has caused a media frenzy. While we absolutely understand and appreciate any and all concerns of swaddling, we stand firm in our believe and support of swaddling infants. The below except is from Dr. Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH, courtesy of JPMA, an organization we work closely with to ensure all Modern Burlap products are the safest out there.

Dr. Rallie is a nationally recognized physician, a mom of three boys and a grandmother to three. She is a family practice physician, and coauthor of the Mommy MD Guides book series, including the forthcoming Mommy MD Guide to Getting Your Baby to Sleep. Her nationally syndicated newspaper column, Your Health, appeared in more than 30 newspapers in the United States and Canada. It was read by more than a million. We trust her professional experience and opinion and stand behind the below excerpt 100%.

 

"One of the hardest parts of being a mom is making the best, safest choices for your children. This is often complicated by changing, conflicting medical advice and media reports.

Case in point is the May 2016 Pediatrics study that questioned the safety of swaddling
and implicated swaddling in increased risk of SIDS.

In our Tweet-length- attention-span world, the nuances of studies like these are quickly lost. To make matters worse, over-simplified, headline-grabbing sound bites don’t come anywhere close to telling the full story. Here are important points to understand.

• This study was a review of a handful of previously published studies. It didn’t include
new research designed to study swaddling in depth.

• The studies didn’t clearly define “swaddling.” It’s not possible to know if the babies
who died of SIDS were swaddled safely and correctly and using products made specifically for swaddling—or if these babies had been “swaddled” incorrectly.

• One of the findings of the study is that babies are at risk for SIDS when they sleep on
their stomachs. This was already a clearly established risk—and it’s a risk whether a baby is swaddled or not.

So often in parenting, as in life, the best advice is to “stay the course.” Mothers have
instinctively swaddled their babies, generation after generation. Babies are born from completely warm, safe, comforting wombs into a cold, new world. Swaddling helps babies experience the comfort and sense of security that they had in the womb.

“All human nurturers swaddle their babies, and of course I swaddled my babies,”  Hana
R. Solomon, MD, a mom of four grown biological children, two grown “spiritually adopted” children, a grandmom of 8, and a pediatrician, in Columbia, MO. “Babies are grown in a warm—the perfect temperature actually—and tight space. When babies are born, they feel best in a warm, tight space. Swaddling is perfect for this.”

Here’s my takeaway from the Pediatrics study: If a parent or caregiver has concerns about how they are swaddling their child with a blanket or if they are unsure they are doing it correctly, seek guidance from a child care professional. Another alternative is to choose a specially designed swaddler. These products are easy to use, and swaddlers help you to achieve the optimal safe swaddle so your little Houdini can’t wriggle out of it.

I swaddled all three of my babies. I encouraged my son and daughter-in- law to swaddle my grandbabies. And I advise my patients to do the same. This study doesn’t change any of that for me.

Certainly, we owe it to our babies, and the generations of babies to come, to conduct
additional studies about SIDS, swaddling, and other parenting practices. We all want the same thing: Safe, healthy, happy babies."

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