New study says swaddling may increase the chance of sudden infant death syndrome

Posted at 8:33 AM, May 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-11 08:32:34-04

HOUSTON, TX -  Here`s a scary question: could you be putting your baby at risk of death with an age-old technique called swaddling?

For years, new parents have been told to wrap up their infants like little burritos before laying them down to sleep because swaddling mimics the womb.

“In utero, a baby is wrapped up tight and warm,” says Pediatrician Lara Varisco Leonhardt. “It`s a safe environment. It`s a warm environment.”

Gabriela Coronado says, “My mom and my mother’s mother did that and it was just like tradition.”

Well, that was yesterday. Today`s a different story. A new study in American Academy of Pediatrics says swaddled babies sleeping on their side or tummy are twice as likely to die from SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

“It`s a tragedy. I hope that nobody has to go through that,” says first-time mom Elizabeth Blackmur.

No question, SIDS is a terrifying thought for parents. The problem is, if the baby moves, swaddling could make breathing harder if the baby is laying face-down.

Viviane Heider is a young mom. She marvels at the fact, “Two weeks ago, swaddling was the best thing ever. And like yesterday it was like, it can cause death.”

It`s more common at four months and older, when they`re more likely to roll and move into the risky positions while snoozing. According to Dr. Leonhardt, there are alternatives. “The sleep sacks or the sleep gowns. It still provides warmth and comfort and coziness, but it doesn`t restrict the body from rolling.”

She also says, be sure to talk to your child's pediatrician about any concerns you may have. After all, no one ever said parenting was easy.