Sudden Infant Death Syndrome News & Update: New Study Reveals Link Between Swaddling And SIDS

By Kristine Walker, Parent Herald May 10, 08:47 pm

Are you swaddling your baby during sleep? Well, you better stop that practice as a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics on May 9 revealed a link between swaddling and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome aka SIDS.

What Is Swaddling?

Swaddling refers to an age-old practice of wrapping babies in a blanket or cloth, with arms inside and head exposed. According to CBS News, swaddling has been considered as a factor in promoting calming and sleep.

What Is SIDS?

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) refers to the unexpected and unexplained demise of an otherwise healthy baby, usually those who are under 1-year-old. SIDS is also the leading cause of death among healthy babies in the United States, claiming more than 2,200 death annually, American Family Physician reports.

The Study

In the study helmed by University of Bristol researchers, swaddling may increase the risk of SIDS by about 33 percent. Even though the risk of death varied depending on different sleeping positions, researchers found swaddling doubled the risk for babies who slept on their stomachs or sides while slight increase was observed for infants sleeping on their backs, Time notes.

"We tried to gather evidence of whether there was an association between swaddling for sleep and SIDS," School of Social and Community Medicine lead study author Dr. Anna Pease said, as per Medical Xpress. "We [found] that the risk of SIDS when placing infants on the side or front for sleep increased when infants were swaddled."

Pease also adds that their recent findings suggested some evidence that as infants grow older, they become more exposed to unsafe positions while swaddled during sleep. The reason? Most babies begin to roll over at about 4-6 months. In spite of the limitations of the study, the analysis warns parents not to place babies on their front or side to sleep when swaddled.

Others Factors Linked To SIDS

In addition to the infant's sleeping positions, there are also several factors that are linked to SIDS. These include boys and preemies as well as those babies whose mothers smoked or drank during pregnancy.

Babies who are breastfed, on the other hand, indicates a slightly lower risk of SIDS compared to bottle-fed babies, Inquisitr reveals. Meanwhile, Dr. Pease has a sound advice to parents out there who are fond of swaddling their babies during sleep.

"On a practical level what parents should take away from this is that if they choose to swaddle their babies for sleep, always place them on their back, and think about when to stop swaddling for sleep as their babies get older and more able to move," Pease explained, Headlines & Global News quotes.

Do you think swaddling is bad for babies? Share your thoughts below and follow Parent Herald for more news and updates.

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