Understand how swaddling can play a role in SIDS prevention for newborn babies
With SIDS being the leading cause of post neonatal death of babies in the United States, you’ll want to know everything about it as a parent or caregiver. Ninety percent of SIDS deaths are reported within the first six months of life, with the greatest risk being between one to four months. Since there may be no warning signs, education about SIDS and how to prevent it may not be enough.
As a parent though, it’s our responsibility to do everything in our power to keep our baby safe. One way to prevent SIDS is to swaddle your baby before bed. Another way is to place them to sleep only on their back. Keep reading to learn more about SIDS and how to prevent it.
What is SIDS and how does it occur?
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is known as an unexplained infant death that often occurs during sleep. Infants under the age of 1 that experience a sudden death with no cause determined after an investigation, autopsy, and review of clinical history are SIDS death cases. SIDS is often referred to as crib death since the death often takes place in the crib. SIDS is often confused with SUID (Sudden Unexpected Infant Death). The difference between SIDS and SUID is that SUID deaths can be diagnosed as suffocation, entrapment, trauma, infection, etc. Again, SIDS has no cause of death.
SIDS can be related to illness, birth defects and conditions including the following:
- Brain defects: Babies with brain defects may have issues with the part of the brain that controls breathing and arousal from sleep increasing the risk of SIDS.
- Low birth weight: The brains of babies with a low birth weight may not have matured completely posing difficulties with breathing and sleep arousal.
- Respiratory conditions: A child who is dealing with congestion may have breathing issues that result in SIDS.
- Other risk factors for SIDS include:
- Placing a baby to sleep on his/her stomach or side
- Sleep on a surface that’s too soft or overcrowded by blankets and other objects
- Family history of SIDS, specifically a sibling
Does swaddling reduce the risk of SIDS?
Research suggests that swaddling can reduce the risk of SIDS.
One study conducted between 2004 and 2012 showed that less than 2 SIDS deaths per year occurred among swaddled babies. Swaddled babies that were victims were usually stomach sleeping or sleeping with unsafe, bulky bedding. In addition, Australian doctors discovered that babies who sleep on their back and swaddled were ⅓ less likely to die from SIDS. To further back up the research, a NEw Zealand study found similar information.
How does swaddling reduce SIDS?
Swaddling babies SIDS is reduced in the following ways:
Reduces rolling: SIDS often occurs when babies sleep on their stomachs. Most parents will lay their children down on their backs, but the children may roll over in the middle of the night. Swaddling keeps babies from rolling over so they can breathe comfortably.
Promotes safe sleep habits: Swaddling helps babies sleep through the night, so parents are less likely to have them sleep on their stomachs or take them into their beds or onto couches where SIDS is more likely to occur.
What safe sleeping practices does the AAP recommend to prevent SIDS?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the following safe sleep practices that can prevent SIDS:
- Place babies down to sleep on their backs. This will allow for unobstructed breathing that’s not hampered by the mattress.
- Allow babies to sleep in their own sleep space with no other people. Other people can crowd the baby interfering with their ability to breathe.
- Use firm mattresses and fitted sheets in sleep areas. Lumpy sheets and mattresses are not recommended as they can get in the way of the baby’s respiration.
- Avoid having the baby sleep on a couch, armchair, swing, or car safety seat if possible. These can cause the baby to slump over so they can’t breathe freely.
- Keep soft items such as blankets, pillows, and stuffed toys out of the baby’s sleep space.
What do parents need to know about SIDS prevention?
One of the most important things for parents to know is that they should never place a baby on his/her stomach to sleep. They should also be aware of the risk factors that contribute to SIDS including health conditions. Most parents sleep when their baby sleeps, but if you’re anxiety ridden about SIDS or other traumas, you may be losing sleep. Swaddling your baby can help keep them safe while giving you peace of mind.
When is SIDS no longer a risk?
The risk of SIDS is scary for parents, but fortunately, it doesn’t last forever.
Babies are at the highest risk for SIDS when they are between 2 and 4 months of age. The risk goes down considerably after 6 months and it’s highly unlikely to occur after the child turns one.
What is swaddling and why is it safe?
Swaddling has been documented for hundreds of years. Swaddling is the practice of wrapping your baby in a blanket, burrito-like, so he/she feels safe and secure. Improper swaddling can cause health issues, so it’s best to purchase a highly-rated and easy-to-use swaddle to keep your baby safe. Parents swaddle their baby for many reasons including the prevention of SIDS and to aid in a full night of sleep. Dreamland’s Weighted Baby Swaddles are designed to help your newborn feel calm and fall asleep faster. Featuring CoverCalm Technology, they evenly distribute weight from your baby’s shoulders to toes to naturally reduce stress and increase relaxation.
Another well-loved feature of the Dreamland Weighted Baby Swaddle is how easy it is to use. With Dreamland’s baby swaddle you’ll be an expert in swaddling in no time. Say goodbye to the days of spending hours learning how to swaddle your baby, only to do it wrong and watch your baby break free in minutes. Safely and securely swaddle your baby with the Dreamland Baby Swaddle using the following steps:
- Put baby inside the weighted sleep sack
- Secure detachable swaddle wing to safety flap on weighted sleep sack body
- Secure the swaddle wing and fasten velcro
Dreamland is proudly female founded by a mompreneur that was blessed with a restless baby. The weighted feature of the swaddle was designed to calm the baby, but as a mom she wanted to perfect every aspect. From high quality materials to stringent safety standards, Dreamland’s Weighted Swaddle can keep your baby safe while helping them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Trust us when we say, it’s a dream come true.