Tuesday, June 11, 2013

To Swaddle or Not to Swaddle?

Kimberly Gubbins, CPNP
From the desk of Kim Gubbins, CPNP

As long as we can all remember, babies have been tightly wrapped in swaddles.

There are many positives to swaddling an infant. A swaddle keeps a baby warm and helps them sleep. Most believe that swaddling aids in longer sleep hours due to a baby’s innate startle reflex. This is a reflex they cannot control and if swaddled, they are kept from waking themselves more frequently.

In the last few years we have seen some worrisome repercussions from the art of swaddling. Two of the main negatives of swaddling include hip dysplasia and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Hip dysplasia is a condition when your child's thighbone (the femur), pops our of the socket from their hip. Studies have linked tight swaddling to an increase in this condition. Secondly, we have seen infants who were swaddled for longer than two months of age have serious consequences. If your infant rolls over while swaddled and ends up on their stomach—they are at risk for a SIDS event as their airway is more closed off. We know from the "Back to Sleep" campaign that the safest way for an infant to sleep is on their back. Therefore in 2011, the National Resource Center for Health and Safety discouraged swaddling because of its possible link to an increase in SIDS.

So should we swaddle or not swaddle? While it is a great method to help with a fussy baby, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children continued to be swaddled loosely allowing the hips and legs to be free. The blanket should be loose enough around the upper body that a hand can fit between the blanket and chest. Lastly, they recommend that swaddling be discontinued by 2 months of age.

For more information on "Back to Sleep":
For more information on SIDS you can refer to:

Mark Brinkman, MD
Effective 6/27/2013:

PHA says a fond farewell to Dr. Mark Brinkman and thank him for his many years of dedicated service to our patients and families. He will be missed!

If you have Dr. Brinkman listed with your insurance carrier as your child's Primary Care Physician (PCP) and would like to stay with our practice, please contact your carrier by 6/27/2013 and choose another provider.

A list of our providers that you may choose from:

Tara Doman, MD.

Shelly Flais, MD

Jerome Gronli, MD

Linda Hamilton, MD

Virginia Kash, MD

Sofia Shakir, MD

Jihad Shoshara, MD

Rebecca Smeraglinolo, MD

Nithya Sunder, MD

Julian Tang, MD

Nancy Thomas, MD

Laura Uselding, MD

Timothy Wall, MD

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