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BATON ROUGE- Dr. Mindy Calandro stopped by at News 2 at 4 p.m. to discuss the risks of babies developing sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) from swaddling and to demonstrate the proper techniques to use.

SIDS is defined as the death of an infant under 12 months old for an unexplained reason.

Dr. Calandro lays out points that moms should take into consideration when swaddling their infants:

The greatest SIDS increase was in infants who were swaddled and placed to sleep on their side or stomach, and in older swaddled infants.

  • The above headline came after a study that is going to be published in the June edition Pediatrics.
  • The study evaluated data from 4 previous studies that were conducted from 1998-2006 in England, Australia and Chicago.
  • The results showed that the risk of SIDS was higher in infants swaddled and placed on their side or on their stomach to sleep, and the risk of SIDS in swaddled infants increased with the age of the infant.

Babies should be put to sleep on their backs

  • When an infant is swaddled and then placed on their stomach, their arms would be pinned so they would not be able to move their upper chest and head around.
  • In older infants, those around 4 months old, begin to roll over so swaddling will also have a “pinned” effect.

If moms are going to swaddle their infants, Dr. Calandro advises the following:

  • Make sure to use material that is going to stay in place and not cover the baby’s face.
  • Make sure the baby’s clothing is not thick while in a swaddle blanket, so they will not get too hot.
  • The perfect swaddle should be snug across the upper body, but loose enough on the lower body so that legs are free to move at the hips.
  • “Wean the swaddle” at the first sign of a baby getting to their side or their stomach on their own.

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