Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Swaddling Babies Is Not Always Safe

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Swaddling Babies Is Not Always Safe

Article excerpt

Dear Doctor K: The other day I swaddled my niece before putting her down for her nap. My sister told me that's dangerous. Really?

Dear Reader: My colleague Claire McCarthy, assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, confirmed that your sister is right.

To swaddle a baby is to wrap cloth (such as blankets or large towels) tightly around the baby, making it harder for the infant to move his or her arms and legs. My mother said that when I was an infant, I used to bang on the bars of my crib with my hands and feet. I guess, even at 6 months old, I longed for freedom and independence. Or maybe I was just ornery. In any event, when I got that way, she swaddled me.

Perhaps you have swaddled your babies and with no ill effects. In fact, swaddling has been part of caring for babies for centuries -- millennia, really. …

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