top of page

To Swaddle or Not to Swaddle, that is the question - breastfeeding / chestfeeding and swaddling

When you see a picture of a newborn baby in a bassinet they're often all swaddled up, sleeping soundly and warm as toast... but wait, is that a good thing?

As always Iโ€™m here to present facts not tell you what to do. Youโ€™re the expert of how your family functions, not me.


๐™’๐™๐™ฎ ๐™ข๐™ค๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ค๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™š ๐™จ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™™๐™™๐™ก๐™š


โšก๏ธ Can suppress or contain a young infantโ€™s startle reflex (moro reflex) which sometimes wakes babies up
โšก๏ธ Babies may sleep longer stretches
โšก๏ธ Can help calm a baby born physiologically addicted to drugs
โšก๏ธ Some babies cry less when swaddled
โšก๏ธ Tradition: itโ€™s what we think you should do with lil babes and what we were taught in prenatal class.


๐™’๐™๐™ฎ ๐™„ ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™จ๐™ ๐™ž๐™ฅ ๐™ž๐™ฉ - and ๐™ฌ๐™๐™ฎ ๐™ž๐™ฉ ๐™ข๐™ž๐™œ๐™๐™ฉ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ ๐™๐™š๐™ก๐™ฅ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™›๐™š๐™š๐™™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™œ๐™ค๐™–๐™ก๐™จ


โšก๏ธ The startle reflex may have a protective functionโ€”some babies require this startle function to keep them alert to the point of reminding them to breathe in the night
โšก๏ธ Can cause baby to overheat (increasing risk of SIDS) if baby is already dressed in a fuzzy warm outfit, or if room is hot
โœจ Blanket can come loose and obstruct airways
โœจ Can cause hip problems if baby is swaddled in a way where hips canโ€™t bend up and out
โœจSwaddled newborn infants gain less weight in the first couple weeks vs. those infants that arenโ€™t swaddled!!
โœจ New little babies waking frequently in the night can amp up our supplyโ€”more removal and stimulation at the chest in the first couple weeks can = more hormone receptors in the breast / increased capacity for milk making
โœจ babies love their hands and can use them to soothe, and made friends with them in utero
โœจ Unsafe to bedshare when infant is swaddled
โœจ Some infants can start rolling super early, like 8 weeks. They may need their hands to ensure that their airway isnโ€™t compromised


For the record, I would come into my room and find my kid swaddled all the time ๐Ÿค” because even my partner couldnโ€™t wrap her head around not swaddling a newborn. We compromised on a cozy onesie and sometimes Iโ€™d agree to an arms out, loose yet secure swaddle for supervised naps. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

88 views0 comments


bottom of page