You asked and you shall now receive. It’s only fair for us to share all of this stored up knowledge about a baby and what happens once the baby is born until they are no longer called a baby but a toddler! We now will answer, in a very public forum, all of those burning questions about babies and those first 12 months. Each Tuesday, we will tackle a commonly-asked-question from the point of view of a new parent. Chiming in to give her feedback will be three women who have been there and done that: an expert (you know someone who does this for a living), a mom from our community (for the “best” friend advice you need) and a babybites’ team member (someone who will promise to give you the REAL deal and no fluff). Earmark, share and add your own input to today’s question; it’s good karma.
Swaddling, is it safe? How do I do it?
Expert: Dr. Gina Lamb – Amato
Keep in mind that swaddling can be soothing for some infants while others feel constrained being wrapped so tight. If swaddling is done right it can have a soothing and calming effect on a crying and colicky baby. Swaddling does not increase the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) if you place your baby on her back and she isn’t overheated. Swaddling does increase SIDS risks if a swaddled infant is placed on her stomach. The best way to learn how to swaddle is to have the nurses, who are experts at swaddling, at the hospital your baby is born teach you. As a pediatrician I learned from the nurses when I was working in the Newborn Nursery. For swaddling use a large receiving blanket, which should be a large square. Swaddle with the arms at the baby’s sides. It should fit snug around the baby’s arms but slightly loose at the hips. There should be no loose blankets, nothing covering the head and the baby should not be overheated. If your baby needs more freedom around the hands wrap below the arms leaving the hands free. Wrapping the hips too tightly or incorrectly can put your infant at risk for hip dysplasia so leave room for the hips to move. You can put a second diaper on your baby and then her hips will be in the right position. Also look at your baby’s ears to see how warm she is. Her ears should be warm not hot and flushed. If you have more questions about swaddling you can contact me by email if you need more specific instructions or help.
Mom: Katie Blanchet
In my experience, swaddling works well with newborns. They do a terrific job in the hospital of swaddling your baby so they feel warm and secure. Unfortunately, I wasn’t successful swaddling my son with a blanket once we brought him home. I couldn’t get it tight enough and he ultimately broke out of it. I found a swaddle sleep sack made by Halo, which made it a lot easier to wrap him in. By the time he was two months, we didn’t swaddle anymore, rather simply used a sleep sack over his pajamas.
babybites’ team: Laura Deutsch
Yes, it’s safe. Don’t bother learning how, just get a Miracle Blanket!
About our team
Dr. Gina Lamb – Amato MD
Gina is a general pediatrician and developmental pediatrician who works at Village Pediatrics and Agho Medical practices both in Manhattan, NY. She has a masters in child therapy and works with a child psychologist Rosa Vasquez PhD performing office and home consultation for newborns and parents, office and home developmental assessments, school consultations and parent child playgroups where play and art along with baby massage and other techniques are used to help parents bond and support their child’s development. Formerly, Gina was the Director of Pediatric Special Medical Needs before she went into private practice where she cared for medically fragile infants and children. She is also a Early Intervention Pediatrician for Early Intervention which assesses and treats infants from age zero to 3 years. She has extensive experience in Early Head Start programs which work with infants from prenatal to 3 years of age. She is the mother of a beautiful daughter who is 3 years old and the joy of my life. Her husband is an artist, producer and owns Synchronicity Space, a non-profit arts organization that supports emerging artist in fine art and theatre. Finally, she is also an artist who paints mainly babies and children.
Katie is a stay-at-home mom with one child who is 8 months old.
Like what you see? Here are our past Ask & You Shall Receive Baby columns: