Should I swaddle my baby or not?
The pros and cons of swaddling
Swaddling a baby (especially for sleep) has been a tried and true method to calm babies. Swaddling is especially helpful for newborns when they have the Moro (startle) reflex during sleep.
While swaddling has many benefits some recent studies have shown there could be an increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) when swaddling is not done properly, as loose fabric poses a suffocation hazard. Swaddling can also prevent babies from signalling hunger cues (i.e. bringing their hands to their mouth).
Choosing to swaddle your baby
If choosing to swaddle your baby, make sure the swaddle is neither too loose or too tight and only use the swaddle for calming baby/sleep. Do not swaddle once your baby is able to roll. Most people stop swaddling babies around months 3-4. A sleep sack with arms free can be a good choice for transitioning out of a swaddle.
Never place a swaddled baby face down. Baby must stay face up and any blanket should not cover the mouth or nose.
Alternatives to swaddling
An alternative to using a swaddle is to use a sleep sack or wearable velcro baby wrap that gives the same womb-like comfort of a swaddle but does not have as high of a suffocation risk, risk of overheating, and allows more movement of legs.