INDIANAPOLIS -- A new analysis links swaddling infants to an increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS, but the new information isn’t likely to change recommendations from Hoosier providers.
The report in the American Academy of Pediatrics looked at data as far back as 1950 and determined that swaddling in combination with sleep position may increase SIDS. The study looked at 760 SIDS cases and compared them to 1759 control subjects.
Manager for Women’s and Children’s at Franciscan St. Francis in Indianapolis, Angela Bratina says the analysis won’t change the way they inform new mothers.
"Swaddling is known to be a little bit safer than just a regular type blanket over a baby, so we still want to swaddle if that’s how baby is comfortable and put them on their back," Bratina said.
The study found the risk was still greatest with babies that slept on their stomachs and sides. Bratina says a recent review of other literature emphasizes the message that sleeping on the back is still the best way to reduce SIDS. She said the hospital will continue to emphasize that message.
"We want to be very cautious when we have spent so much effort to make sure people are well educated about sleep positioning," Bratina said. "We would need some very influential evidence in order to change our practice."
Swaddling is commonly taught to new mothers as a way to help infants sleep.
The study notes that the association of swaddling and SIDS is still unclear but that the risk increased with age, with the highest risk at six months.