Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Swaddling May Help Sleeping Babies Remain On Their Backs

Date:
December 2, 2002
Source:
Washington University School Of Medicine
Summary:
Infants sleep with fewer awakenings when swaddled, and swaddling may help sleeping infants remain on their backs, say researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. These findings are reported in the December issue of Pediatrics.

St. Louis, Dec. 2, 2002 -- Infants sleep with fewer awakenings when swaddled, and swaddling may help sleeping infants remain on their backs, say researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. These findings are reported in the December issue of Pediatrics.

SIDS deaths have decreased nearly 50 percent since the American Academy of Pediatrics 1992 recommendation that babies be placed on their backs to sleep. But when infants reach 2 months of age, about 20 percent of parents in the United States place their babies on their stomachs to sleep because they say they appear more comfortable or to sleep better.

"That's also the time when babies have enough strength and are big enough that they can escape from the typical 'burrito' wrap style of swaddling," said Claudia M. Gerard, M.D., clinical instructor in pediatrics and lead author of the paper. "But in other cultures where swaddling is practiced, it's common to continue swaddling babies until they are much older."

According to Bradley T. Thach, M.D., professor of pediatrics and the study's senior author, swaddling is practiced almost universally in newborn hospital nurseries, and various traditional swaddling techniques are practiced in Turkey, Afghanistan and Albania. Swaddling may make a baby feel more secure and may limit the startle reflex, which may lead to full behavioral arousals. By allowing infants to stay asleep on their backs, parents would be less likely to intervene and change infants to the risky stomach-sleeping position.

This study examined the effect of swaddling on spontaneous arousals during sleep. Twenty-six healthy infants 3 weeks to 6 months old were alternately wrapped in a specially designed cotton spandex swaddle or not swaddled during daytime naps in a sleep laboratory. The cotton spandex swaddle did not restrict the baby's hip movement or breathing, but it did limit their breaking free of the swaddle.

After the infants fell asleep, the researchers evaluated rapid eye movement (REM) and quiet sleep (QS). These sleep states were determined by breathing patterns, eye movements and brain waves, and the number of sighs, startles and full arousals also were recorded. Infants who awoke during the study were lulled back to sleep by rocking, singing, feeding or given a pacifier.

The frequency of startles was decreased with swaddling during QS and REM sleep, and the frequency of behavioral arousals was decreased with swaddling during QS sleep. The duration of REM sleep almost doubled with swaddling.

"Now we have scientific evidence to support the age-old belief that swaddled infants sleep better than unswaddled infants," Gerard said. "It helps babies stay asleep and so may help parents keep their babies sleeping in the safer back position."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington University School Of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Washington University School Of Medicine. "Swaddling May Help Sleeping Babies Remain On Their Backs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 December 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/12/021202072217.htm>.
Washington University School Of Medicine. (2002, December 2). Swaddling May Help Sleeping Babies Remain On Their Backs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/12/021202072217.htm
Washington University School Of Medicine. "Swaddling May Help Sleeping Babies Remain On Their Backs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/12/021202072217.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden laid out new guidelines for health care workers when dealing with the deadly Ebola virus including new precautions when taking off personal protective equipment. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins