When this 5-month-old baby’s proud dad posted a video of the happy little mite being removed from his wrap after a sleep, many were swift to pass judgement and label his actions ‘cruel’.
Since when is swaddling cruel?
In the age of social media you can be pulled apart by the masses over seemingly anything – as this dad found out the hard way. Shared on the InspireMore Facebook page, the video shows a montage of 5 month old Kaden having his swaddle unwrapped after he’s had a sleep. It is all kinds of adorable, take a look!
The wrath of the internet
Unfortunately for baby Kaden’s dad, Kent Siri, the post attracted a large number of agitated viewers who took baby Kaden’s happy wake-up arm stretch as reinforcement for their anti-swaddling anger.
One of the most popular comments has been liked over 200 times:
“This is cruel to wrap a baby up so they can’t move their arms suck their thumb & just put them where they want to, most babies sleep with their arms above their head anyway it must be so frustrating I thought this went out with the ark!!!!”
Another commenter shared similar views, “I’m sorry but as for this resembling the womb, even in that limited space, they can pull up their knees, spread their legs, and move their arms. Doing this seems just cruel.”
It didn’t take long for other viewers to come to the defence of the swaddle, but by this time Kent felt compelled to defend himself, posting a response to the commentary and debate that had erupted on his seemingly innocent post.
“First and foremost, he loves it! It provides him with comfort and security when he sleeps. As many clinical professionals have attested in the comments, swaddling is still very much a paediatrician-recommended method for soothing babies when they sleep,” the rather patient dad wrote.
He went on further to explain that his son has a “strong startle reflex, also known as the Moro Reflex. This causes him to jolt a lot at night and wake himself up. Since we started swaddling him, he sleeps much better and loves it.”
See the full reply below.
Thankfully, most replies are in support for swaddling and for dad’s parenting choices, with many stating that babies are routinely swaddled in the hospital after birth. However some still refused to see reason, convinced that swaddling a baby is even harmful. “What if he or she turn on the face down and could choke? I don’t think babies like it, in fact this baby smiles and stretches with relief.”
So, is swaddling really safe?
For those wondering if the practice of baby swaddling is actually safe, we have a whole article on everything you need to know about swaddling, but in short, the answer is yes. However, there are a few precautions that should be taken into account when swaddling your baby:
- Make sure baby sleeps on her back and that you follow all the safe sleeping guidelines for babies. You’ll also want to ensure the swaddle doesn’t get so loose that it could potentially cover your baby’s face and restrict her breathing.
- While swaddling is all about snugness, just make sure it isn’t too tight around your baby’s chest. The idea is to create a snug wrap, where you can easily fit a couple of fingers between the wrap and your baby’s chest.
- Don’t let your baby overheat in her wrap. Choose a lightweight muslin in summer, and keep the room at a moderate temperature.
- Improper swaddling can damage your baby’s hip sockets and lead to hip dysplasia, so just be sure you allow enough room for your baby to bend her legs up and out, with knees slightly splayed and hips flexed.
Find more tips on how to swaddle your baby safely here.
Don’t like it? You don’t have to do it!
It’s up to you if you want to swaddle. It is definitely not compulsory, but it is often encouraged by professionals and hospitals give parents a little lesson in swaddling after birth. But it can take some time to get the fold, fold, roll, tuck action down pat. And even when you do get the hang of it, you might find your baby becomes very good at breaking free of her wrap. There really is no need for judgement here. It works well for some and not at all for others.
This dad is doing a great job! And whether you choose to swaddle or not, so are you.