Swaddle vs sleep sack, which is safe for your baby? Know it here!
Swaddle vs sleep sack
Photo by Laura Garcia
A swaddle is a tiny blanket you wrap around your baby like a burrito. Swaddling your baby simulates being in the womb by keeping them warm.
They may also be useful for parents who want to decrease the wakefulness-inducing effects of the Moro reflex. As they adjust to all the new stimuli, babies go through an instinctual reaction, which frequently appears as a twitch or jolt that causes the newborn to throw their hands in the air. Swaddling your infant can inhibit this reaction, allowing them to sleep longer and deeper.
On the other hand, a wearable blanket called a sleep sack might have components that enable it to double as a swaddle. The hands and arms are typically free because the baby’s body, legs, and feet are normally enclosed in the sack.
The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend using blankets for babies due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) risk, so sleep sacks are a safer alternative to keep your baby warm and cozy.
They help keep the baby warm and protected at night. They are similar to swaddles in that they keep the lower limbs close, despite being suitable for older babies and adaptable for diaper changes. Additionally, using them is simpler.
Difference between swaddle vs sleep sack
The most obvious difference between the two is that a sleep sack is more than just a blanket, whereas a swaddle is a blanket designed to completely encircle the baby and restrict arm and leg movement.
One might liken it to a pair of pajamas without legs. A bag with a front zipper, sleeves, or armholes is a better alternative for putting your baby in.
Because they are made for newborns and babies, swaddles shouldn’t be used when a baby can turn over on their own. Your baby may suffocate if she or he turns onto her or his stomach due to restricted limb movement.
Should I swaddle my newborn during the day?
Photo by Laura Garcia
Swaddle for naps and nighttime slumber. Swaddling your child will help him or her sleep better during the day and at night. There is no added risk associated with swaddling before bedtime or naps.
For healthy hip growth, a baby’s legs must be able to flex up and out at the hips. Short periods of swaddling are likely acceptable, but if your child is wrapped up for the majority of the day and night, you might want to use a swaddling sleep sack that has room for the legs to move. Even though it might not be nearly as calming, it is safer for the hips.
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Disadvantages of swaddling a baby
There are some disadvantages to using swaddles, some even causing swaddle sack death. Read on for information and prevention.
Swaddled babies are less aware, making it harder for them to wake up, according to a study. Lower arousal has been connected to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), the abrupt and unexplained death of a newborn younger than one year old.
If the swaddling isn’t done correctly, your infant might be able to get out. Due to the swaddling blanket being left hanging loose in the crib, your child’s respiration may be obstructed. Loose bedding increases the risk of SIDS.
As a result of the swaddle’s additional covering, you should be careful that your baby doesn’t become overheated. Touch their chest or the back of their neck to see whether they are perspiring or feeling hot. Use a cotton or muslin swaddle, which is lighter and more breathable, or take a layer of clothing off.
- Developmental dysplasia of the hip
Inadequate swaddling can increase the chance of hip dysplasia, causing a problem with how the hip joint grows.
In developmental dysplasia, the hip ball is not centered in the socket and, in certain cases, it may even slide in and out. Studies have shown a relation between tight swaddling and this condition.
In comparison to cultures where newborns are held with their hips apart, societies, where infants are traditionally swaddled with their legs straight have a higher prevalence of hip dysplasia.
An initiative to educate Japanese grandparents about traditional swaddling reduced infant hip dislocation from around 3.5 percent to 0.2 percent.
Sleep sacks for newborns
Photo by Ryutaro Tsukata
A sleep sack is a piece of clothing featuring two holes for the arms and one for the head. The legs and body of the infant are contained in a free-standing pouch that is often fastened with a zipper. Getting the proper size is crucial to avoiding the risk of it coming off and your youngster choking.
Because it is dangerous for a baby to have loose materials or items in the crib with them until they have greater control over their bodies, a sleep sack allows a baby to remain warm and protected.
How should a sleep sack fit
When selecting how a baby sleep sack should fit, the most important thing is that it shouldn’t be too loose, especially around the neckline and armholes. A newborn could become trapped in a sleep sack if it is too loose from squirming.
As a result, it can dangerously cover their lips and nose. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, which are typically based on height and weight rather than age.
Even when your kid is a toddler, sleep sacks are still thought of as a safe and practical option.
Size requirements vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and are frequently determined by weight and height rather than age. This is because, despite developmental milestones, every newborn develops at their own rate. Before purchasing a sleep sack, make sure to read the sizing guidelines because most of them run true to size.
How long do babies use sleep sacks?
Sleep sacks are appropriate till toddlerhood (or even later). The child’s arms are unrestricted, but their legs are only marginally free.
Are sleep sacks safe for newborns?
According to a 2019 review through Cleveland Clinic, “infant sleep sacks are as safe, if not safer, than other bedding when it comes to preventing sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).”
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises keeping loose bedding out of your child’s crib until they are 12 months old.
Newborns run the risk of asphyxia and strangling if loose blankets obstruct breathing. Sleep sacks, on the other hand, provide the warmth and comfort of a blanket without the risk.
Are sleep sacks safe for babies who can roll over
The risk of asphyxia and SIDS increases when a baby is sleeping face down.
According to physician Dr. Heidi Szugye, the majority of sleep sacks are devoid of sleeves for security concerns. In order for your baby to utilize their arms to flip themselves back if they do roll onto their stomach while in bed, she advises keeping their hands free.
Swaddle or sleep sack for newborn
Swaddles and sleep sacks are both safe to use at the right age and developmental stage.
A swaddle is safe for the few months after birth until a baby can roll over. Once your baby can turn over, you should no longer wrap him or her in a swaddle.
To avoid falling off, becoming unfastened, and creating a suffocation risk, a wrap must be sufficiently stable. Purchasing a swaddle with Velcro or another form of the fastener is a smart move if you want to keep the swaddle in place properly.
Sleep sacks are better suitable for babies who like a little bit of comfort but don’t want to be extremely snug. Your child’s arms will be free to move inside the sack, but their legs will be restrained.
Babies who roll over are safer in sleep sacks because their arms are free to protect their faces. If your child enjoys wearing a sleep sack, you can let them wear one until they are a toddler.
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