SHOULD I SWADDLE MY BABY WHEN HE'S SICK?
IF she has a higher than normal temperature, it may be best NOT to swaddle her because she could easily become overheated.
IF she merely has a tummy ache or some other non-fevered health issue, there’s no reason not to swaddle her. It may be more comforting to her to be swaddled in a time of crisis than not.
However, since swaddling can lead to hyperthermia – overheating – if you are using swaddling with a fevered infant, you may want to use a very lightweight swaddling blanket.
Or dispense with the clothing underneath altogether and simply let Baby rest in her diaper under her swaddle to prevent her from becoming too warm.
CAN I NURSE WHILE BABY[BARE] IS SWADDLED?
The short answer is yes, you can. The longer answer is you might not want to.
The reason being that swaddling DOES calm and soothe babies, and helps them sleep better.
However, if eating, you may not want Junior slipping off into Dreamland before he’s nursed his full share. If you nurse while swaddling your infant, you may find that you have to tap them periodically, or rub their cheek, to keep them alert enough to finish the task at hand.
I'VE READ WHERE SWADDLING CAN LEAD TO AN INCREASE IN UPPER RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS. IS THIS TRUE?
There have been some studies that seem to indicate that swaddling may be a factor in upper respiratory infections. However, all of those studies have been conducted in Asia or in under-developed, non-Western countries.
In more traditional, non-Western societies, swaddling tends to be done very tightly, and for longer periods of time than we typically do it in the West and developed countries.
Therefore, we can recommend two things, if upper respiratory infections are a cause for concern:
1.) Make sure that your swaddles are loose enough to allow you to slip your finger between the chest and cloth.
2.) Give your baby plenty of “swaddle free” time during her waking periods.
WHAT ABOUT SWADDLING AND VITAMIN D DEFICIENCIES?
There was a study in Germany that concluded that swaddling can lead to Vitamin D deficiency in some infants. But, it’s difficult to say, and the study’s authors admitted as much, how much those babies in the study were taken outside, and whether they were swaddled while out of doors.
We need sunlight to properly process Vitamin D in our bodies. To ensure that Baby is getting enough Vitamin D, schedule regular trips out of doors, and for at least part of the time, if the weather permits, leave those little arms and legs free to soak up some rays.