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Swaddling and Infant Sleeping Practices


Swaddling promotes quiet sleep and may be a useful strategy to encourage infant safe sleep practices. We explored the effect of a swaddling education intervention on infant sleep practices in an urban minority community. We compared a cohort of postpartum mothers who were given education about swaddling to a historical group. Breastfeeding and pacifier use were similar in both groups. Compared to the historical group (n = 121), mothers in the swaddling group (n = 40) were more likely to swaddle infants to sleep (52.5 vs. 23.1 %, p = .001) and less likely to bedshare (15.4 vs. 33.1 %, p = .042). No significant effect was reported on infant supine sleep (81.6 vs. 69.4 %, p = .212). A postpartum swaddling education intervention had a limited impact on infant safe sleeping practices in an urban minority community. A recent metaanalysis demonstrated an increased risk of sudden infant death in infants swaddled for sleep and recommended the need to avoid the prone and side sleep position, especially for swaddled infants, and to set an age and developmentally appropriate limit for the use of swaddling. Ongoing studies are needed to monitor the safety and effectiveness of swaddling as a tool to promote safe sleeping in infants.

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This study was funded with a grant from the Albert Einstein Society. The funders made no contribution to the study design, data analysis, interpretation or manuscript writing.

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Correspondence to Matilde M. Irigoyen.

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Human and Animal Rights Statement

The research involved Human Participants. The study was approved by the Einstein Healthcare Network IRB. All study participants signed informed consent.

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Kelly, B.A., Irigoyen, M.M., Pomerantz, S.C. et al. Swaddling and Infant Sleeping Practices. J Community Health 42, 10–14 (2017).

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