The benefits of swaddling has been tested over time and recent studies by Dr. Rachel Moon at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC, found “parents who routinely used swaddling were more likely to find it effective and to place their infant supine when swaddled.” (1)
Why is supine beneficial?
Supine position is placing the baby on his or her back for sleep. The benefits of supine sleeping position are not much of a debate and have been the recommend position since 1992 by US Health Agencies. All pediatricians agree, infants need to sleep in the supine position to reduce the outcome of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). A study by Skadberg, Morild, & Markestad in 1998 (2) shows how supine position can greatly reduce occurrence of SIDS because the possibility of air passage ways (nose & mouth) from being blocked. Additionally, the supine position reduces pressure (from the babies own weight) applied to the lungs of the baby to prevent choking.
Supine position is the way parents need to put their baby to sleep. One method to train infants to sleep in this position is by swaddling. Parents always need to consider safety in raising a baby because they are yong and are at their most vulnerable stage. The best reason to swaddle is safety because it will train your newborn to sleep in the proper supine position. The supine position is the safest way to sleep and the chance your newborn would encounter SIDS will be dramatically decreased.
Supine position – baby’s back is against the mattress (sleeps on the back)
Prone position – baby’s back is facing up away from the mattress (sleeps on the belly)
Side position – baby’s back is perpendicular to the mattress (sleeps on the left or right side of body)
(1) Swaddling: Will It Get Babies Onto Their Backs for Sleep?, R. Moon, etc, 2011
(2) Abandoning prone sleeping: Effect on the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, Skadberg, Morild, & Markestad, 1998