Swaddling tied to increased risk of SIDS

Swaddling infants may increase their risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) during sleep, an analysis of previous research suggests.

Overall, babies wrapped in light cloth or blankets, a practice known as swaddling, were about 38 percent more likely to die of SIDS than infants who didn't get swaddled, researchers report in the journal Pediatrics.

"We know that safer sleep for babies means flat on the back," said lead study author Dr. Anna Pease of the University of Bristol in the U.K.

"The risk of SIDS when placing infants on the side or front to sleep increased when infants were swaddled," Pease added by email.

At least some of the SIDS risk tied to swaddling is due to babies getting older and able to roll onto their stomach or side even when parents correctly place them to sleep on their back, Pease noted. This typically happens between four and six months of age.

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