Raise your hand if you wrap your newborns up like burritos. Ah, everyone in the audience. Mothers and caregivers since the beginning of time have wrapped little bambinos in blankets. The hospital swaddled my kids the moment they were born and although mine fought the practice once we got home, preferring to flail around and side-eye me, many babies love the warm, snug, womb-like feel of a swaddlng blanket. I'll bet it feels like a hug. Maybe rainbows. Well too bad kids, because now wrapping a baby in a blanket is considered child abuse! Yay, world.
Two daycare owners were arraigned on child abuse charges in California last week for tying children so tightly in blankets they had trouble breathing (and throwing blankets over their faces) - a practice being termed "swaddling" by those misinformed. Now because of a few crazy french fries, people are up in arms calling for the ban of swaddling altogether. Minnesota already made the practice illegal in day care centers and it is strongly discouraged elsewhere.
News of the duh: Wrapping a newborn snuggly in a blanket is a far cry from suffocating a one-year-old in a knot so tight it cuts off circulation. (Swaddling is not recommended past the age of about two months) There is nothing painful or harmful about a newborn being wrapped in a blanket. The problem is when caregivers tie the babies so tight they can't move or breathe or when their airways are obstructed. You'd think common sense would regulate the matter of wrapping a baby in a blanket. Apparently not.
Swaddling is becoming such a controversial topic it's akin to spanking. It's the new black of parenting regulation. To be fair, these bans only affect day care facilities, perhaps in an effort to combat swaddling as a replacement for supervised care. Once something is banned in care facilities though, it's not long until every mom at the playground will shame a lady with a baby wrapped in a blanket.
To review, when it's 2:00 AM and you've been awake for three weeks and you're trying to get a newborn to sleep, remember these simple current rules of newborn care:
1. No wrapping your baby in a blanket.
2. The baby must lay flatly on his back which will cause no screaming, no way.
3. Pillows, crib bumpers, and toys of any kind are strictly verboten. NO LOVIES!
4. Sorry, no bottles either.
5. Pacifiers are okay. Wait, no they're not.
6. The baby must wear flame-retardant clothing, the room must be at exactly 68 degrees and you must practice vinyasa breathing to exhibit a state of calm while strictly breastfeeding and you better still have your stinking, rotting placenta lying around!
Got that? A cold, flat, lonely, bored baby with nothing in it's mouth should sleep just fine. It's so cool I'm having twins this time. Oh, and that I'm a mom four-times over and don't give a crap about any of those rules. See ya in jail!
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