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Is swaddling a baby safe?

There's a growing debate online over the age-old practice. SIDS is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome linked to several things, including swaddling.

SAN DIEGO — Parents, do you swaddle your baby? There's a growing debate over whether or not it's safe.

"She turns six months old tomorrow," Andi Mazingo said when referring to her daughter. For the Valley Center mom, having her second child was similar to having her first.

"I researched SIDS quite a bit and everything I could do to reduce the risk of SIDS," said Mazingo.

SIDS is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome linked to several things, including swaddling.

There have been a series of posts on social media recently related to the issue. Swaddling, a term used for wrapping a baby in a small blanket, has been known to mimic the womb, which can calm an infant.

But, some people question whether swaddling harms a child by leading to things like hip dysplasia, overheating, and suffocation.

CBS 8 contacted Dr. Shalon Nienow, Medical Director of the Chadwick Center for Children and Families at Rady Children's Hospital, to get her to take.

"What is the recommendation amongst medical professionals?"

“Medical professionals and pediatricians specifically who do most of the teaching around newborn care say that swaddling is a great way to help soothe your child and to get them to sleep longer," said Dr. Nienow.

Dr. Nienow is also a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a former NICU nurse.

She said there are several safety measures to keep in mind when swaddling. 

Swaddling should stop when your child rolls over or even attempts to - usually around 12 weeks.

A swaddled baby should always be placed on their back, and ensure the swaddle is on correctly, so it can't get loose and block the airways. Also, so it's not too tight on their hips.

Finally, check your baby's temperature.

"Not with a thermometer, but if your baby is red, feels hot to the touch, and sweaty, then they're too warm," said Dr. Nienow.

Dr. Nienow, who serves on the San Diego County child fatality review team, says when done correctly, swaddling is safe, adding the incidents involving death she sees related to other factors, such as co-sleeping.

"That is far more dangerous from my perspective than swaddling," said Dr. Nienow.

Ultimately, she advises people to talk to their medical professionals if they have concerns.

"There's a lot of stuff on TikTok and the internet in general that isn't well-researched or well-educated information, so parents need to look to medical professionals to help them make these decisions," said Dr. Nienow.

It's advice Andi Mazingo agrees with.

"Try not to think too much about the advice and the articles; just trust your doctor."

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