That’s it. I quit. Hands in the air, quit. 

It’s official. Everything…EVERYTHING is going to harm your child. Including swaddling them. 

You know, swaddling. The thing that nearly every civilization in every era of history has done for all of time? Yeah, now we need to worry about THAT, too, according to The International Journal of Childbirth Education. Now they’re saying “Swaddling newborns delays the first breastfeeding and leads to less effective sucking. Swaddling during the early months puts an infant at risk for respiratory illness, hip dysplasia, overheating and SIDS.” So that’s it. That was the last thing. Everything is dangerous now.

Lord Almighty. You know what, mothers? Stop reading about babies. Stop researching. If your own mom isn’t a good source of how to get a baby through it’s early years, find a friend, or get onegeneral info type book, like What to Expect When You’re Expecting, and then stop. I promise you, the rest will come to you naturally. Because you’re around your baby 24-7, and you know what she needs.

Everything else is fad and fashion.

When my brother was a baby in the 60’s, my mother was always careful to put him to sleep on his stomach, just like Dr. Spock had told mothers of the era to do. That way, should he spit up while he slept, he wouldn’t choke. When I was born 12 years later, she carefully laid me on my side against a rolled towel, like all good mothers of THAT era did. When I had my child, of course I put her “back to sleep” so she wouldn’t die of SIDS. Oh, and I used a crib bumper (Cotton Crib Sash of Smother Death, as they’re known recently) to keep my son from smushing his face against the bars of my drop-side, yes…that vicious death-trap device that suddenly became a vicious death trap device about two years ago….drop-side crib

These children all survived. Children nestled between their parents on the floor in a hut in Nigeria survive. Babies given vodka to calm their colic in Russia survive. Children swaddled to complete immobility, buttered head to toe in lard, and then given a dewdrop of laudanum for a lullaby in 17th century France survived

Babies are not as fragile as we’re conditioned to think. Babies want to thrive  But letting you believe your kid is likely ok if the doctor says they’re ok does not sell books, magazine, or garnish web clicks. 

But fear does. 

Now, I know there are exceptions. There are horrible accidents that are unpreventable. There arebabies who die of SIDS and there are babies that need special care and an exact, perfectly supervised environment to survive in. But don’t be tricked into think your baby is one of those if they’re not. 

Seriously Ma, I’m fine. Chill.

Swaddle if it works. Don’t swaddle if it doesn’t. Give a tiny bit of Tylenol if it works. Put them on their stomach if that’s where they want to sleep. Make it safe, you can do it. Sleep next to them if it feels right, don’t if you worry you’ll sleep too deeply. Remember, babies have slept in boxes on the floor four inches from a fire with mice and spiders snuggling Disney-style next to them for most of human history. Anything you’ve got to offer is an improvement. 

Follow your gut, Mama. Mama-gut has kept the human race alive and striving for all of time. No magazine article knows more about your baby than you do. 


  1. As a mom-to-be, you nailed this dead on! I wonder how I even survived (or how others did) through infant and childhood! God forbid we try to use our instincts!


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