Swaddling blankets have always been a tradition, and they’re still popular for newborns. But many hospitals throughout the country are making different choices with a new variety of swaddling products, and some hospitals have completely eliminated the customary swaddling blanket, according to a report by What to Expect.
For some medical institutions, it’s a matter of safety. Michelle Slayman, director of labor and delivery at Indianapolis St. Vincent Carmel Hospital, told WTE that “the use of blankets isn’t in line with the hospital’s recommendations for safe sleep practices.” They’ve switched out blankets entirely and now use sleep sacks. Health East Care System in St. Paul, Minnesota is another hospital that also uses sleep sacks because they have zippered closures; the sack stays securely on the baby, an important consideration since loose bedding could pose a potential suffocation risk.
Typical sleep sacks are like sleep bags with arm holes, and have Velcro or zippers that can be used to swaddle the infant’s arms. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) doesn’t have an official policy on swaddling, but they do recommend parents limit it to babies who can’t roll over or are under 8 weeks old, and they also say that swaddles should be loose around the hips.Halo is the leading sleep sack manufacturer, and they report their product is used in over 1,300 hospitals, according to WTE.