4-month-old baby girl dies after being suffocated by her own swaddle

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This heartbreaking accidental infant death highlights the importance of proper swaddling and sleep safety

The subject of infant death is something mums and dads prefer not to read about. But it is important to address these incidents, however saddening, in order to hopefully prevent future cases from happening.

Like the tragedy that befell a four-month-old baby girl in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia when was accidentally suffocated to death by her own swaddle as she slept.

Her parents found her unconscious at around 7:30 am on 10 January and rushed her to a nearby hospital, where medical staff tried to resuscitate her for 15 minutes to no avail.

The baby was apparently suffocated when the swaddle covered her face sometime during the night. 

Authorities believe this was a case of sudden infant death syndrome, as the baby was swaddled and sleeping in the same bed with her parents.

Our hearts go out to the mum and dad of this baby girl. May they find strength and comfort during this difficult time.

src=https://sg admin.theasianparent.com/wp content/uploads/sites/12/2018/01/mom hug.jpg 4 month old baby girl dies after being suffocated by her own swaddle

Image source: File photo

The link between swaddling and infant death

Though SIDS-related infant death cases have decreased over the years, thanks to more research supporting safe sleep guidelines, some researchers are hoping to add to these guidelines. 

Take for instance, the study published in Pediatrics that stresses the importance of taking note of a baby’s age when deciding to swaddle or not.

Though they found a “small but significant risk” of SIDS, researchers still believe that swaddling and putting babies to sleep on their backs is still the safest sleep position.

Swaddling is a technique passed down from generations that gives babies the warm, comforting feeling of being in a womb-like environment. It has also been known to help with colic.

However, parents need to be aware that swaddling needs to be “phased out” eventually. This is because babies learn to roll over and move around as they grow, which increases the risk of them rolling on their tummies in the night. 

Here are some important swaddling reminders for mums and dads:

  • The average recommended age to stop swaddling a baby is three to four months of age.
  • Babies are born with a “startle reflex,” which they only outgrow at around four to five months. Be careful not too swaddle too early if your baby’s startle reflex is still too strong.
  • If you notice your baby tends to break free of her swaddle, perhaps it’s time to switch to a different type of swaddling blanket or phase out swaddling altogether. 
  • Do not keep babies swaddled for a prolonged period of time to promote your little one’s motor skills.
  • Finally, NEVER put your baby to sleep on their tummy when swaddled (or unswaddled, for that matter.)

We hope these guidelines helped you decide whether you want to swaddle your infant or not. What do you think about swaddling? Let us know in the comments below.

sources: Channel News Asia, New Straits Times, CDC, The Atlantic

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