Today in news that will scare new moms everywhere, two moms who ran a California daycare have been arrested. Their crime? The sisters were allegedly swaddling the babies wrong!
It was so bad that California authorities have charged Nazila Sharaf and Lida Sharaf, both moms who happen to be pregnant with their second children, with child abuse. Coming on the heels of a swaddling ban at daycares across the country, the news is enough to make moms wonder if they should give up on swaddling entirely. Is it too dangerous? Could the popular parenting technique land you in jail?
The answer is no ... not if you do it correctly. For moms who are unsure, the case points more toward a need to educate yourself on proper swaddling techniques than it does to give up the practice entirely.
The Sharaf sisters allegedly wrapped the babies in their care very, very tightly. So tightly, in fact, that authorities have compared their technique to the way a boa constrictor envelops a victim. The swaddles at the daycare were finished off with a knot, ensuring the babies couldn't get out of them.
The moms say they didn't mean any harm. Whether it's true is up to the courts to decide.
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Either way, what they did wasn't correct swaddling procedure.
What moms should be doing, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, is swaddle babies loosely, enough so that their hips can move within the blankets. Wrapping a baby so tightly that it inhibits hip movement has been linked to hip dysplasia.
Moms should also be wary of loose blankets around a sleeping baby. That means not piling on blankets beyond the swaddle blanket, but also checking on baby to ensure they haven't loosened the swaddle so much that the excess is covering the face.
Finding that your baby is rolling over in the swaddle so they end up face down on the mattress or loosening the blankets so much that they're ending up with a blanket in the face? That's when the AAP doctors say it's time to stop swaddling entirely.
Do you know how to swaddle your baby correctly? Do you worry you've done it wrong?
Image by Jeanne Sager