During our research for the development of our swaddle products, we consulted with multiple Orthopedists who strongly believed supporting baby in a natural, flexed position was important for proper joint development. This includes the elbows as well as hips and knees. They said they become concerned with over extension of the elbow joint when baby’s arms are swaddled straight down by sides. They also stated they get concerned with caregivers forcing the infant’s elbow joint straight. The Orthopedists stated there should always be flexion of the elbow joints, so if not on their chest, arms could be on tummy.
When swaddling with our Omni Swaddle Sack, due to the specially designed half-length sleeves, parents and caregivers have several options for baby’s arm position in the swaddle. The arms can be bent at the elbow inside the sleeves with mitten cuffs open or closed. We suggest starting with the cuffs closed, and then place baby in the sack, zip closed and secure baby’s arms across chest with the wrap. Baby’s hands can be positioned by their face or arms could be in the sleeves with mitten cuffs closed (to provide partial suppression of the startle reflex) and up by their head in a flexed position and the Omni’s wrap secured across chest and waist. This last position mentioned, we feel is better for older babies starting to transition out of the swaddle or for babies who prefer to sleep with arms up. Either cuff may be opened so baby can self-soothe on fingers. (See below for images of the different arm positions for swaddling with the Omni Swaddle Sack.
Should arms be up or down when swaddling?
We also consulted with Pediatricians, Pediatric Nurses, many Infant Development Specialists who all believed in a developmentally supportive swaddle which means wrapping baby in their natural position with elbows, knees and hips flexed. They specifically said to make no attempt to try to straighten the legs or arms.
How do you tuck baby’s arms when swaddling?
The SwaddleDesigns Omni Swaddle Sack offers multiple developmentally supportive swaddle positions.
1) Arms on Chest
2) Hand(s) by cheek(s)
3) Hand(s) under chin
4) One or both arms up
Here’s some additional info with quotes from experts.
Babies who are showing signs of starting to roll over should no longer have their arms fully restrained inside a swaddle.The SwaddleDesigns Omni Swaddle Sack offers multiple developmentally supportive swaddle positions.