Swaddling and using slings - Little Lullaby
Little Lullaby

Swaddling and using slings

Read our information on swaddling and using slings safely to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Little Lullaby
Little Lullaby

If you’re thinking about swaddling your baby or have any worries about swaddling, read our advice to make sure your baby is sleeping safely.

What is swaddling?

Some people believe swaddling young babies can help them settle. This is done by wrapping the baby snugly in a blanket or muslin.

Is swaddling my baby safe?

At Little Lullaby, we don’t advise for or against swaddling, but we strongly encourage parents to follow the advice below:

  • Use thin materials
  • Do not swaddle above your baby’s shoulders
  • Never put a swaddled baby (or any baby) to sleep on their front
  • Do not swaddle too tight
  • Check your baby’s temperature to make sure they don’t get too hot
  • Stop swaddling as soon as your baby starts to show any signs of rolling or moving

The best way to check on your baby’s temperature is by putting your hand on the skin on their chest or the back of their neck. Don’t use their hands or feet as a guide as they will always feel cooler than the rest of their body.

If you decide to swaddle your baby, make sure you know how to do it correctly and safely following the advice above. You should also make sure that you swaddle for each day and night-time sleep as part of their regular sleep routine.

Using slings and baby carriers

Slings and baby carriers can be useful for holding a baby hands-free, but they’re not always used safely.

Although there isn’t any reliable evidence that slings are directly connected with SIDS, there have been a number of deaths worldwide where infants have suffered a fatal accident from the use of a sling. These accidents are predominantly due to suffocation, and particularly in young infants.

The risk seems to be greatest when a baby’s airway is blocked by either their chin resting on their chest or their mouth, or their nose being covered by a parent’s skin or clothing.

The safest baby carrier to use will keep your baby firmly in an upright position where you can always see your baby’s face, and ensure their airways are free.

When you’re wearing a sling or carrier, don’t forget to follow T.I.C.K.S :

T – Tight

I – In view at all times

C – Close enough to kiss

K – Keep chin off the chest

S – Supported back

To make sure you’re using baby slings and carriers correctly, you can visit The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents for complete guidance.

If you have any questions or queries about swaddling and slings, please feel free to get in touch at info@littlelullaby.org.uk.