My baby just started daycare. He is 9 weeks old and adorable. We swaddle him at home, for naps and for his nighttime sleep. We swaddled his 3 siblings as well. Indeed, following Harvey Karp’s advice from “Happiest Baby on the Block” we swaddled for as long as we could because it provided us with a bedtime routine, the babies expected it and they were all sleeping through the night (7pm to 7am) by four months of age. Swaddling works.
When I met with the daycare worker a few days before my son’s first day, she asked if there was anything I wanted her to know or any questions I had about the care she and the staff would provide. I said exactly one thing: “I want you to swaddle him”. She agreed, but too hastily as it turns out because when I brought him for his first day I was informed by the daycare administrator that they could not swaddle the baby without a note from a doctor.
According to the rules set out by “Caring for our Children” which is the daycare bible for state-licensed facilities in Pennsylvania (where we live) a baby may not be swaddled in the daycare without written authorization from a physician. The geniuses who write these rules are convinced that swaddling isn’t perfectly safe (what is?) because the daycare workers could do a bad job wrapping the baby, the blanket could become loose, the baby might roll over into the loose material and then the baby might, possibly, die of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Oh, swaddling improperly might also cause hip dysplasia.
I asked our pediatrician to write the note the daycare required to swaddle my baby but the doctor refused. She says that the American Academy of Pediatrics “doesn’t recommend swaddling after two months of age.” Do these geniuses think my baby isn’t crying anymore after two months? No matter, the doctor has refused to sign the letter.
Terrific. I’m having my rights as a parent trampled and my baby isn’t sleeping well at daycare.
In March, Melinda Wenner Moyer wrote about how this was going to be a problem. And presto, she is proved correct.