Swaddling newborns could be dangerous, experts warn

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Parents of newborns are being warned about the dangers of swaddling their babies too tightly.

The wrapping method is under fire, with claims from some Australian experts that it could lead to development issues.

But new mum Violet Sygrove, a midwife, swears by swaddling.

She wraps up her 11-week-old son Remy and has taught other parents to do the same.

"It helps him sleep longer at night, [which] is probably the biggest reason," she says.

"[Swaddling] stops him from throwing his hands up, waking himself up, scratching his face. Just being tight as well makes him feel more safe and secure so he sleeps longer."

The wrapping technique sees a baby bound in a blanket, often with their arms and legs tucked in.

It's said to soothe them.

But research out of the Australian Medical Journal is warning it could lead to problems with babies' hips later in life.

Across the ditch there's been a rise in cases of developmental dislocation linked to swaddling, when a baby's legs are wrapped too tightly.

New Zealand's paediatric society says it all depends on the swaddling technique. The official advice from Plunket is not to swaddle babies at all.

Ms Sygrove says she'll continue swaddling Remy, but she makes sure his legs are free.

"You can see with him his legs are still free, it's only his upper torso that's swaddled snuggly, and the rest of him is kind of left for him to around and move around as he wants to."

Baby sleep bags are a common alternative used by many parents.