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Thread: Summer Swaddling
June 29th, 2014 07:10 AM #1
Ok, so we're in the Middle East at the moment, and the weather during the day reaches about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. During the evening, the temperature goes from the 80s at midnight to the high 60s in the early morning hours. DD is due in a little less than a month, and I'm not entirely sure what the temperature will be like then... except that I predict it will be hot. The in-laws are convinced that swaddling leads to overheating and deformities. Long story, but they think swaddling is also incredibly difficult to do. They are also convinced that AC will give the baby ear infections... and they assert doctors told them this. There's little I can do to change their opinions, so having a discussion won't work. I have 4 muslin swaddle blankets, which were very difficult to obtain (today MIL actually suggested we sew them to make something else... if only I knew how to say "over my dead body" in Farsi). So keeping this in mind, it's impossible for me to buy any specially made products or such. We'll be with the in-laws for about a month after DD is born, but I'd like to be able to get her into a routine. The only thing I am worried about is that she might overheat if we swaddle her in the night. I've read that you can simply leave the baby in a diaper, no onesie, and then swaddle. Does anyone have experience swaddling in the summer (particularly without the AC cranked up)? Was it possible to keep the baby from overheating? If we don't swaddle for the first month, will it be impossible to add that to her routine? I realize not all babies like to be swaddled, but I'd at least like to keep it on the table as an option... and be knowledgeable about the best way to do it in the summer...INTP Anthropologist Living in the centre of China, married to a Persian, and just enjoying a completely unpredictable life
Emiliana Pari 郑煜曈 '14
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June 29th, 2014 10:04 AM #3
I'm trying to think back to my summer babies.
Babies are very small and can overheat/ cool down quickly.
The fine muslin wraps you have would be ideal. I think a nappy and the wrap would be best.
I'd swaddle loosely to allow some air flow. Perhaps even swaddle with arms out.
I'm an Aussie- and found this article about swaddling in summer.
It can get pretty warm in some areas of Australia too.
My gut instinct would be to assess regularly at first to work out the best way method in your area with your baby. I'd be tempted to run the air cond on a temp that take some of the heat off myself- not full on cold, just moderating the heat a little.
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June 29th, 2014 02:53 PM #5
Our first daughter hated being swaddled. Our second loves it! She's 6 months old and she still loves when we swaddle her. I have muslin wraps that we use here (but the weather is nowhere near as hot as it would be for you) and already I find she sometimes overheats a bit or when I pick her up she's all sweaty. Arms out & just a diaper might be your best bet, or maybe run the A/C for the hottest part of the night or put a fan near her so at least she gets a little breeze (the white noise helps them sleep too). You'll have to play it by ear. I would totally take the risk of A.C ear infection - which I've never heard of by the way - over heat exhaustion.Azula Rosemary
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June 29th, 2014 06:42 PM #7Senior Member
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One suggest might be to lightly swaddle her in just a diaper, and then when you go to sleep, at midnight or so, tuck a lightweight blanket over her (being careful it can't go over her face).
I have never heard of AC causing ear infections. I'd advise that you keep the AC on, and if you're living with your in laws and they protest, get a window AC unit for your room.Lillian Elizabeth 6.16.13
June 29th, 2014 06:43 PM #9
There is also a, um, fascinating belief in the middle east that cool air blowing on a baby (say from a fan) causes intestinal gas and colds. So that's likely not an option either.
Small babies have a great deal of difficulty regulating their temperature and should *never* be left in an environment more than 85 degrees Fahrenheit. They also, in the first month of life, cannot conserve water by concentrating their urine, so they can quickly become dangerously dehydrated in a hot environment. I know how difficult these things are-- really, I know, as an insider I know-- but I think you will really have to put your foot down and insist that the AC in the house be set to 80F or so. Tbh I am surprised your in-laws don't use it themselves, given the ferocity of Iranian summers.
Muslin is light and breathable but any fabric you choose, if you swaddle the baby such that her arms are immobilized, will be somewhat warming. She will be kept warmer than the ambient temperature which is already too hot for a newborn.
I am happy to be the generic American doctor your spoke to refuting the folk belief that AC is bad for babies. But you just can't keep a newborn in 100+ degree temps, it is simply unsafe, and I don't use that word lightly.Blade, MD
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