Hammocks Help Preemies

<i> From Times staff and wire reports</i>

Premature babies grow better if they swing in a hammock rather than lie still in a crib, according to a new Dutch study.

Fifty premature babies kept in hammock incubators in the first few weeks of life grew more and moved better than a control group of premature infants kept in regular incubators, the study at Utrecht’s Wilhemina Children’s Hospital showed.

“The babies in the hammocks showed more alertness, their movements were more fluid, their sucking behavior was better and their heart and breathing was more regular than the other babies,” said hospital physiotherapist Paul Helders.

“In their first year, they also grew more than the other babies,” he said.


The Utrecht hospital plans to introduce hammocks in incubators because of the results.