How Long Does It Take To Stop Swaddling
In general, in my 10+ years of experience as a sleep consultant, I have found that most babies adjust to sleeping without a swaddle blanket within 1-2 weeks, on average. If they are younger babies who learned to roll early but still have the Moro reflex, these babies sometimes take 3-4 weeks or more, depending on age and development. All babies develop at their own rate, in my experience. Some things just cant be rushed.
A final word, remember that any time you are weaning from a sleep association, the process can disrupt sleep. This means that if you decide to stop swaddling your baby for sleep, your baby may stop sleeping through the night initially. The process of transitioning away from swaddling can take a week or so, and during that time, your babys sleep may be affected. This is normal once your baby is used to sleeping unswaddled, sleep should return to normal.
How And When To Wean Swaddling
Infants are happiestand sleep the bestwhen we recreate the womb during the first 3-4 months after delivery. They benefit greatly from a so-called 4th trimester.
In general, babies do best when swaddling lasts for 4-5 months. Then, you can start the weaning process by wrapping your baby with one arm out. If she continues to sleep well for a few nights, you can stop swaddling completely. If she starts middle-of-the-night waking again, restart swaddling and try the one-armed wrap again in a monthand every month thereafter until it works.
But, if your baby starts trying to roll over, you will need to stop swaddling fairly quicklyjust as the AAP recommends. The trouble is that weaning swaddling is much harder when babies are only a few months old. At this age, they often still need womb sensations to help them stay asleep and to keep them from waking frequently.
Thats whyif you must you stop swaddling at 2-3 monthsits extra important to use white noise as a sleep cue for all naps and nights. Gentle rocking motion is another fantastic cue, but beware, only swings that recline all the way flat are safefor your precious baby .
Is there any way to avoid this type of post-swaddling crisis? Actuallyfor the very first time in historythe answer isYES!
How To Swaddle Your Baby
If you’ve never swaddled a baby, it might seem like a complicated process. But it doesn’t have to be. Practice the following steps a few times and you’ll be a pro.
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Swaddling Moderates The Moro Reflex
One of the benefits of swaddling a baby is that it helps alleviate the effects of the Moro reflex. The Moro reflex, or startle reflex, is a normal neurological response which causes a newborn to feel as though they are free falling. Babies experience this all the time within the first 3 to 4 months of life. While the presence of the Moro reflex is an indication of a healthy infant, its effects can disturb your baby’s sleep. The startle reflex causes them to have involuntary movements that can easily wake them up. Swaddling helps prevent those spontaneous movements, allowing for a much more beautiful sleep.
Anna & Eve Swaddle Strap
There are also some products on the market that can make the transition from swaddling easier.
The Swaddle Strap, by Anna & Eve is honestly the coolest swaddling product . The Swaddle Strap works well in its own right as a swaddling tool its great for warmer months when a full swaddling blanket is just too heavy, and it also makes diaper changes so much easier. You can use it as a tool to wean from the swaddle as well. By using the Swaddle Strap, you can swaddle your babys arms snugly while leaving her legs free. This is a great first step to transitioning away from the swaddle altogether!
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Transitioning Your Baby Out Of A Swaddle
When its time to stop swaddling your baby and change their sleep routine, youll need to transition them. Some babies may be used to sleeping in a swaddle. Taking them out of it might upset them and cause them to cry more during bedtime.
Create a brief transition to help them adjust to their new sleeping method. When theyre showing signs of rolling over, you should take the wrap away. You can replace the full swaddle with a wrap that meets your babys developmental stage. Be sure to keep their arms free while theyre sleeping.
You can still wrap your child with the same method you used for swaddling. Just keep their arms out. You can also use a sleep sack or blanket as helpful tools during the transition.
In a sleep sack, your baby can move around a little. This is different from no mobility with their swaddle. Getting to move around and build their strength is good for their growth. But if they roll over in the night, place them back on their back. Using a sleep sack is also helpful for getting your baby ready to sleep with a blanket when its safe.
Once your child is done with the sleep sack, you can transition them to a wearable blanket. This will get them closer to sleeping with a blanket when theyre older. A wearable blanket lets them move their arms and legs freely without hazards.
Where Should A Newborn Sleep
Its scary leaving your newborn alone to sleep. Theyre not just fragile, theyre in the formative years of their life.
Responding correctly to your newborns sleep necessities is key to healthy development. This means they need to stay in their crib throughout the night. That doesnt mean they should be far away!
Your crib, bassinet, or cradle should be located nearby so you can jump up and attend to them at a moments notice. Make sure the room is of a moderate temperature and consider using soft noises to soothe them into sleep. Dont keep a bunch of blankets or pillows in the crib, as they can roll over and choke themselves.
Sleep training is one of the biggest growing pains for parents, but your newborn will adapt before you know it. The sooner you get started, the better off everyone will be!
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We Suggest Following These Swaddle Transition Tips To Help Your Baby Continue To Get Great Sleep Even When The Swaddle Is Gone
How Do You Swaddle Your Baby Step By Step
How to swaddle your baby step by step:
Spread the blanket out flat on a changing table, bed, or the floor, and fold over one of the corners
Lay your baby face-up on the blanket positioned with his head at the folded corner
Wrap the right corner over your baby , and tuck the end of the blanket underneath him
Bring the bottom corner of the blanket up over his feet
Wrap the left corner over your baby , leaving just his head and neck exposed
Check that the blanket isnât too tight or constricting around his hips and legs, and that his lower body can still move about. Wrapping your baby too tightly in a swaddle can lead to hip dysplasia or dislocation.
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Snoo: The First Bassinet With Safe Swaddlingevery Time
To solve these uncertainties, my team invented the worlds one andonlybassinet that gives babies the many benefits of swaddling…with none of the risks!
SNOO Smart Sleeper is the only baby bed that keeps infants sleeping safely on the back for all naps and nights, thanks to the unique SNOO Sack swaddle, which clips into the bed to prevent rolling. We are proud to say that this makes SNOOthe safest baby bed ever made!
Also, the specially designed SNOO Sack is:
- Ventedto prevent overheating
- Loose in the legsto keep it hip safe
- Zipperedso it cant unravel
SNOO is called a smart sleeper because it delivers the soothing 4th-trimester sensations babies love so much…in just the right doses. SNOO intelligently chooses the exact level of white noise and calming motion that will work best to soothe your childs crying and boost sleep ! And because SNOO moves back and forth, it can also serve as your babys ultra-safe, completely flat swing.
Infant Transition To Sleep Sack And Blanket
Once your newborn is rolling over and showing signs of mobility, it will be time to transition to a sleep sack. These wearable blankets are clever in that they give babies the freedom of a covering while still ensuring their safety.
With these, they will be able to move their arms freely as well. This freedom is crucial because it will allow them to ease into their mobility from being bundled up tight, and enable your munchkin to transition smoothly to sleeping with a blanket when they grow.
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When To Swaddle Your Baby
Youll most often swaddle your baby before they sleep and to help calm them when theyre fussy. Its important to stop swaddling once your baby starts trying to roll over. This can be as early as 2 months of age. Sleep sacks or wearable blankets that dont compress your babys arms and chest can be worn as long as you want.
How Long Can I Safely Swaddle My Baby For
Swaddling should only be introduced when your baby is a newborn. As soon as they show signs that theyre learning to roll over or they can already roll over, you need to transition them away from swaddling . This is so they can use their hands and arms freely to adjust their head position if they roll over onto their side or front . Your baby could start learning to roll over as early as around two to three months old.
For more about how to swaddle your baby safely read our step-by-step guide to swaddling.
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Signs That You Should Wean From This Practice
If your tyke is showing increased mobility and fewer signs of the Moro reflex, these are common indications you can start weaning your child off swaddling. You can do this gradually so that your kiddo isnt suddenly wiggling around in their newfound freedom or scared by this sudden feeling of insecurity.
You can swaddle them partway with their dominant arm out this way, they can still push themselves around a bit. See how your newborn reacts when put down for a nap, if they still wake up multiple times or struggle with a strong Moro reflex at times, it may not be time to transition.
If this is the case, it may be best to keep them half bundled with one arm out and see how they do from there. Every child is unique and will progress at their own pace.
What Are The Benefits Of Swaddling
Experts are divided about whether all the reported benefits of swaddling stand up to scientific scrutiny, but many parents say that swaddling works for them. Here are some key benefits associated with swaddling a newborn,
Limits the startle reflex, which can wake your baby during her sound sleep
Helps your baby stay warm when sheâs sleeping
Mimics the snug environment of the womb, thereby making her feel safe and secure
Helps to keep your baby calm, possibly even when your baby has colic
Comfort your baby during something that can be a little uncomfortable, like a vaccination.
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Different Methods To Transition Out Of The Swaddle
It can be tough to transition a baby out of their swaddle when they’ve been sleeping through the night. Anything that disrupts baby’s sleep can be stressful.
However, Lindsey McGonegal of Sleep Little Lamb shares with us that the transition is often not as bad as parents fear and that it can sometimes be worse for the parents than the baby. She goes onto say that if your baby is showing all the signs of being ready, they will probably sleep better unswaddled anyway for a better night’s sleep.
There are a few different methods that you can take when it’s time to stop swaddling your baby. You’ll have to consider what you think is best for your baby in the stage they are at as well as how dependent you think they are on the swaddle for sleeping.
Remember this goes for both nighttime sleep AND naps.
Swaddling With Arms Out
If your snooze monster is showing signs of mobility but not quite ready to rest on their own, you can bundle them up halfway with their arms out free. Wrapping your tot halfway can help to smoothly transition your babe to a sleep sack without introducing it all at once.
Once they are moving around and showing signs of strength, they are likely to enjoy this freedom and practice pushing themselves around. This slow graduation will allow them to make this change more readily.
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A Safe Way To Swaddle
There is some good news for parents of babies who enjoy swaddling. There are safe ways to reap the benefits of the swaddle without the risks. Here are some tips for swaddling your baby without worry:
Once a baby starts to show any signs of rolling over, swaddling becomes unsafe. At this point it is time to wean from the swaddle.
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