Saying Goodbye to the Swaddle
Babies love to be swaddled. Swaddles stifle the Moro, or startle, reflex and mimic the confines of the womb. But babies can't be swaddled forever and many parents dread getting rid of the swaddle and the sleep disturbances that accompany moving out of the swaddle. I've got tips for you!
When to get rid of the swaddle: When your child is able to roll, it's time to get rid of the swaddle because it is no longer safe. If you're child is not rolling, but you would like to start sleep training (appropriate around 4 months), you will need to wean from the swaddle. It's important that your child has the ability to self soothe with their hands as they learn to fall asleep independently. Don't try any methods of sleep training with your baby swaddled!
How to wean from the swaddle: I recommend a gradual approach to weaning from the swaddle. Start by removing one arm from the swaddle and continue this for three nights. After three nights, remove the other arm from the swaddle. Your child will be still be swaddled around the chest, but their arms with be free. Continue this for three nights. Your next step is to move to either a swaddle transition piece or regular pajamas.
What should my baby wear when we're done with the swaddle: It's up to you! Many families love the Merlin's Magic Sleep Suit. It restricts baby's movement to help soothe baby, but also keeps their arms free so they can self soothe. The Merlin Magic Sleep Suit can be used after baby has rolled, but should be discontinued when baby can roll in the Merlin. I also recommend the Zipadee-Zip Sleep Suit. The Zipadee-Zip Suit allows for confined movement, arms are free to self soothe and can be worn up to 3 years of age. Halo also makes great swaddle transition pieces and sleep sacks. The swaddle transition keeps arms free, but provides a little more restriction in movement. The Sleep Sack is a wearable blanket that comes in a variety of materials for different environments and seasons. The Sleep Sack can be worn up to 24 months. And as mentioned above, a Halo Sleep Sack Swaddle, can continue to be used with your baby's arms out if they like the snugness around their chest.
Is it time for you baby to move out of the swaddle? Go for it! And if you continue to have sleep issues with your baby, let's chat! I'd love to help your family get the sleep you need and deserve!