My son was a swaddle baby also and he's around the same age as yours. We gave up the swaddle back in December because he was waking more frequently because he wanted to readjust his position and obviously couldn't because of the swaddle. My husband says that the swaddle "turned on us." It once was the ticket to awesome sleep and then it became the reason for shoddy sleep. We switched from a SwaddleMe to a Swaddle SleepSack and then just slowly loosened the wings over the course of a week. I found it was very difficult to get him to go to sleep unswaddled, but he was fine STAYING asleep unswaddled. So then I just started wrapping his upped body in a recieving blanket while I was rocking him and feeding him and he'd fall asleep in my arms, but once I'd put him in the crib the blanket obviously wouldn't stay tight or shut anymore. The first days were horrible. The first night he cried so hard that he threw up all over me and I cried and pretty much had a total meltdown. The second day was only nominally better. The third day was substantially better and the fourth day was almost back to where we were at swaddled. Now he's sleeping 12 hours at night without a swaddle and he seems to be really appreciating the ability to move around and find his own position.
The other thing that seemed to help is that I taught Daniel how to put his paci in. I used a paci clip and clipped it to him during the day and to his carseat. I did not use the clip at night for safety reasons, though I've heard other moms do this so YMMV. In any case, all day long he'd play with it, gnawing on the side of it, sticking the wrong side in, and every once in a while he'd get the nipple. Once he figured out how to get the nipple in his mouth he started doing it all the time. Now he's a pro. I would say this process took 2 weeks. Once they can put the paci in on their own, it can be beneficial for them to have access to their hands if they need the paci for soothing, so that's another reason why you might unswaddle if the paci truly is the issue.
The other thing is that the woombie is quite stretchy and loose and she might need a tighter swaddle if you're going to go that direction. One thing Dr. Karp says in his books is that some babies need the 5 S's really vigorously because they tend to be very tacitile babies. So these are babies who need to be swaddled really tightly, who have high sucking needs, need loud white noise, and like to be jiggled or rocked really hard. Your baby might be one of them. You might be too gentle with her when she might need a little more oomph. Ar eyou using white noise at all? We've found it to be SOOOOO helpful. So helpful in fact that I'm pretty much committed to white noise until Daniel goes off to college.
Thank you!!! You just gave me more information on weaning from the swaddle then my sleep consultant did, tzs, thanks to you as well. I did try yesterday just one arm out of the swaddle but it didn't seem to make a big difference. compared to 2. Tonight my husband and I are going to try the receiving blanket trick (with just one arm out) and see if we have any luck. The sleep consultant is causing me so much stress and anxiety, I just want my money back but I know I won't get it. Communication has been horrible. I emailed her yesterday to get some tips and advice and not only did she not email me back..........when she finally did (this morning) she just said: she's going to cry, just wean her off the swaddle..you have other ways to comfort her (although I'd told her that nothing was working to comfort her). THANKS for all the help. You would think being a "sleep consultant" she would have ideas for me to try or suggestions of things that might help. She's faxing the "sleep plan" today but said it will involve Ainsley going cold turkey on being weaned from the swaddle............so why couldn't she have told me a week ago to start working on it. It's not something that is just going to happen overnight (shouldn't she know this?)
I do think she might sleep better if she could move around, sleep on her stomach.......maybe cuddle a lovey or something. She can take her soother out and put it back in. I don't know, I'm so confused right now. I'm not sure what to try. I guess I'll see what the "sleep plan" says and go from there, although it doesn't seem like it's going to be anything all that enlightening.