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How to wean from swaddling

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Last night we tried to put my 5 month old to sleep without swaddling (mainly because it was so hot, but also because we think it might be time since she's rolling both ways and I don't want her to roll in the swaddler.  She flailed her arms and kicked her legs and it took forever holding her to finally be able to put her down successfully.  Once she was down, she rolled on her tummy and slept peacefully until she had to nurse a few hours later, and then I put her in the swaddler because I could not get her to sleep otherwise.  This morning for nap she fell asleep in the ergo and we tried to transfer her without swaddling, but failed.  Does this mean she's not ready to be unswaddled for sleep, or am I just making the transition to abruptly?  She is usually swaddled in a miracle blanket with one arm out (so she can suck her thumb) and she does fine.  Should I maybe switch swaddle blankets to something less constrictive?  Any advice/experience would be appreciated!

post #2 of 23

I wouldn't be in a hurry to lose the swaddle. We swaddled DD for naps until almost 10 months. I tried having her nap without the swaddle on occasion and eventually it was clear that she didn't need it to settle anymore.

 

Not sure about the concern about rolling over, though. We didn't swaddle overnight since we co-slept until that time and I wasn't concerned about her while she napped. I would have been more nervous overnight. Has she tried rolling over in the swaddle? 

 

I'm trying to contain my jealousy that was too hot to swaddle. I feel like spring will never arrive!

post #3 of 23

what about swaddling with both hands free for awhile (a week maybe?) and then lose the swaddle completely.

 

We will be in the same boat soon with DD. 

post #4 of 23

We swaddled for quite awhile after DS could roll over. We used sleep positioners (the kind with breathe holes and placed low around his body, like at waist level) to ensure he wouldn't roll over, which worked well for us. I was planning to wean from swaddling by doing the one arm out, then two, then without a swaddle....but DS decided quite abruptly from one day to the next (he was 5 mo) that he wouldn't tolerate bring swaddled anymore so there was no weaning involved, lol!

As for the heat, Ds was born in May and we had several massive heat waves over the summer so we had to swaddle through that....we used the Aden & Anais muslin swaddle cloths and they were great! Not too hot, and big enough to swaddle real tight. The only complaint about them is that you really need to learn how to swaddle well, which I couldn't always do and it sometimes frustrated me.

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

She did roll over in the swaddle, which is what I'm nervous about.  Luckily she's got great head control and woke right up, so it wasn't a big deal.  But I can't have her rolling over while swaddled, especially at night.  We co sleep, but I do swaddle her at night since she goes to sleep at 7-8pm and I go to sleep closer to 10pm.  Do others swaddle mobile babies?  Is that safe?  I just don't want her to smother herself in her sleep rolling over while swaddled, but maybe that isn't a worry?

post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by P.J. View Post

We swaddled for quite awhile after DS could roll over. We used sleep positioners (the kind with breathe holes and placed low around his body, like at waist level) to ensure he wouldn't roll over, which worked well for us. I was planning to wean from swaddling by doing the one arm out, then two, then without a swaddle....but DS decided quite abruptly from one day to the next (he was 5 mo) that he wouldn't tolerate bring swaddled anymore so there was no weaning involved, lol!

As for the heat, Ds was born in May and we had several massive heat waves over the summer so we had to swaddle through that....we used the Aden & Anais muslin swaddle cloths and they were great! Not too hot, and big enough to swaddle real tight. The only complaint about them is that you really need to learn how to swaddle well, which I couldn't always do and it sometimes frustrated me.


I didn't read this before posting.  Thanks for the tips!  I think I'll keep swaddling, maybe try for 2 hands free, and wait it out to see if she weans from it naturally without worrying about the heat.  I'll also look into other types of swaddlers that may be cooler.  Thanks!

 

post #7 of 23

We stopped swaddling around 5 months because it seemed like DS stopped liking it anymore.  We moved from a tight swaddle in A&A blankets to a Woombie, then from there to a sleep sack.  We also made the changes at naptime first, then started doing it at night.  He let us know whether he wanted the swaddle or not.

post #8 of 23

Well, DS is 8 mo and still swaddled. His arms and hands are soooo active when he nurses and falls asleep. He is constantly clawing at me and himself so that he can't focus (I guess!) on falling asleep. Since he sleeps on his tummy, I swaddle him for his nurse/rock to sleep, get him sleeping, lay him down on his tummy and loosen the swaddle so he can get out if he moves.

 

Every week or two I leave one arm unswadddled to test him but he CANNOT fall asleep. Still. uhoh3.gif  

 

I'm fine with this for now. Whatever! He's safe and sleeping so he's going to stay swaddled as long as he needs. 

 

Also, we co-sleep and I still have to loosely swaddle him at night otherwise he'll wake every 30 minutes. Crazy wonderful baby!!

post #9 of 23

you might decide it is easier for the babe to have loose feet first, and just swaddle the top half?

 

 

or i heard someone around here just put their babe in a footed one peice outfit and leave their arms inside the main body and zip it up, she did it cause she liked the wombie that has legs. i can see that as a great trasition outfit!

 

as for rolling, yeah i would block her body down below her elbows and keep her safe that way

 

i swaddle my twins, currently 4 months, and wonder what i will do over hte next few months as well, we just got wombies for something more summerish and flexible but so far they are too flexible, we have had to swaddle over the top of them, they dont like being able to move that much yet

post #10 of 23

I had a swaddle addict on my hands. What we did is we would always try and get her out of it, but then if all else failed, then we would use it. It wasn't worth it for us to lose massive amounts of sleep.

 

What we did that helped: I would rock and nurse her in a blanket that would act as a swauddle. I would wrap her up tight and then after she was asleep, then I would unwrap her and lay her down. If she woke up and couldn't go back asleep, than I would just swaddle her and go with it. It was slow going and I really didn't ever think she would get out of it. We had to stop swaddling her because we felt like it was bugging her, but she still had trouble sleeping without it.

 

If you are worried about the rolling over, you could always swaddle more loosely. That is what we did with DD. Then, if she needed to, she could get her hands out.  That seemed to help and whenever I came in to get her, she always had her hands out.  I felt like it was a good transistion to no swaddle. I swaddled my mobile baby, even though she could turn over. She had really good head control and I didn't ever worry about her. And she could always get her hands out.

 

What really helped me get my baby out of a swaddle was tummy sleeping. We didn't start doing tummy  sleeping till DD was eight months old because that is when I  felt like she could easily roll over, but once we did that, she could easily sleep without a swaddle. I remember reading that babies who don't like sleeping on their backs will tolerate it with a swaddle, so i think my babe just wanted to sleep on her tummy. Once she could, it was much easier getting her 100 percent swaddle free.

post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 

I think Emma would do much better sleeping on her tummy, but every time I lay her down on her tummy she wakes right up.  Any tips on putting down a sleeping baby on their tummy?

post #12 of 23

We live in Hawaii, where it is hot, so when I quit swaddling at 4 months because he was rolling, I switched to a Peke Moe (http://www.pekemoe.co.nz/). He LOVES it, he gets excited when we get out his sack and it's perfect for restraining his grabby arms while not making me afraid if he rolls over. My son is 7 months now and I am planning to keep him in the Peke for the next 6 months at least.

post #13 of 23
We transitioned with one hand out, then two and then sleep sack. DD slept in a co-sleeper next to our bed. It's a hard transition but must be done for safety's sake. I would also say to just expect more night waking during this adjustment time, but it will pass smile.gif
post #14 of 23

I swaddle until they pretty much stand up, hand me the blanket, and ask to stop. 

 

Not quite, but close.  ;)

 

My kids have swaddled to 1 year, 15 months, and my current 10 month old is still swaddled.  This time, I use a hemp jersey blanket that I love, so it's become a bit threadbare (and thus, not too hot).  We're in Georgia, so not cool weather, either.  I'll continue to swaddle until he stops falling asleep with it.  My first was a tummy sleeper, second two were back sleepers. 

post #15 of 23

I'd say it depends on the kid. DS stopped liking it at around 3-4 months and transitioned into his sleeping bag (Alvi brand from Germany). DD is still in a swaddling blanket (the kind with velcro, she could break out of any muslin square we swaddled her in, she needs the velcro!!!!). I think now that she is going to outgrow the straightjacket as we call it, I will try to put her in DS's old sleeping bag (still in pristine condition) and see how she likes it... Rolling never was a concern with DS, he was literally so fat, he couldn't roll over until 12 months (he could crawl at 9 and walk at 12 months, but still had trouble rolling over, all the little milkfat rolls were in his way)!

post #16 of 23

All three of my kids abruptly stopped liking it and made it clear they did.

I agree with the suggestion to just loosen it some after she's asleep so if she needs to get out, she can.

post #17 of 23


this is what we recommend for the babies we work with( i use to be a night nanny for multiples)

Quote:
Originally Posted by somegirl99 View Post

We stopped swaddling around 5 months because it seemed like DS stopped liking it anymore.  We moved from a tight swaddle in A&A blankets to a Woombie, then from there to a sleep sack.  We also made the changes at naptime first, then started doing it at night.  He let us know whether he wanted the swaddle or not.



 

post #18 of 23

Oh goodness, you won't like my answer.. we have tried multiple times to wean DD from swaddling, but here we are at 14 months and she still needs her A&A blanket around her top half to fall asleep. We hold her and try to sway or rock her w/o swaddling sometimes but the hands end up flailing all over the place and we cannot get her down. Swaddling has saved our sanity and I eventually just gave up weaning because I felt that she needed it. Heck, we all need it even still. I also never worried about DD getting stuck while trying to roll over because every single night since she was about 4 months old, she has found a way to unwrap herself or free a hand out of the swaddle and still stay asleep (she's a tummy sleeper). Don't know how she does it because I tend to put her in a tighter swaddle. 

 

The nice thing about using a swaddle to get to sleep is that over the past 6 months, DD hasn't needed it to stay asleep. Actually, probably since she was about 5-6 months old she just needed it to fall asleep. She's a very busy baby and it's so hard to get her settled!! So it's a good compromise that we don't have to repeatedly swaddle her at night. What I would do, and what I did is pat DD back to sleep or rock her if she woke up instead of swaddling. It does depend on your sleep situation, however. We easily nursed back to sleep for almost a year, and that helped curb her need for a swaddle. 

 

The Aden and Anais swaddle blankets at Target are muslin cotton and super thin. We used them exclusively for the past year and they are amazing. We just put her in a onesie with light socks, plus the swaddle blanket and she never got hot even here in VA.. And if you're looking for something less restrictive, maybe it's time to switch to a swaddle blanket w/o velcro so baby can move around and free herself more. They are super huge so you can get a good fit. I don't wrap the first side completely under her; I just tuck it so that if she does roll over, the swaddle undoes itself and she's got one arm free. It has worked out very well, actually.

 

Thanks for reading my short essay!! Hope some of it helps.

post #19 of 23
We swaddled until she was a year old, so I wouldnt worry about the rolling over. You might try Aden+Anias blankets since they are really light (made of muslin).
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the input!  Upon reading everyone's comments and reevaluating Emma's situation, I don't think she's ready to be weaned from the swaddler.  We are going to try to get her to two arms out (she already sleeps with one arm out) but I'm not going to push leaving her unswaddled to sleep because she just sleeps SO much better when swaddled and I think I was being a worrier about her rolling.  I'll just loosen the swaddler before putting her down, or try to get her to be ok with both arms out and we'll go from there.  Thanks for all the tips!

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