to swaddle or not to swaddle? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 03-19-2010, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm expecting baby #2 in a month or so. We swaddled with DS and after the first 2.5 months wherein he gave us a 5 hour sleep stretch, he started waking every 1.5 to 2 hours and continued to do so despite being swaddled. With this babe, I wouldn't mind him/her being able to sleep without being dependent on swaddling. It would be nice for the baby to be able to find his/her own fingers to suck, no worries about the baby waking because of kicking out of the swaddle, plus I got a nice wool sleep sack that I'd like to use because we CD and I want to stick to strictly wool this time...

However, with DS I did buy into the whole "Happiest Baby on the Block" thing about babies NEEDING to be swaddled...just looking for opinions on this. Anybody forego the whole swaddling thing and still have "good" sleepers?
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#2 of 14 Old 03-19-2010, 07:21 PM
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My now 3 month old is a bit of a dichotomy.

She NEEDED to be swaddled for the first month when she was awake and nursed, but slept beautifully without it (tho she is/was a tummy-sleeper, so that may have given respite from that OH NO I'M FALLING feeling back-sleepers feel.)

Her hands freaked her out and overstimulated her so much when awake that it was a sheer blessing when we figured out to swaddle her at about a week old.

I guess, and I'm sure you're sick of hearing this, you probably should just play it by ear!

Good luck!

Doctors aren't out to kill you or your children. Childbirth isn't inherently safe. Science is actually smarter than your intuition. Lighten up. Use sunscreen.

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#3 of 14 Old 03-19-2010, 07:29 PM
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My advice, follow baby's lead. Try a swaddle if they like it and it helps go with it!

None of my DSs have needed to be swaddled. DS2 STTN, except for a burp his first night, immediately. DS3 slept from 1am to 7am this morning, no swaddle.

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#4 of 14 Old 03-19-2010, 08:23 PM
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DS is almost 11 weeks and he sleeps nicely without a swaddle. We used it for about 3 weeks but he didn't really care about it. He wanted to co-sleep so we do that and he gives me about 4-6 hour stretch at night. But he also gives me about 9 hour stretch in which the only thing he wants to do is eat and sleep and I usually sleep through the feedings. For the record - we sleep skin to skin under a receiving blanket with him facing me and cradling my side. I get enough rest most of the time this way.

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#5 of 14 Old 03-19-2010, 11:30 PM
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Yes. I didn't swaddle either of my children and they both were great sleepers!

Single mama to DD8. Feminist. Queer. UU. Poly. Disabled.
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#6 of 14 Old 03-19-2010, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Right of Passage View Post
My advice, follow baby's lead. Try a swaddle if they like it and it helps go with it!

DS was a terrible sleeper, but just as terrible when he was swaddled as not.

DD is a terrible sleeper, and is/was worse when not swaddled. Of course, at 10.5 months I'm wondering if she's ever going to sleep without it (it's been kind of a nightmare trying to wean her off it, and when I make the decision of wean her off it or get some decent sleep, sleep wins!).

A, jammin.gif mama to a boy (2005) and a girl (2009)
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#7 of 14 Old 03-20-2010, 12:12 AM
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Fascinating...DS was swaddled until well past the four months but the white noise needed to be on, even more so as he got older. He really needed all the sleep aids possible to get him to sleep but by three months he was sleeping 9 and 10 hours stretches regularly.

DD sleeps OKAY when she is not swaddled but sleeps longer and more soundly when she is. She sleeps unswaddled from about 7-10 then I wake her, potty her, change her nappy if it needs it, and then swaddle her good and tight (escape proof style) and nurse her back down at around 10:30 or so and she usually sleeps until the sun comes up around 6 sometimes as late as seven, and sometimes she'll nurse and go back to sleep for another two hours or so.

ETA: I have no problem swaddling her every night until she is seventeen years old if it means I can sleep all night.

Rebekah - mom to Ben 03/05 and Emily 01/10, a peace educator, and a veg*n and wife to Jamie.
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#8 of 14 Old 03-20-2010, 12:37 AM
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I would just plan to follow your baby's lead. I know it's hard to really believe before your #2 is born, but each baby really IS a different being. My first required the swaddle for all sleep up until 5 months (and would've liked it longer, but there was a heat wave and we had no a/c... so we quit cold turkey). She slept the same with it as without it: up every 2-3 hours. She didn't sleep 6+ hours in a row until she was almost 2.

My DS is so different. He's been more "friendly" with his hands from day 1, and started sleeping 6 hour stretches at 3 weeks. Since around 3 months he'd been perfectly happy not being swaddled after he's asleep -- he just falls asleep better if his arms are contained. (Often I just wrap a receiving blanket over his arms while he's nursing to sleep, and take it off before I put him down after he's asleep.)

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#9 of 14 Old 03-20-2010, 11:50 AM
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My DD hated swaddling. She was a big, strong baby (9lbz12oz at birth) and any time we tried to swaddle her she'd get her arms out in a couple of minutes. So, we probably weren't very good at it. But we didn't really work on it because it didn't seem to do anything for her, and she was sleeping through the night (waking up once or twice to nurse, going back down easily, out for a good 5 hours at a stretch) by 4 weeks. Yes, I'm lucky.

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#10 of 14 Old 03-20-2010, 12:26 PM
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Yup, I agree with the others, you'll need to follow your baby's need. My DS was a tummy sleeper and never needed to be swaddled (just sleeping on someone's chest) and my DD is still swaddled tight at 7mo. Which every way works out for your baby is fine.

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#11 of 14 Old 03-21-2010, 12:12 AM
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at 9 month ds is still very handsy, and will keep himself awake with his hands. During the day the only way to get him down is to have his arms swaddled, once he is asleep and it loosens he can still find his hand at night, and often even while nursing breaks at least on free, but he is usually drowsy enough to be restrained. Sometimes it is frustrating, but it works for him. I think every babe is different. But thank goodness he will nurse back to sleep in bed at night without having to be rewrapped to often(we use wood heat so nights are chilly and need a blanket he doesn't kick off)
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#12 of 14 Old 03-21-2010, 01:53 AM
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Swaddling has been a godsend for us. My NB actually sleeps well swaddled or not as long as shes is warm but she is having some issues with "colic" and gets tight and gassy fussy at many feedings something we are evulating but if I give her some gas drops before nursing r and as soon as she finishes swaddle her nice and tight and walk/bounce her for like 15 mintues it reduces the screaming down to little wimpers and allows her to even feed more which she needs.


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#13 of 14 Old 03-21-2010, 12:35 PM
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i think is totally depends on the baby. My first never needed to be swaddled, my second is still swaddle-dependant at 7 months! Every baby is different!
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#14 of 14 Old 03-21-2010, 09:17 PM
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I haven't swaddled either of mine. Ds was/is a great sleeper. Dd wakes twice a night b/w 8pm- 7am. They both coslept as young babies. (well, dd still does, as she is still a young baby)
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