10 month old that needs to be swaddled - Mothering Forums
Life With a Baby > 10 month old that needs to be swaddled
HannahJ's Avatar HannahJ 05:17 PM 07-25-2012

anyone have an older babe that needs swaddling?


i cannot seem to get my son to sleep unless he is wrapped tightly.  i keep wondering if i am imagining this, but every time i try to get him to sleep in just pj's, he will fight and fight sleep.  Then as soon as i've got him swaddled, off to sleep he goes.  He definitely fights the process of getting swaddled, but once he's snug tight and I nurse him side-lying, he's off to sleep within a couple of minutes.  Without the swaddle, he kicks, flails and moves all of his limbs crazily, making it so that there's no way he could fall asleep peacefully.


have i created this situation somehow?  I swaddled him a little in his first couple of weeks, but then stopped.  But then one day when he was a few months old, i did it for some reason (i think it was particularly cold out) and he slept soundly for hours.  So I started doing it off and on and really seemed to notice that it made him sleep better.  fast-forward to now, and the last couple months we're doing it every time he sleeps (naps and night)


Now here's the problem.. he's a little old for it now / too active.  he's strong enough that he'll start out contained but he gets out of the swaddle several times during the night and wakes wailing and i'm having to reswaddle to get him back to sleep.  when this happens 5 or so times, it makes for some seriously disturbed sleep for all of us. 


anyone else have this experience?  what did you do?  do i need to "wean" him from the swaddle?  the couple of times i've resolved to try this, i've succumbed to the swaddle.  He just flails so much without a swaddle, that it's too tempting for me to do the thing that works (especially once i'm sleep deprived and feeling desperate).  Do i just suck it up and stick to "re-training" him? 


I'm not interested in any type of crying it out.  But would appreciate gentle means of helping this babe sleep better.  And I am aware of the sort of "controversy" of swaddling, and i go back and forth about how i feel about it.  It really seems, though, that he finds it comforting.  He's the kind of kid that i don't think would just succumb to sleep because he gives up and can't move.  I think it really calms him somehow.


thank you!

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pokeyac's Avatar pokeyac 06:12 PM 07-27-2012

Hi Hannah, I'm sorry I am not able to offer you advice, but I thought I would bump this up for more attention.  Maybe one of the knowledgeable ladies on here can help out.

PatchChild's Avatar PatchChild 06:07 PM 07-29-2012
DS was swaddled at least that long. For a while, we used diaper pins to pin the cuffs of his sleeves to his Jammie's to keep his arms down, there was NO WAY he would sleep with his arms free and he'd wake himself up grumpy each time he got free of the swaddle. Crazy, but true,

We eventually used nap times to transition away from swaddling. He's five now and still sleeps with his heavy blankets tucked in tight around him.
prescottchels's Avatar prescottchels 09:14 PM 07-29-2012

When I worked in a day care we sometimes swaddled older babies and just used a larger (than receiving) blanket so it could wrap around a couple times. The babies thought it was kinda funny to get rolled up like burritos. I say if it's working for you. Keep doing it. He'll let you know when he doesn't need it anymore. Sleep is too important to mess with.

purplerose's Avatar purplerose 08:41 PM 07-31-2012

one of mine liked to be swaddled until she was two! when she was old enough to go down with no problem, i'd loosen the blanket.

HannahJ's Avatar HannahJ 10:02 PM 08-02-2012

Really helpful, everyone!  thank you so much.  It's so reassuring to know that my child isn't the only one.  And, purplerose, the words "old enough to go down with no problem," although they seem totally impossible now (seriously unfathomable, actually) they give me so much hope!

wendizbaby's Avatar wendizbaby 01:12 PM 08-07-2012

We swaddled our 8 month old until about 2 weeks ago.  I definitely don't think he naps as good without the swaddle, but we went cold turkey and I'm not turning back.  One thing that helps out a lot is putting him on his tummy to sleep.  He falls and stays asleep much better than on his back.  I just don't want to keep swaddling because we don't have any blankets big enough and he gets really hot in the swaddle.  Fortunately though, he sleeps fine through the night next to me so I don't feel like I have to keep doing it.  If he kept waking throughout the night I would probably go back to it.  

Mulvah's Avatar Mulvah 02:04 PM 08-07-2012

I had an extended swaddler (arms only) and I think we weaned him from it around 17 months.  It was a very slow weaning process that took a few weeks, if I recall correctly.  He no longer wanted to be swaddled, but needed it, so we felt it was time.  We did purchase fabric to swaddle him with because he was a very big boy. 

sylvi76's Avatar sylvi76 03:59 AM 08-08-2012

My eldest was swaddled for almost a year.  Those waffle weave baby blankets were perfect, so stretchy and soft.  

Heather Lyn's Avatar Heather Lyn 06:11 PM 08-13-2012
My son's babysitter swaddled her son until 15 months. smile.gif

I was very anxious about switching from swaddle to sleepsack, but at around 6 months O. started waking himself up by straining against the swaddle. So I took the plunge. It took a few days for him to fall asleep easily without it, but having his arms out allowed him to snuggle with his blanket, which was as soothing to him as the swaddle had been. He seemed to outgrow the swaddle around the same time as he outgrew wanting to nurse to sleep. I guess it was just a developmental readiness thing. Anyway, over the course of two months (6 months to 8 months), he went from only napping while latched smile.gif to going to bed awake and falling asleep in under ten minutes! He just started to associate his blanket, pacifier and Pack N Play with sleep. We never did any kind of sleep training. He was just ready. Now I lay him down and he's practically asleep before I leave the room. For me, a different world! smile.gif
Monarchgrrl's Avatar Monarchgrrl 03:13 PM 08-16-2012

DD was swaddled until 18 months. We had to wrap a tight woven/non-stretchy blanket around her arms and then the swaddler on top to keep her contained. Then we started loosening the arms for naps over the course of a few weeks. We took the arm wraps off the Halo sleep sack at 18 months for night time, but she still wears it for all naps and sleep. I think it's like a security "blanket" now. I even had to sew more material to the bottom of it so that it's long enough for her. lol.gif


Don't worry, your DS won't be swaddled until he goes off to college.