My little Dahlia is 11 wks old and has yet to sleep for longer than an hour on her back if she isn't swaddled. She is in our bed and will sleep for up to 7 hours if in the swaddle which is very nice. I read in the co-sleeping info section of the main Mothering webpage that it isn't safe to swaddle a baby if she is in the bed with you. Why is that? Should we be working towards longer sleep without the swaddle, or just leave her be? And how do you transition out of the swaddling once the baby is older and more mobile? Will she ever have a long stretch of sleep without it?
My DD had to have the swaddler until she was 5 months old. Then all of a sudden she was wiggling her arms out of it and wanted nothing to do with it almost overnight. I say if she needs swaddled to relax and sleep, then swaddle. We didn't co-sleep though (she was in a bassinet beside our bed). Do you have a co-sleeper or something you could put her in beside you?
I cosleep with my 12 week old while she's swaddled, and I do often feel weird about it. She sleeps SOOOO deeply while swaddled that I don't think she would protest if she were to get a pillow in her face, a blanket near her face, etc.
The way I've handled it is to 1) use a blanket only over my feet and wear a warm top instead of use a blanket, 2) sleep quite a distance from her but stretch out my arm to touch her head if she needs reassurance, and 3) to keep my pillow way away from her (I know I probably shouldn't even be using a pillow, but I haven't figured out how to sleep comfortably that way).
This is what has made me most comfortable, but I can DEFINITELY see that risks could be higher with swaddling. A good alternative could be a co-sleeper or side-carred crib.
So is the risk that she is sleeping so soundly that she wouldn't be aware of the bed hazards like pillows and blankets? I guess that makes sense. I am reluctant to give up the super long stretch of sleep, but I suppose un-swaddling might be worth a try again. Our room is way too small to side-car the crib, though that sounds like a good idea.
Still occasionally swaddling DD who is 7mo. We'd swaddle all the time but she busts out. We have shared the bed since her birth and until recently, she was always swaddled. When she was teeny tiny, I'd pull all the pillows off the bed and only had the blanket over my feet while she slept. Now I just make sure her space is clear, but that's because she rouses, extracts her arms, and is basically on the loose. lol. srsly. i hide from her under the blanket.
Originally Posted by whitneyg
So is the risk that she is sleeping so soundly that she wouldn't be aware of the bed hazards like pillows and blankets?
I'm not sure what the article was saying the risk was, but I imagine it's the very deep sleep and also things like not being able to wiggle away from any danger, not being able to use their arms to swat something from their face, etc.
Also when they're swaddled they're like little cylinders and will roll in whatever direction when the matress slants, which it will when a big person lies down on it. So in addition to not being able to swat at blankets (which a young baby probably wouldn't do anyway) and sleeping too deeply (a SIDS risk) I think keeping the legs and arms tucked in would cause the baby to roll onto their tummy or side facing a pillow and then not be able to push up.
When our LO is in the cosleeper, she sleeps on her tummy. I would NEVER have her on her tummy while in bed with us unless she's on our chests, though, nor do I swaddle her, as I feel it really restricts her ability to move herself into a safe or comfy position. When she's in with us, she's on her side, or cradled in the crook of an arm on her back.
We swaddle our 3mo and co-sleep and have since birth. Honestly, I don't think the possible risks are different than the possible risks of co-sleeping in general. Especially with a very new baby! You do your best to create a safe family bed, but so long as you're following best practices, I pretty much think that each family has to assess their own situation, you know?