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<p>My daughter Cecilia is 8.5 months old. Since early on, she has been swaddled for sleep. For a while we were able to get away with not swaddling for naps, but her sleep regression at 4 months ended that one. So now, our routine is to swaddle, nurse and go to sleep, for both naps and bedtime.</p>
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<p>I am getting a lot of flak lately for it. There are some members of my family who are convinced that it's a bad thing to be doing at 8 months old. They have gone so far as to say that the reason she's not crawling reliably (she rolls, scoots, crawls backwards, etc but does not do a forward cross-crawl yet) is because I swaddle her for sleep and she needs to be able to move more at night to really get it down.</p>
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<p>I'm starting to get super frustrated with it because we both love the swaddle. I love it because she sleep so much better with it, for hours and hours instead of one short sleep cycle. She seems to love it too; she never fights it, and always falls asleep quickly once she's wrapped up and nursing. It seems like she actually uses the swaddle as a cue that it's time to sleep, because when she nurses unswaddled she never falls asleep. But of course, my first-time-mom brain can't help but worry that my family is right.</p>
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<p>Anyone have any advice to share?</p>
 

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<p>Hey, no advice here, but some experience.</p>
<p>We swaddled DS for sleep and naps until around 8 months.  He loved it, it calmed him, it helped us all.  He was crawling at 6.5months and walking before 10 months.  Your baby's scooting & backward count as crawling. All babies develop differently and many never cross-crawl at all.  We started weaning him from the swaddle for night time just after 8 months, but his nanny kept it up for naps for a while because it worked.  He's now 2.5 and sometimes I feel like we'd still benefit from some sort of swaddling, when he lies awake fiddling with his hands and poking or pinching me.  Oof. It drives me nuts!</p>
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<p>Anyway, listen to your own instincts. ;-)</p>
 

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<p>DD is 10 months and still loves to be swaddled at the start of her nap. She eventually unswaddles herself but her doc said it was just fine. She is cruising, almost walking on her own actually. It helps her calm down and signals sleepy time.</p>
 

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<p>OP, I'm getting the same flak and DS is only 5 months! The Happiest Baby on the Block (HBOTB) site says that many babies need to be swaddled up to 6 months and some into 10 months, so you're totally within the realm of normal. My attitude towards sleep after the 4 month regression has basically been "By Any Means Necessary" and if the swaddle works, I'll swaddle him until he's off to school <span><img alt="redface.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/redface.gif"></span></p>
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<p><span>If you DO want to start weaning off the swaddle (because apparently at some point it's necessary) there seem to be techniques out there. Here are some suggestions I've gotten:</span></p>
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<p><span>* Try a Woombie. It's looser and more flexible and allows them some constraint without the total restriction of swaddling.</span></p>
<p><span>* Try very loud white noise</span></p>
<p><span>* Try swaddling with one arm out and then go to both arms out with the bottom swaddled. From there progress to the sleep sack.</span></p>
<p><span>* If you're comfortable, try swaddling just the lower half and allow baby to sleep on her tummy.</span></p>
 

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You can tell them, from me, that my DS slept swaddled until he was 16 months old. And he's fine-- he's almost 4 now, and is in a gymnastics class with 4 and 5 year olds, and keeps up with them just fine. So clearly swaddling didn't hamper his motor development at all! He can scale bare walls, and pull himself backwards up and over a bar, and do cartwheels.<br><br>
There are lots and lots of babies who don't cross-crawl at all. Two of mine never did (and only one of them was an extended swaddling baby!). And even my cross-crawling baby (DD1) wasn't doing it at 8 months. Babies crawl a bit later than they did in previous generations, on average, possibly because they spend less time on their tummies, because of back-sleeping and because of the baby containment devices we have available to us. That's an average, of course-- plenty of babies who spend LOTS of tummy time will still crawl later, and not everybody abuses baby containment devices. So I don't mean anything personal to you, of course! It's true, though, that on average, crawling seems to be occurring later.<br><br>
My mom used to make snide comments about how I was "tying him up" when I swaddled DS. She'd tell people, oh, she ties him up to get him to sleep longer. Which made it sound like a bizarre form of child abuse. Finally, I had to sit her down and tell her, politely, to shut the heck up. Fortunately for me, DS was not my first, so my confidence was higher-- I knew I was doing right. It's so much harder when you're really not sure it's okay.<br><br>
So take it from me-- it's fine. If it helps him sleep, that's a blessing, and I say take it where you can get it!
 

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<p>On your advice, we re-started a waist-down swaddle with DD during her 4 month regression and I am thoroughly grateful.  She still flails her legs and can't fall asleep if I try to put her down for naps/night without the blanket, and she DEFINITELY sees that blanket as her cue to sleep.  She's almost exactly the same age as Cecilia (a week younger but born 3 weeks early) and started cross-crawling this past weekend.  I, too, had been thinking that maybe the blanket was holding her back, but, really, I think it's just helping her sleep through the night without waking up trying to crawl out of the bed.  I have had some luck recently with using a sleep sack instead.  Putting her in it substitutes for the swaddle blanket in her bedtime routine.  I wrap the excess tightly around her while she's falling asleep to constrain her legs.  Unfortunately the polyester gave her an allergic reaction, but it's something you could try if your family's really got you paranoid.  One other thing - I think I remember you mentioning as some point the Cecilia hated being on her belly.  DD did, too, and I think THAT had more to do with her slow crawling than the swaddle.  Babies experiment with scootching and crawling more when they hang out on their bellies.</p>
 

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<p>I'm sure you guys are totally right. On the rare occasion she falls asleep unswaddled, she sleeps fairly solidly, no flailing or floundering around. I guess that she's just a solid sleeper. It's the getting to sleep part that I am worried about. I have tried to nurse her down unswaddled before and it just doesn't work.</p>
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<p>And yes, she HATED tummy time. She's fine with it now, but it took until she was probably 6 months for her to be okay with it.</p>
 

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<p>we swaddled until 9 months or so....she needed it more as a sleep-cue at that point. i think i had been weaning her from it since about 6 months but really stalled at the one-arm out stage until the very end. i thought i'd send her to college with a swaddle but one day she just started being able to sleep with it very very loosely around her and then not at all. you'll know when she's ready.</p>
 

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<p>DD is almost 9 months and we swaddle 2 out of every 7 nights, at least. When she gets too exhausted to fall asleep and she is just flailing around we swaddle her. She hates the process, but falls asleep with in about 2 minutes. Also, we are trying to increase the amount we swaddle her, because she sleeps better and longer. Plus, her hands dont get cold (it can get kinda chilly at night).</p>
 

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<p>I actually started swaddling my ds late and it worked for us at 8/9 months to settle him.  I think it's fine!</p>
 

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<p>We swaddled my middle daughter to sleep until she was about a year old, using a large bath towel toward the end. She could pull her arms loose, but that was fine because really she only needed the swaddle to fall asleep.  She pretty much skipped crawling and was taking her first steps at 10 months.  Every baby is just different.  I say do what works!</p>
 

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<p>I think that it's definitely fine, but, if you are interested in progressing away from the swaddle, I second the Woombie suggestion.  We got the summer-weight one when DD outgrew the small SwaddleMe, and it was awesome.  I'm totally going straight to the Woombie next time around.  The summer one is super stretchy, so it's a nice transitional step between a tight swaddle and none at all.  DD could get up on her hands and knees while in it, but it still gave her that closeness that helped her sleep.  That said, there was a day sometime between six and seven months that she all of the sudden didn't need the swaddle anymore.  If she still needed it though, we'd definitely still be using it - we all need as much sleep as we can get around here.</p>
 

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<p>We used it with my DD until 10 months and she will be 11 months on friday. She has always been a crappy sleeper but until then it was worse without the swaddle and then one night it was the swaddle keeping her up, she was fighting to get out of it..and that was the end of the swaddle. She started crawling at 9 months and furniture walking at 10 months....</p>
 
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