Post # 1
I’ve done a lot of googling on this subject, but I still don’t feel like I have a good grasp on how to go about it successfully, so I figured I’d ask the Hive 🙂
Our baby gets swaddled 100% of the times that she goes to sleep. At night, it’s a Halo sleep sack. During the day, it’s just a blanket swaddle for naps. And in her car seat, we stuff the blanket down tight to hold her arms down. We’ve been doing this since birth.
I can tell you with 100% certainty that DD is not mature enough to handle the responsibility of having access to her hands. Whenever she has her arms free, she either frets her little hands like a tiny Jewish grandmother, thus keeping herself awake, or she knocks her binky out of her mouth and then cries because wtf, some asshole took my binky away. Sometimes she will work an arm or two out of her swaddle, and this will wake her up every time. I have had to exit off the highway to get out of the car and tuck her blanket back down, because she got an arm out and was screaming at me for 10 miles. Baby + hands = unbridled disaster.
But, she’s getting older and stronger and soon she’ll start rolling over from back to front (which is the be-all end-all cutoff for swaddling). We’d like to wean her off swaddling before that happens so we don’t end up having to go cold turkey, though. I’ve read advice saying to leave one arm out, or to swaddle progressively looser and looser, or to just cold turkey it and suffer for a few days … but I want to hear from real people who have succeeded at this!
So, if you used to swaddle baby — when did you decide to stop, why did you decide to stop, what method did you use, and how did it turn out??? Any and all advice welcome!
Post # 3
We stopped because we had to – he started rolling when he was about 3 months old. Before that he was muscling his way out. It was ugly, because he really shouldn’t have been in charge of his arms at any time.
So we didn’t get a chance to try the one-arm-out wean. What we did instead was hastily purchase of a Baby Merlin Magic Sleepsuit (available on Amazon), affectionately known around our house as baby’s leaded suit. It’s a thick fleecy suit that’s supposed to kind of muffle their movements and encoruage back sleeping. Do a little reading on it and see if you might find it useful.
DS is 8 months old now and still sleeps in it. It’s part of his bedtime routine.
Post # 4
@annifer: ah, this is SUPER helpful!!! Reading the reviews right now and I already put one in my cart DD has started acting like she hates her swaddle and arches to try and escape it at night, but then can’t sleep if she has her arms free, so hopefully this is just what we need to make the transition!
Post # 5
@iarebridezilla: DD isn’t due until March but I just finished reading happiest baby on the block & it’s all about the 4th trimester and swaddling & why babies should be wrapped up, etc. A lot of the book made me roll my eyes but there was a ton of talk about swaddling, how long to do it, how to wean & what signs to look for when your baby is ready to wean. It might be worth checking out or googling Happiest Baby on the Block & seeing if you can find any information on their techniques.
Post # 6
@ThePrincessBride10612: I did read that book, and Dr. Karp is all about the one-arm-then-both-arms method of weaning … which is fine when it works, but my kid can’t even be trusted with three fingers, much less a whole arm He also says that babies should keep being swaddled “until they don’t like it anymore,” which I totally bought into when I first read it. But now I’m like, wait, what? How the eff is it safe to swaddle a baby who can roll over? Nothing like being trapped face-down in a straitjacket. You blew it, Dr. Karp.
Post # 7
@iarebridezilla: ha ha! yes dr. karp is an interesting guy. You’ll have to keep us posted & let us know if you find something that works for you 🙂 I’ll probably have this same exact question in a few months!
Post # 8
I swaddled even at the hospital!! My daughter loved it!!! We swaddled till 6 months that when we read the hips can start to get affected by the restriction. At 6 months we switched to the sleep sack so it still gave her some weight but the arms were completely free. Honestly she handled it better than we did…. we were very nervous but the first night was fine! We got rid of that around 9 months. It was much easier than I expected.
Post # 9
@iarebridezilla: OK- so my son HATED to be swaddled….we tried it, but without fail, every time, he would work his arms out and raise them above his head and then he was content.
My feelings about swaddling are: had my son actually liked to be swaddled, as soon as he started to display any signs of rolling over, I would switched over to a sleep sack.
I get that your daughter doesn’t enjoy NOT being swaddled at the moment- but when you even *think* she might have the strength to rollover- which will be before you see it- I’d switch.
Granted, if she has the strength to roll over, she may very well posess the strength to get herself out of a compromising situation. But I’d rather deal with a baby screaming for a day or two while they adjust to not being swaddled than making the mistake of continued swaddling and then rolling over.
My son showed zip-zero-none signs of attempting to get out of his crib. Not when he was happy, not when he was upset. So to me, it was a safe place to leave him while I showered. In general, the door to his room had a gate up. But when he was in his crib, there wasn’t really a reason to have that up….or so I thought.
So one day I put him in the crib. He was happy, and I jumped into the shower. 4 minute shower. I get out of the shower, and he’s standing there- in the bathroom. Ummmmmmmmm wtf. He was on the younger side of 1 year, and I never expected to see him out of his crib.
So all I am saying is: these little guys keep thier “talents” under wraps and surprise you when you don’t expect it.
Post # 10
A pediatrician told my friend to stop swaddling at 3 months….. No idea why!? haha
Post # 11
We stopped around 4 months because for one, he was getting too big to swaddle securely (so it’d just break apart anyway) and he was starting to roll.
We just went cold turkey and switched to a sleep sack.
Post # 12
@iarebridezilla: Oh my god, I am in the same situation as you! Baby girl can’t even have her hands near her face in a swaddle because she will desperately try to suck her hands through the halo swaddle sack. After houdining out the last few nights, last night we did a double swaddle and she slept AMAZING. But she is also 3 months old, and I am SO dreading not being able to swaddle her. And the scary thing is, she is rolling from back to tummy, so I feel like I should be stopping immediately, but she has never been able to flip on any surface other than the hard floor.
We’ve also just started some no-cry sleep training which is going great, so I can just imagine swaddle weaning, plus the 4 month sleep regression that is potentially lurking around the corner. Oh eff…things might get really bad here!
Post # 13
@Mewithoutyou: probably because of the risk of baby learning to roll over!!
@calgarymommy2b: I’ve just ordered the merlin sleep suit that @annifer: recommended so I’ll have to report back on how that goes! DD fights the swaddle so hard now — she basically twists her body into a question mark shape, but she still can’t handle having her hands, so … hopefully the leaded suit is the miracle I’ve been searching for.
Post # 14
We swaddled way longer than we had planned, but it works out peferctly. Once he broked out of the swaddles, we got the swaddle wraps with velcro and they worked beautifully and we used them until he was 7 months. We tried a few times one arm out, etc. but he would flail his arms and not sleep. So we continued until the night he rolled over onto his tummy. We took it off right then and there and that was that. Because he continued liking to sleep on his tummy from that point on, he didn’t miss his swaddle. He tucked his arms underneathe him and still sleeps like that now (15 mos. old).
Post # 15
I work at a daycare and we swaddle the babies until they are around 9 months and can kick out of it anyway. I’m sure it varies a lot. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong time.
Post # 16
@Jenn23: ugh, I thought we’d have way more time with the swaddle too, but at barely over 3 months, DD is already teetering on the brink of being able to roll from back to front. I think if her pack and play were larger (she sleeps in the travel sized one), she’d be doing it already! She can already basically flip herself up onto her side