Graduating from the Swaddle

img_1699My oldest loved to be swaddled. He didn’t sleep a wink if just one limb was free. My middle son liked being swaddled for a while, but was able to sleep without it not particularly long after he was born. My youngest was adopted at three months old, so I don’t know what he preferred as a newborn, but as a three-month old he was perfectly fine sleeping muscle man/starfish style.

How do you know when you don’t need to swaddle your baby anymore? Well, it depends on the kid. You can get some clues though from your child by observing how she responds to coming out of a swaddle during a sleep period. If she startles and wakes up when an arm or leg gets free more often than not, chances are she’s not ready for life outside of the swaddle blanket.

Likewise, if he busts out and doesn’t bat an eyelash, it may be time to try putting your baby down without a swaddle. You can try and ease him in by just swaddling his arms first and leaving his legs free, or you can go cold turkey, whichever suits your situation.

So what do you do when your child seems like she is never going to grow out of the need for swaddling? With my oldest son, we were in this boat for a while. He was at the top of his growth curve and quickly grew out of every swaddling blanket we had, and then regular blankets too. With him, we finally had to cut the cord and force the issue, cold turkey. His personality is quite stubborn on most things, and swaddling was no exception. We had a rough couple naps, but he quickly got used to sleeping sans swaddle. I think between being extra tired from not sleeping well for those naps and getting a crash course in self-soothing, he became a free-sleeping champ in no time.

How old was your child when he was done with swaddling?

Meaghan Howard is a stay-at-home mom to three boys (and desperately hoping that they don’t burn the house down someday). She and her family are enjoying living an ex-pat life overseas.



Tags: , , , ,

Comments are closed.