Why Now Is The Right Time To Stop Swaddling Your Baby
Does swaddling your baby work the same way as giving her a pacifier? I would say yes because both swaddling and pacifiers are designed to give comfort to babies who are fussy. Swaddling, therefore, soothes babies and helps them relax almost in the same manner as a bassinet.
As a result, they can quickly become habitual sleep associations. If your baby cannot fall asleep without being swaddled, you may find it hectic to get up after every 20 minutes at night to re-do the swaddle. As a result, you will reach a point where you will start wondering when to stop swaddling your baby.
Why Should You Swaddle In The First Place?
The first reason is obvious; swaddling helps to soothe the baby so that she can easily fall asleep. Swaddling also prevents the baby’s hands from flailing as the hands tend to wake babies up.
Swaddling is also good for babies who have skin conditions like eczema as it prevents them from scratching their skin as they try to fall asleep. A lot of babies always scratch and rub their skin as they try to get some sleep and this may sometimes affect the quality of their sleep.
When Can You Stop Swaddling?
Even though it impossible to get definite answers to this question, there are some signs you can watch for to help determine when it’s time for your baby to say goodbye to being swaddled. Most parents usually start phasing out swaddling around 3 or 4 months. However, it’s not rare for some babies to be swaddled up to 9 months.
Although most babies will reject swaddling as they get older, some babies may continue to enjoy being swaddled well past 6 months. Here are signs that it’s time you should stop swaddling.
If Your Baby Suddenly Wakes Up Multiple Times During The Night
It’s the perfect time to transition your baby from swaddling if your baby wakes up multiple times at night acting as if they are uncomfortable and is trying to get into a more comfortable position. This will usually happen when your baby is between 4 to 6 months.
If Your Baby Starts To Roll From Back To Front
You will know that your baby is ready to transition when she starts turning rolling whenever you swaddle her. Watching for such signs for safety reasons is important. Medical professionals recommend that you should stop swaddling immediately you notice that your baby has started to roll.
Baby Is Regularly Escaping The Swaddle
If your baby is escaping the swaddle every time you swaddle her, it might be a sign that your baby is ready to transition from the swaddle. However, this sign is a bit of a double-edged sword since the swaddle escape can be a matter of the swaddle not performing an excellent job of staying on your baby.
For example, if at 2 months your baby is already escaping the swaddle, then it is often the fault of the swaddle.
How You Can Stop Swaddling Your Baby
It will be easy to stop swaddling if your baby is not highly dependent on the swaddle or if your baby is increasingly resisting being swaddled. But if your baby cannot sleep without being swaddled, then you are going to have a hard time trying to stop swaddling. Fortunately for you, we have some useful tips that will make transitioning from the swaddle easy.
Generally, the only way you are going to succeed in stopping swaddling is by doing it gradually. You can start by leaving one of your baby’s arms or legs unsaddled at first. Once your baby is used to that, you can then proceed to leave the arms or both legs unsaddled. Eventually, you will reach a point where you won’t have to swaddle anymore.
You can also use products like Swaddle straps to make the transition from swaddling very easy. Swaddle straps can be great tools to wean your baby from the swaddle as they work well in their own rights as swaddling tools.
Swaddle straps are ideal for warmer months as they are lighter as you can swaddle your baby’s hands while leaving her legs free. This will offer your baby a bigger range of motion as compared to the traditional swaddle.
There is no hard-and-fast answer to when you should stop swaddling your baby. Since babies are different, you can stop swaddling your baby whenever you feel it is best. However, most parents may start phasing out swaddling by the time the baby is around 4 months.
If your baby is able to break free from the swaddle frequently, then you should stop swaddling immediately as loose blankets in the crib can suffocate the baby.
You should also be aware that weaning your baby from swaddling will definitely disrupt her sleep process for some time.