19 answers

Help... How to Unswaddle....

I am looking for some advice on how to get my Daughter to sleep unswaddled. She is 6 months now and even thought my pediatrician says that as long as she is unswaddled by 9 months everything is fine, I feel it is time. My issue is that she falls asleep with a pacifier and as soon as I take her swaddling blanket off or put her in the crib without it, she goes right for her paci and pulls it out... I am not against a minute or two of crying it out but my two year old Son sleeps in the room right next to her and I don't want to disturb his sleep with her crying. Anyone been there????

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow... I couldn't believe all of the responses that I got. Thank you so much to everyone that responded with their input. I have been just swaddling my Daughters arms and tried to do just one arm and I have also tried doing just a regular swaddling blanket and many other things. She is a squirmer and kicker and she keeps herself awake with all of the movement. I think the biggest piece of advice that I need to remember is to just relax and not stress it. I am going to keep her swaddled until she shows me, like my Son did, that she is ready to be unswaddled. I unswaddled my Son much earlier but she just may need it longer. She falls asleep perfectly on her own with the swaddle and is able to put herself back to sleep most of the time if she wakes up... I think my Doc is just old school and it may just be a personal reason that she thinks I should unswaddle.
I just need to relax like I told myself I was going to do and keep doing what is working!
Thanks again to all!!!

Featured Answers

I swaddled my son until about 10 months. I gradually stopped. First I swaddled with one arm out, then stopped swaddling for naps, and eventually stopped for night. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Good Luck!

Maybe she doesn't need to be wrapped tightly but I don't see why she can't keep her blankee as her favorite one. I kept my daughters clean and folded under her pillow as she got older. She didn't suck her thumb or drag it everywhere because she liked it clean. If she ever had a bad dream we would calm her and she would grab the blanket and fall right back to sleep. One day she started folding it and putting it under her pillow herself. She's 34 years old, more than well adjusted, teacher and now appreciates the age of the blanket and condition it is still in. She keeps it folded and under the pillow where she feels satisfaction with the condition she's kept it in and has all the memories of her dad tucking her in at night even though he's deceased 10 years. No different than my keeping his oldest and most comfortable flannel shirt.

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The best thing you can do for your whole family is to let her learn how to fall asleep on her own. If you get her to sleep before laying her down she is always going to want that. I did this with my oldest son and my mother in law said to me with my second baby that I should let him fall asleep on his own. I had 2 more children after that and it was wonderful that they knew how to fall asleep on their own.

I also agree with the lady that said to swaddle her with one arm out for a while and then do the other arm and soon you will see she will be fine without the blanket.

Hi. I was in the same situation with my daughter. You need to stop swaddling now. We waited to long and it just makes for a bad situation. When we stopped swaddling, we rolled up blankets next to her so that she still had the feeling that something was next to her and she wasn't alone in that big crib. She had a problem for a while with her new freedom of movement, but you just have to wait it out. It will be best for all of you in the long run. Good luck!

I guess my question is. Why do you want to stop something that makes the baby comfortable?

What about using a sleep sack instead? That will give her the feeling of warmth and security she needs without keeping her restrained. Here is the sleep sack website:
https://www.halosleep.com/products/results/?product_categ...

Maybe she doesn't need to be wrapped tightly but I don't see why she can't keep her blankee as her favorite one. I kept my daughters clean and folded under her pillow as she got older. She didn't suck her thumb or drag it everywhere because she liked it clean. If she ever had a bad dream we would calm her and she would grab the blanket and fall right back to sleep. One day she started folding it and putting it under her pillow herself. She's 34 years old, more than well adjusted, teacher and now appreciates the age of the blanket and condition it is still in. She keeps it folded and under the pillow where she feels satisfaction with the condition she's kept it in and has all the memories of her dad tucking her in at night even though he's deceased 10 years. No different than my keeping his oldest and most comfortable flannel shirt.

I swaddled my son until about 10 months. I gradually stopped. First I swaddled with one arm out, then stopped swaddling for naps, and eventually stopped for night. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Good Luck!

I would just leave her be in her swaddle. In another few months, she will be allowed a blanket or light quilt and so you can then substitute one for the other. None of the rest of us like to sleep without some covering - why should she?

Hi T.,
Just a couple of ideas (our son just stopped using his swaddle this week!- he's 8 months old). First, the only bad thing I have heard about extended swaddling is that you don't want to swaddle their legs because it can affect their hip growth. So, we just did the arms/torso and not his legs after he outgrew the leg pocket of his Miracle Blanket. The reason we had to stop this week is we are trying to help my son sleep more at night, and he was kicking and loosening the swaddle, which would get wrapped around his neck. Yeah- bad situation. SO, we had to do it cold turkey.

You can try swaddling with a blanket to transition. It's not as tight and easier to get out of, so your little one can work out of it and get used to the sensation of being "free". You can also try and tuck them in "mummy style"- where you tuck a blanket in all around them after putting them down. I would like to try the Halo Sleep Sacks myself.

As for the paci, we quit that at 6 months. My son was only really using it in the car and at night. It was more of a pain when he would lose it at night, and we knew it was not going to get any easier to kick, so we just did it. I didn't notice a real difference once it was gone. 6 months seemed like the perfect age to do it.

Good luck!
T.

Hi T.,

I've been there with a similar situation. My oldest daughter was a "burrito baby" as we called it and we swaddled her until 9 months or so. At 2 years old she shared a room with her new baby brother and he swaddled for less time, but he had moments where we had to let him cry it out and my daughter did great with that. Mostly slept right through it. He is now in a different room and my oldest daughter (now 5) shares a room with her baby sister. She was also a "burrito baby" and while she liked to be swaddled, I noticed around 6 or 7 months that she would end up out of her blanket after her nap. So I started "hald swaddling" her (only wrapping her lower half) and she did fine with her hands out, so after a little while I just tried it for a nap with no swaddle and she did fine. Hang in there...if she still likes swaddling, go for it. Anything to help her sleep!

Both my daughters were binkie babies as well. My youngest would start with the pacifier and then pull it out and plug in her thumb. Now she only takes a binkie if I'm trying to get her to fall asleep in my arms (if we are out somewhere, like at church). The older one...she had a binkie until she was about 3-1/2 and then when we pulled that, she plugged in her thumb. That lasted for another 6 to 12 months until I polished her nails one evening and told her if she sucked her thumb, it would ruin the pretty polish and she has never sucked her thumb since. Go figure!

I don't know if this is helpful at all, but know you are not alone!

I still swaddle my baby and he is 10 months it is what he likes and when he wakes up he gets himself out and stands up and talks. If you are scared he might not do that then I guess work at getting her unswaddled. I would say it that is how she sleeps well then do not stop it. You could also start to swaddle her a little less each day or two and that might help. Best of luck.

We have definitely been in this situation. We started gradual. We had the swaddle me that had velcro and we unfastened one at a time. So we started with undoing on velcro for a week and when she got used to that we undid the 2nd one for a week until they were both unfastened and it was more like a blanket. By doing this it won't be so confining for her and it'll get her used to sleeping with her hands free but, more on her time vs. quitting cold turkey on her. This worked beautiful for us. Good Luck!

Start with naps. Start wrapping her with one arm out. When she gets used to that, start wrapping her but keeping both arms out. Then after she's good with naps, move to nighttime. This is what I did with my daughter and it took about 2 weeks. She was 4-5 months old.
I used the swaddle blankets for this stage as the velcro blankets stretched out too easily for me to keep them tight.

Hi T.,

I do have an idea... though i'm sure you've tried it. but i'm gonna throw it out there anyway. let me ask first, is it her hands that are her problem? does she not like them free? if so, try wrapping just her arms - i've seen those things that are like a shrug almost that velcro in front. i can't see anything wrong with that. when i sleep on my side i wrap my arms around in a sort of hug and i like my blanket tucked in under me snugly because i feel the breeze from the ceiling fan and it makes me cold :)

i know what it's like to have a baby waking up a once peacfully sleeping toddler...except in my case, there wasn't even a wall to separate them, they were in the same room! if the goal is to break her of the habit of feeling cozy all wrapped up (tho, i guess dont understand why this is a problem and why the doc says to break her of it) then start with naps when her brother isn't napping next door.

my son was about 7-8 months when he was able to grab his pacifier and put in back in himself...providing he could find it :)

i'm curious, why does the doc say she will be fine if she is no longer swaddled at 9 months? i am not trying to sound confrontational at all...please don't misunderstand me, but how will the extended swaddle harm her? I swaddle my little girl and she is 3 months... her hands still get in her way and wake her up... i just wonder if i'll run into the same trouble..

~J.~

My daughter will be 6 mos. soon and I do still swaddle her at night as she sleeps well. I don't usually swaddle her for "naps" so you could try starting with that and slowly wean off. Good luck!

You are worrying too much just like I did and I finally stopped worrying and let things take their course. If your daughter is comfortable sleeping that way let her be. It isn't harmful and what is most important is that she gets plenty of sleep. As long as she's sleeping and comfortable you are doing a great job and everyone should be happy!!!

We LOVE the Halo Sleepsacks, they're not as snug as a swadddle but she will still feel cozy. They come in cotton and fleece (too hot), we have found that the cotton ones are fine all year round. My daughter is now 13 months and still wears them.

My kids unswaddled themselves. After a while they were strong enough to undo the swaddle we had done.

Does it disturb your son? My children were in the same room and the elder (4 years older) would sleep through quite a bit of crying.

If the doctor says it has to happen by 9 months I would continue with what works right now and worry about it when you get much closer. A lot can happen in 3 months.

Good luck.

I wish I could help with the swaddling issue, but I didn't do it much with either of my kids. What I can offer is that when we decided to teach my son to sleep through the night, the process involved him crying a little bit (Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby--can't remember the author). I was worried about my daughter waking up from my son's crying. She did in fact cry the first night because she was worried about him. I reassured her that I take care of him during the night and she didn't have to, and put her back to bed. The next night he cried and she didn't even wake up.

Now she never wakes up if he cries. The same goes for my son sleeping through his sister's crying. My husband and I joke that they've developed an immuity to the sounds of each other's cries.

How they wake up every time I open up the pantry door for a late night treat baffles me!!!

Good luck,
G.

The point of swaddling is to make baby feel safe and secure (in addition to warm). If she likes swaddling, and it helps her to get a good sleep, why force a change on a 6 month old child?

My daughter was swaddled until 9 months or so (she started walking at 9 months), when she would take herself out of it during the night and I was worried she would suffocate.

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