32 answers

Swaddling My over 4 Month Old

My son is just over 4 months old and will not fall/stay asleep without swaddling. I tried tonight and he fell asleep a number of times but continued to wake up. This went on for 2 hours before I broke down and swaddled him after which he stayed asleep all through the night. Should his need to be swaddled be of any concern to me and any ideas on how to brake him of it?

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So What Happened?™

I want to say a big thank you to everyone who responded to my request. I was concerned about the swaddling as my oldest only wanted to be for a couple weeks and I hadn't heard of a baby wanting it for this long. You have all helped me have better peace of mind! Thanks again.

Featured Answers

I was right there with you! We swaddled my son until he was about 8 months old! I took one arm out at a time, until finally trying it without,and all went well. He's not been damaged by being swaddled so long. He's now almost 3! Don't worry!

Hello!

I don't think that you have anything to be concerned with. I swaddled my daughter until she was pretty old. I can't remember exactly, but I think she was about 8-9 mos. old. Once she got more mobile and was able break out of it no matter how tight I swaddled her is when I quit. I had tried to stop a few times before that as well, but for some reason she needed the extra comfort. She slept better swaddled and has continued to be a good sleeper since. I think he will let you know when he is ready to be done with it. Good Luck!!

Some children just need the comfort. Try swaddling a little losser each time eventually he should get over it. I don'y swaddl emy son but I tuck the blanket around him tightly as he moves it gets losser, but he tends to fall asleep before he is completly untucked.

More Answers

http://www.adviceforbaby.com/swaddling.htm has some good suggestions on how to swaddle, and even suggests doing this for a longer period than just newborn. It suggests this in other articles online, just type swaddling in google and you'll get a bunch of things to read.

I think some babies need more security than others. This article suggests that if you only do this for night time then the child will accept the fact that it is time to sleep for a longer period. Just read up, and do what your baby responds to. You will get lots of opinions, but you are ultimately the best decision maker for your baby.

1 mom found this helpful

We swaddled our daughter until she was 8 months old! It is definitely not a big deal, although we had to find a different way to swaddle her when she got that big. When you are ready to wean him from swaddling, I would start with loosening the blankets/swaddler for a few days then one arm out, then the other arm. It seemed like my daughter would never be able to sleep without the swaddler, but it only took about a week and she was swaddle-free. I would keep doing it if you and your son want to continue. They have some really nice swaddlers for bigger babies (I looked forever!) at snugandtug.com - they are the only place I could find that had swaddlers for babies 3-6 months (I actually used it til 8 months). Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

We swaddled my 2nd daughter until she was 7 months (and was getting too big for the blankets.) She just needed it. Even now she loves physical touch more than my others. You can't hug her too tightly. It is just impossible. So, I wouldn't worry. Some kids just need that comfort of being held tightly. When you are ready to break him of it, be ready for a few sleepless nights, but know it will pass and he (and you) will be just fine!

Swaddle at night but not surring the day then after a while he'll be to big for the swaddling at night as well but be used to the feeling of sleep as you have his used to it during the day. We did this with our youngest now almost 4 and made it through great! Now if someone could tell me how to be beyond the terrible 2's that have continued for far too long!!!

God makes every child different and unique in there own loving beautiful way.

When my children were smaller, I let them show me when enough was enough. Both my babies were two totally different children! Opposites to the max! My son was first and he didn't want to be held at all. he just wanted to check things out on his own. Our daughter, on the other hand need that extra love and always got it.

Let your children be your guide. When they are that young, they let you know by simply doing what your son did. You swaddled him, he sleeps through the night. You don't swaddle him, he gets up. He's just not ready for that. He'll let you know! They always do. When he starts getting up becasue you swaddled him is when it would be time to try something new.

You can never love or let your children know they are loved too much.

God Bless,

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

J.

I would go ahead and keep swaddling him. There's no harm, and he'll eventually grow out of it on his own.

C.,

It is unusual for a child that old to want to be swaddled, especially if he was not severely premature. But if that is what he wants, it isn't going to hurt him. I would keep doing it until he signals that he doesn't want it anymore.

Good luck,
S.

Hello!

I don't think that you have anything to be concerned with. I swaddled my daughter until she was pretty old. I can't remember exactly, but I think she was about 8-9 mos. old. Once she got more mobile and was able break out of it no matter how tight I swaddled her is when I quit. I had tried to stop a few times before that as well, but for some reason she needed the extra comfort. She slept better swaddled and has continued to be a good sleeper since. I think he will let you know when he is ready to be done with it. Good Luck!!

I don't see any problem in continuing to swaddle your baby. If that keeps him happy, why not keep it up.

I don't see anything wrong with it. Some babies just need more comfort things than others. Is this really something you need to worry your little precious heart about? Just go with the flow...if it continues after baby is turning over, etc...then you can begin to question it!

I don't think there's anything wrong with him wanting to be swaddled at 4 months. Both of my children had to be weaned from swaddling as they loved the comfort it brought as well. We started by slowing making the swaddle looser and then just leaving one arm out, and then both and then the who shebang.

But don't worry, I don't think that a 4 month old wanting to be swaddled is that out of the ordinary. Best of luck!

Hi C.,

I don't think their is anything wrong with your son wanting to be swaddled at 4 months. I don't know what age is the appropriate age to grow out of it, but I think it will probably be around 6 months or sometime after that when he's crawling and more active. My daughter was a very independent and active baby so the blanket wrapped around her tightly was too confining when she was like a couple weeks old. Every baby is different.

Your son likes it because it makes him feel safe like he's back in the womb and for him to enjoy that feeling longer is not a bad thing. Just like I had to learn to appreciate the fact that my daughter didn't want to be swaddled even though she was at an age that the babies should be swaddled. Babies don't read the books so they do what feels right to them. LOL!

Continue to swaddle your son for now and then maybe a couple weeks from now you can try swaddling him but just a little looser and see how he does. Some parents think we always need to go cold turkey. From doing something to not doing something and with my daughter, I have found when it's something I'm having a hard time getting her to give up something that doing it gradually works better so I think you should gradually wrap the blanket looser and looser around him until he's use to the blanket just being laid over him. Like the other person said, you can use a lighter blanket in the summer so he doesn't get too hot.

Angie

I agree with the others - don't worry about it. My (now two-year-old) twins were swaddled in some form or another until just after they turned one year old (no, they weren't premature). They could struggle out of it pretty early (much to their own chagrin at the beginning), but as the months went on they didn't need the security of a strong wrap anyway; they just wanted their blankets around them. As the weather turned warmer, we were then able merely to lay their blankets over them, and now those blankies are just comfort objects like for any other toddler. Let your son feel secure in his swaddling until he doesn't seem to need it anymore; no lasting harm. :)

He's too little to be broken of anything. If he needs cuddling or the extra sensory touch of swaddling, go for it. Soon enough he will enter a developmental stage where he wants to move around, touch and explore, then swaddling will go by the wayside. Make sure he's getting enought to eat, too. Babies often wake in the night from hunger, and growth spurts happen whether or not you're watching for them! Does he use a pacifier? That always helped mine stay asleep. If you use one, be sure it's sized appropriately.

SAHM of seven

I was right there with you! We swaddled my son until he was about 8 months old! I took one arm out at a time, until finally trying it without,and all went well. He's not been damaged by being swaddled so long. He's now almost 3! Don't worry!

I still swaddle my daughter for bedtime and she's 10 months. I think it's sweet that she likes to be held so tightly like she was in the womb. At nine months she became an active sleeper and would end up unswaddled within 15 minutes of being asleep. I think it's totally natural and have never questioned it.

I would swaddle him as long as he likes it. He just might need a lighter blanket in the summer.

I used to have to hold my daughter for her to fall asleep, but she stopped wanting it at around 10 mos.

I wouldn't worry about swaddling him. If he likes it go for it. They grow out of everything eventually. Once he starts to move around he won't want to be swaddled anymore. They also have sleep safe swaddle blankets, I don't know if you have one. they velcro in place. They also when they get bigger have a thing called a sleep sack. Good luck and try not to worry!

I have 8 month twins who were swaddled until somewhere between 4-5 months. Like you, we tried not to swaddle them several times and they could not stay sleep. My advice would be to continue swaddling your son until he seems that he does not need it anymore. It's comfort to him right now. Every couple days continue to try without the swaddle and one of these days he will be fine with it. I was concerned about this issue around the 4 month mark too, and read that some babies are swaddled up to 9 months. Go with the flow-he'll let you know when he is ready to be unswaddled. The Halo sleep sacks worked great for us after the swaddling stopped.

I wouldn't stop swaddling. Our oldest needed to be swaddled to be able to sleep all night. We swaddled until 6 months and then gradually stopped - doing one arm out and then the other. There was a point in which he was so dependent on it that we used to joke that we'd still be doing it when it was time for him to start school;)

Just know that this phase won't last forever - and enjoy the sleep.

Swaddle him until he is done C. - you may have to keep buying bigger blankets.... Swaddling is good for him and makes him feel safe.

Relax and let him be your guide. You have a smart baby on your hands!

Every child is different. He is a baby who needs the comfort of being tightly held to feel secure so I say give him what he needs. We swaddled our first for several weeks until he started falling asleep without it. Our second child wanted and needed to be swaddles so we wrapped her until she was six months old.

Good luck!

this is normal, and it is good to continue to do this. we should never force our kids to deal with something they arent ready for, especially at such a young age! remember that for around the first year of life, every want for a baby is also a need, they dont know the difference, and so they dont know how to manipulate.

make sure that you allow yourself to be comforted by the fact that swaddling works. in a month or so when he starts moving around more and learning to turn over and crawl, the swaddling wont stop him and then what will he do? allow him the comfort of it now for when it doesnt work later, he wont have that need fulfilled. chances are once he learns to move around on his own, he will be more comfortable. babies love that feeling of closeness, and if you really are uncomfortable swaddling, you could get a sling. i have a moby wrap and out of the 3 slings i have, that is the ONLY one that will calm one of the babies in my child care. so i highly recommend it. it keeps that feeling of closeness.

so many times we hear advice that tells us to train our babies or to not get too attached for then they will never gain any independence. your son at his age is NOT ready for much of any kind of independence so dont force it. independence is a skill that is learned when they know they can trust their families to love them when they dont want to be independent. kids usually go 2 steps forward and one step back, and that one step back is a vitally important time to let our kids know that we are there for them. the first year should be a year to concrete that feeling of love and security, and the rest comes naturally after that. its hard, its long, its tiring, but its beautiful when you get past it and you have a loving, connected child!

i can tell you more if you wish by telling you about my 18 month old son who i have been attachment parenting all along. again, its hard, its tiring, but i wouldnt trade the love in my son for the WORLD! and all the long nights and the waking up at night and cosleeping made him the kid he is today, and i cant imagine not having the closeness that we have. just let me know and i can tell you more.

but trust your instincts, they wont steer you wrong, any outside advice might. they dont intimatly know your son. they cant tell you what he needs as well as your heart can!

It sounds like your baby just feels safer all bundled up. I would keep swaddling him, it's not hurting anything and it's making him feel comforted. I'm sure he will grow out of it himself. Occasionally my daughter wanted swaddled at an older age too. I just do it, it made her feel safe. Good luck.

Hi C.,

I don't think this is something you need to rush--go ahead and swaddle him until he no longer needs it. I swaddled my son until about 6 months old. For the last couple of months his arms would break free, but he still wanted to be swaddled. I would do it legs only and this made him happy. It is probably just comforting to him to feel so tightly wrapped up still.

Good luck!

Some children just need the comfort. Try swaddling a little losser each time eventually he should get over it. I don'y swaddl emy son but I tuck the blanket around him tightly as he moves it gets losser, but he tends to fall asleep before he is completly untucked.

I don't know why you would want to "break" him of swaddling. Swaddling is an age-old trick to get a baby to sleep. It only takes a minute to swaddle him, and if he sleeps through the night, why wouldn't you do it.

My son is almost 5 months old and we still swaddle him most nights. Also, if he is really having a hard time falling asleep for a nap, we swaddle him, then, too. We have a special swaddle-wrap. It has velcro on it, so it's very easy to put on.

C.; swaddling is very natural, it is not a concern at all, when you cant sleep dont you do what makes you feel more comfortable so you can ? we all do, we try different things we move, we fix our pillows, we change spots, etc, swaddling is just a way to give comfort, he could get cold, ? he might like the closness and the security, all these are fine and give no cause for worry, its ok to give your child his needs, go ahead and do what it takes to make his night a better one, its ok, there are not any real future dangers, of swaddling your child, in fact giving to the needs of your child pose no threat to the future at all, it just enhances the stability of it and their security, enjoy life, and continue doing what you are doing, D. s

I wouldn't worry about the swaddling. He is only 4 months old, he needs you! Maybe he just wants to feel you and be cuddled. Time goes by so fast that you will wish you did that more. We rocked our babies to sleep a lot and they never grew to have to be rocked all the time like some children. Time will tell when he will be done with this phase. Keep doing this because when they get to be 9 like my son, he wont like to cuddle anymore. I miss our kids being babies. Enjoy this now and the more stressed you get the more he senses it and the less sleep both of you will get. Good Luck!...T.

I stopped swaddling at 3 months because people were telling me that if I didn't I was going to run into the same problem you are having where they cannot get themselves back to sleep in the middle of the night due to the "jerky" motions babies tend to have. It took almost a full week of having her wake herself up in the middle of the night from the jerky motions and getting her back to sleep. If you want to break him of this habit, you are going to just have to know that you will be getting up with him. Take the pain for a week, let him cry a little bit sometimes to see if he will get himself to fall back asleep, if not, rock him for a little bit and put him back down. I would sometimes put a shirt of mine that I slept in in the crib so if she woke up, that smell might comfort her. Give him some time, patience and persistance will take care of this. Good luck!

My oldest like to be swaddled until he was at least 6 months old if not older. If that's how he likes to sleep, keep swaddling. It isn't going to hurt anything.

I stopped swaddling when my daughter was under 2months old -she seemed to like to move around but then again I did have issues with her sleeping in her bed and this maybe why - keep swaddling if it works. It's much better to have him sleep through the night and feel safe and warm then to worry about when to stop. I agree with everyone else, he'll let you know when he doesn't want it anymore.

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