Anyone Have Any Experience with Weaning Baby off Swaddling?

Updated on March 12, 2008
S.L. asks from Cleveland, OH
6 answers

We have been swaddling our 4.5 month old since she was born. We are currently using the miracle blanket. We swaddle her for naps and nighttime. She currently sleeps very well, during the day and at night. She sleeps great with the swaddle, at night she sleeps almost 12 hours, only waking once or twice..When she wakes at night or in the morning, she has usually wiggled her way out of the swaddle, which is fine because I'd assume she start to do this anyway.. However, we've noticed that when we put her down to sleep WITHOUT swaddling her, she is unable to settle herself down enough to fall asleep. Today she cried for 30 minutes before I went in there. It's like she associates sleeping with the swaddle only. I think she has become reliant on the swaddle to fall asleep, even though she wiggles out of it during the night. She has always slept in her crib for naps and nighttime and hasn't used the pacifier for about a month. Has anyone had to wean their baby off the swaddle? And if so, how? How long is it appropriate to swaddle a baby? I've heard some say that if she sleeps well with it, don't worry about it. I've also heard, once she rolls over, we won't be able to swaddle anymore anyway. Please let me know if anyone has had experience with this. Thanks!

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answers from Cincinnati on

I had a friend who swaddled their baby for 9 months because the baby was so fussy without it. I wouldn't worry about how long you swaddle the baby - my friend's son is now 3 1/2 and totally fine.

We swaddled until about 3 1/2 months, but took about 2 weeks to 'wean' him from it. We used the SwaddleMe wraps and instead of bundling him as tightly, we started loosening it. After a few days of that, we did it 'toga style' with one arm out. Eventually we did both arms out, then just very loosely around the waste. After 2 weeks we took it off completely and fortunately had no issues.

Try the toga effect!



answers from Cleveland on

We used to swaddle our (now 5yr old) girl when she was brand new because she just refused to sleep. But we felt she needed to stretch out and be free so we stopped swaddling. Also, when the blanket unraveled during the night, we condidered it a sids hazard so we dispensed with the swaddling. 4 months is kind of a long time to swaddle, I think. I mean it doesn't necessarily hurt the baby if you're keeping an eye on her and making sure the blanket doesn't interfere with breathing...but I'm against making a child dependent on any one thing to go to sleep (bottle, blanket, pacifier...). At bed time, make sure she's really tired at bed time and do the bed time routine (we did dinner, bath, some tv, book, tucking in) and no swaddling. Se what happens.



answers from Dayton on

I swaddled my son for at least 8 months. He loved that cozy feeling and would naturally wriggle out of it through the night after a few months. I didn't use the miracle blanket, so I'm not familiar. However, if your baby finds swaddling comforting then I would keep using it. I've never heard of any ill effects from swaddling, so I would let your baby be the guide. My son let me know when he no longer wanted it by unwrapping himself as soon as I would swaddle him, so I stopped. I really think you'll know when your baby is ready.



answers from Toledo on

We also use the Miracle Blanket and have great response. The blanket is awesome! On the package it had a weight limit on the swaddling. I thought it was close to 20 lbs. This is the only way my son will go to sleep also. He will take cat naps in his swing or if one of us is holding him, but for a good sleep he needs to be swaddled. He is starting to wiggle until the blankets become loose so I am afraid we are getting close to the end of using the miracle blanket. I am worried about strangulation with the blanket if he can wiggle free. He is almost 3 months old.

You might want to check their website for the weight limit on the blanket. I know it came in the package we got ours in.



answers from Fort Wayne on

My baby loved his swaddle too. I used it until he could bust out off it and then I didn't think it was safe any more to use. I can't remember how old he was, probably around 4 months when he could get out easily. I used to swaddle just one of his arms and leave the other free so he could move a bit. After he started to free the other arm I just swaddled him around the waist. Maybe you could try it in stages like that. I'd say to watch for signs from your baby, like trying to get out of the swaddle before you stop using it, because they really do work well.



answers from Dayton on

We started swaddling late (3 months) after reading Harvey Karp's book (Happiest Baby on the Block). Our daughter responded well to it, settling down, quieting her crying, and sleeping. We were in a warm climate and so swaddled her with a sheet material wrapping (baby size). She started wriggling out of her swaddle around 5 months. Then about 6 months she started not wanting to be swaddled. So we stopped.

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