How to Transition from Swaddling for Naps and Nighttime Sleep?

Updated on January 08, 2009
J.L. asks from Fort Collins, CO
15 answers

Hi - I have a 5 month old who has been swaddled tightly (arms and legs) for sleeping for naps and nighttime since birth. We found that she would wake herself up if not tightly swaddled. Now that she is getting bigger and stronger, we are finding that she is getting out of the swaddle and waking herself up. We are using a large square blanket made specifically for swaddling. Does anyone have experience transitioning from swaddling and getting a baby to learn to sleep well without being swaddled? Thanks!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.S.

answers from Denver on

I ran into this dilemma when my son started outgrowing his swaddling blanket. I just started only swaddling one arm when I put him down to sleep. He easily transitioned to being unswaddled, so maybe I was lucky. Hope this helps! Good luck!

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.M.

answers from Denver on

J., I had the same issue with my little guy. I started trying to transition him out of the swaddle by wrapping him with his arms out during naps. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not. Then I would try to loosen the swaddle around his waist. We used the mirable blanket, so it may not work as well with the square one. Eventually, he was OK sleeping with his arms out and then I put him in a sleep sack and he slept with no problem. I know it seems like a huge challenge, but it sounds like she's ready so keep trying to slowly transition her and I think you'll find that one day it will work much to your surprise.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.M.

answers from Denver on

Hi J.,

Our son love the swaddle too, at about 6 months we stopped swaddling him at nap time, it took a little longer to get him down for a couple days but he was soon accustom to his new way of sleeping. Then we stopped at night as well, we would however go wrap him back up if we were not able to easily settle him back down...by 7 months he was free from the swaddle. Best of Luck!

J.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.M.

answers from Great Falls on

Sleep Sacks are fabulous. Halo and Kiddopatomus make great ones. My son loved being swaddled tightly too. I started just leaving one arm out during naptime so that he was still swaddled, but got used to having one arm out. Then, I worked up to both arms, keeping his legs contained in the sack, still allowing some movement.

I hope you find a solution that works for you! Have a great day!

Trish
mamas2mamas.com

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.S.

answers from Provo on

I use the Kiddopotamus swaddle blankets with my kids. They have velcro and come in quite large sizes. When my twins started rolling over, we just swaddled them from the waist down so they could have their arms to roll around with. They are 10 months now and my daughter just stopped using her swaddle yesterday (she kept taking it off so we decided she was done). My son still uses his, and keeps it on the entire time, but I mostly use it because I know he'll take of his socks and get cold feet during his nap :) BTW, when I say they come large - my son is 22 pounds and it still fits him when swaddled from the waist down.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.S.

answers from Denver on

My daughter was the same way and stayed swaddled until she was about 10 months old. My mom-in-law bought extra wide flannel at a fabric store and just serged the edges. The blankets were HUGE, but fit her well for swaddling. She eventually grew out of the swaddling stage and has no problems going to sleep now (she's almost 3). Bedtime takes about 30 minutes including reading and brushing teeth so there wasn't any ill effects from leaving her swaddled for so long.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.D.

answers from Denver on

I don't know what size yours is, but we used blankets that were 45" square. They worked until our DS was 6 months. Then we let him continue using the bumpers and wrapped large blankets around him so he went to sleep feeling secure. It wasn't much of a transition for him other than a few nights he had to readjust. It really went much smoother than what I expected for a kid who practically lived being swaddled.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.H.

answers from Denver on

Hi J.. I had the same thing happen with my son when he was about 4 months old. I was so nervous to try something new, because he was such a good sleeper. I ended up getting him a sleeper sack (google halo sleeper). I prepared for the worst, but he actually adjusted well. The sleeper sack still makes him feel cozy, which is nice in the winter. They make some with sleeves and some without. Or, if you want to keep swaddling her, you could get "the miracle blanket". I never had it (it's kind of pricey), but I have heard really wonderful things about it. It is supposed to be impossible to break out of. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.J.

answers from Denver on

Hi J.,

I am in the exact same situtation. If you get any good advice, can you please pass it along.

I started swaddling my daughter in two blankets because she was smaller and it kept her warm. Then I found the miracle blanket (which was a miracle) and now she is breaking out of both of them. My other daughter is also 3 1/2 almost 4 and I have compeltely forgotten how I transitioned her.

Here 's to good advice coming your way (and mine too please:)

A.
[email protected]____.com

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.M.

answers from Denver on

My experience with my now 5-month-old son was that at about 4 months he got to be too big for the swaddle. I put him a "sleep sack" and he was just fine. There was literally nothing too it and he never even seemed to notice (or care) that the swaddle was gone. Try going cold turkey on the swaddle and see what happens.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.D.

answers from Denver on

You could also try leaving one arm out for naps and let her get used to that and then eventually two arms out. Some babies get used to it fairly quickly while others take a while to adjust and get better control over there flailing arms.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.M.

answers from Denver on

My son also loved to be swaddled so tight you would think his circulation would be cut off!! As he got bigger he also started to break out of the swaddles so when he was about 9 months old or so we switched him to a Sleep Sack (bought them at Babies R Us) so his arms were free but his torso and legs were contained. He used that until he was almost a year and a half believe it or not. Then from that we just went to a blanket. That transition from swaddle to Sleep Sack worked pretty well for us. Hope this helps you.
A.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.M.

answers from Denver on

I USED FIRM PILLOWS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BABY. (FOAM PILLOWS) I GOT THEM SECOND HAND. OR YOU COULD USE A BLANKET ROLLED UP AND ON BOTH SIDES. A FOAM POSITION HELPS TO SO THAT THEY DON'T ROLL OVER AND SUFFOCATE.
LAY THE BABY SIDE WAYS NOT LONGWAYS.
________________________
|h crib f |
|e b o |
|a a o |i hope this explaines it.
|d b t |
|___________y___________|

good luck and god bless

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.S.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I had a baby like that. By 5 months, a baby is ready for sleep training to help them learn to fall asleep without any crutches (swaddling, binkis, rocking, etc.) Check out the Ferber method. It is fantastic. It teaches kids to fall asleep without making them cry by themselves without comfort for long periods of time. It is all explained in Ferber's book "How to Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems." We used it with all of our kids and had a great experience. It also broke my swaddle babies of the habit & taught them to sleep through the night with no swaddle. If you don't have time for the book & want the Reader's Digest version of the Ferber method, message me & I'll explain. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.M.

answers from Denver on

We ran into the same problem with our son at that age. What ended up working for us was to put him to sleep swaddled, and then go in and undo the top part of the swaddle when we were going to bed (We used the SwaddleMe blankets that have a pocket for the legs and velcro up top). At first, he would wake up a few hours later and we would have to swaddle him again for the rest of the night, but we would do it looser. Over the course of a week or 2 he gradually got used to no swaddling.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches