Sleeping Without a Swaddle?

Updated on March 30, 2011
K.L. asks from Fort Stewart, GA
13 answers

My son loves to be swaddled, but at 4 months old, he is growing too large for his swaddleme and swaddling with a regular blanket is too loose for his liking. We have been trying to get him to sleep without it (without any luck) because we know there will be a day when we wont be able to keep the swaddle closed. Even if he falls asleep in his swing or in my arms, my son will wake up as soon as he is put into his crib, unless the swaddleme is on. We would like to start using sleep sacks but cannot figure out how to get our son to sleep. Any ideas on how to wean?

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answers from Los Angeles on

I used the Miracle Blanket until about 5 months, my son was the same way and loved to be swaddled! Eventually I started safety pinning it shut, then when that stopped working I started to make the transition. First I would do just one arm out of the swaddle for a while and get him used to it. For a while we just kept having to go back into his room and give his pacifier when he woke himself up, but then he settled down and was fine. Definitely use a bigger swaddle though if you can find one and do it until he doesn't like it any more! :)

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answers from Toledo on

I have a 3 1/2 month old that I still swaddle. As their nervous system matures and their movements become more controlled he will probably grow out of it. I went to the fabric store and bought fabric to make larger blankets, which work great. I recommend a knit with some stretch to it. If he still enjoys swaddling I would just make him cozy, he is still quite young and it helps him sleep...which is great.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

My son is also 4 months and loves to be swaddled for bedtime. I use a regular sized baby blanket, and i just make sure the flap is underneath his bacl when he sleeps. He usually wakes up around 4am and I then unwrap his arms and he sleeps til 7 unswaddled. Good luck :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I used the swaddle until I couldn't any more. At first it was really rough. I would suggest to stop using it when you have a few days off work because you will be up and down a lot during the night. We took shifts until my son got to where he would sleep all night without it. It took us about 4 nights to get him comfy in his crib.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Try the miracle blanket. It works for a long time (esp. if you do not put their legs in the sack).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I found that putting onsie on under the PJs was a good transition to feeling warm and snuggly.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

kiddopatamous (sp) makes larger ones, I swaddled DD until 10 months.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Athens on

If you want to swaddle him a bit longer, try sewing velcro onto a blanket. I would first swaddle him in the blanket and mark the two spots where the blankets meet.

If not, try warming up his crib with a hot water bottle under his covers before you lay him down. The change in temperature from your warm arms to his cold crib mattress will wake him up. Some children like to sleep with the warm water bottle right up against them. They think it is you or your arm. Take it away when you think he is all cozy and settled in.


answers from Pocatello on

we used Aden and Anais swaddling blankets because they are BIG, and comfy, but of course they dont have velcro or anything so you do have to do an old fashioned swaddle with them! At this point I would just get 1 or 2, since these are kind of pricey, and just was them frequently.

that said, at four months it is a good idea to start weaning baby away from swaddling a little. this is because he probably will be rolling over soon if he isn't already and he'll need his arms free for safety. make sure he is in clothes that are warm enough and try to start weaning him to sleep swaddle-free during naps first, then bedtime. Just be patient and gradually transition him into the crib and I am sure before long you'll look back and say "wow, now that wasn't near as hard as I thought it would be!"!




answers from Dallas on

My almost six month old is already 20 pounds and we recently tried to stop swaddling with no luck. So, we are back to swaddling in the Summer Infant SwaddleMe Microfleece Large. It fits her well and still has plenty of room to grow. We tried the cotton first and it stretched out the longer she wore it, so we switched to the microfleece and have been pleased with the way it holds its shape. I think stopping is sort of trial and error. We were sure that she was ready to stop, but she just couldn't stay asleep without one. After a few day she suddenly seemed to like being swaddled again. Good luck, it's hard to know when is the right time to stop.



answers from Chicago on

Do your best to keep him swaddled. It is only a matter of time before he outgrows it.



answers from Janesville-Beloit on

We have been debating this in our house for quite some time. My dd is 5 1/2 months old, and we have used the Miracle Blanket since she was a newborn, which has worked great! But, she is really close to rolling over back to front, and can wiggle her arms out of any swaddle (she's very persistent) and so I am nervous about continuing to swaddle her because of loose fabric being a suffocation hazard (when she wiggles her arms loose) and the risk of her rolling onto her tummy swaddled. But, there are times when the only way she can settle is with the swaddle. What we have started doing to wean her is that I only have her swaddled for 1/2 the night. If she is calm at bedtime and having an easy time, then I put her to bed in her sleep sack (sometimes still takes a couple of tries to get her to sleep). Then, at her middle-of -the night feeding I swaddle her, because she often gets restless in the late night/early morning hours. On the other hand, if she is struggling at bedtime, I swaddle her, and then switch to the sleep sack at the middle of the night feeding. I have no idea if this is a good plan, or just something my sleep-deprived mind cooked up :), but it does seem like she is getting more and more used to sleeping in her sleep sack. Try to find one that is somewhat heavy material, so that he can feel the weight of it on him, which might make him feel more secure. Good luck!



answers from Atlanta on

All I could add was to put your scent within the swaddle -- use a shirt you've worn several days and he'll be comforted by your scent. Babies are very scent driven, and can find their mother by scent alone -- they scent-mark their favorite things by rubbing their face back and forth over the object.

Good luck:)

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