Transition from Swaddling

Updated on April 03, 2008
K.Y. asks from Torrance, CA
5 answers

I'd like to transition my son from a swaddle to a sleep sack. He's 3 1/2 months old and has been swaddled since birth. I use a Swaddle Me blanket, and wrap him with one arm outside the blanket. I tried putting him in the sleep sack about a month ago, but he wasn't able to sleep once I put him in his bassinet. (That's when I started leaving one arm out.) Anyone have any advice on the best way to go about this transition?

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answers from Los Angeles on

All of my 3 children were swaddled from birth until 3-4 months also. To transition them, I also just left an arm out and then started using a sleep sack for some naps until they got used to it. For what it's worth, I think that I stressed about the transition more than necessary. They actually all adapted rather quickly (within a few days). I know it's hard to have to make sleep transitions when you have a nice routine and are all getting some sleep!

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answers from Seattle on

hi K.,
my first child was ALL about being swaddled. I felt like she was going to be swaddled til she was in her teens! The one arm out thing is good. That's what I did. With my daughter I just started to notice that when she woke up she'd already be out of her swaddle. Is your son like that?? If not, then he may not be ready and like the comfort of the swaddle. More and more my daughter would already be out so when I put her down, I would put it less and less tight. Soon she was completely out! good luck!

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answers from San Diego on

When I was transitioning my baby from swaddler to sleep sack, I put him in the sleep sack with his arms inside and the arm openings pinned shut. That way he got used to having a little more movement, but his hands couldn't fly in his face and wake him up. Then gradually I left the openings unpinned while still zipping his arms inside, so he could get his arms out if he wanted to. Once he got to the point where he wouldn't be startled by his hands, I put him in the sleep sack the way you're supposed to. This whole process took a couple months.

Good luck!

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answers from Los Angeles on

Hi K., I have been through the same prediacment with both of my kids. I am from California, but currently living in New Zealand and have come across an excellent product for this transition. Please visit this website to see for yourself : My four month old daugher, Olivia is loving it. She even has her photo on the website! Good luck to you. :) H.



answers from Los Angeles on

i just took care of this myself over the weekend. she is going through her 3 month growth spurt, so i decided that she's waking up anyway, so might as well get her off the swaddle. i prepared myself for a few sleepless nights.
now that my baby is starting to grab things, her startle reflex is not as severe as it was about 3 weeks ago when i tried to get her off the swaddle. so over the last couple of weeks, i left one arm out for a week, then wrapped her arms at her chest so she would be able to get both of them out herself. she's been wriggling out of the swaddle forever, so i knew she was capable of sleeping without it.
but when i finally put her in the sleepsac, i would watch her on the monitor, and when she was falling asleep and i saw her arms flailing, i would go in and gently hold her arms down while she fell into a deeper sleep.
it took a couple of nights, but it's totally worked. she's been off the swaddle for 4 nights now, and only wakes up once to feed at about 2.
good luck. it's not as bad as i thought it would be. but it definitely helps to wait until they have some kind of control over their arms when they are awake.

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