Swaddling is one of the first things that new parents learn. That’s because swaddling gives babies a sense of comfort because they were in such a tight, confined womb without a view for so long. It makes them feel like they’re still in that safe place. Swaddling is a great technique for the beginning few months after birth thanks to how it makes your little noodle feel. However, you can’t be wrapping up your little baby burrito forever. They’re going to want to move and explore those crazy appendages that they’re figuring out. Here’s the down low on when and how to stop swaddling your little one.
When to Stop
I’m sorry, but there’s no magic age that says, hey, it’s time for you to stop practicing your burrito wrapping skills on your little baby. You’re going to want to watch your baby for cues. They’ll let you know when swaddling isn’t right for them. You’ll start to notice your noodle being more active. They’ll start rolling to their tummy when they’re on their back. This stage of development will typically happen around three to five months, but it could be sooner or later depending on your little one.
The reason why you’ll want to stop swaddling is for safety purposes. Your baby needs to be able to push up against the surface once they flip over to stay safe. Swaddling them keeps their hands by their side rather than where they can use them.
That being said, your little one is not going to be just like every other little one because all babies are different. You’ll have to handle this transition with patience. This is one process you don’t have to rush. If your baby isn’t ready to roll yet, you can keep up with swaddling. I always tell my clients to consider swaddling until baby has actually rolled over in their crib while swaddled. Just because they are rolling over on the living room floor doesn’t mean that they are able to roll over in their cribs while swaddled.
Just as the timeframe varies on when you should start the transition, there are a few ways that you can handle the transition away from swaddling with your little.
Cut it Out Like a Bad Habit
Dropping swaddling cold turkey is one option. You can opt for using a sleep sack that offers more freedom of movement because it allows their arms to be free. Your baby will still feel secure because of the design, but it won’t keep them from safely rolling.
Go Half Burrito
You may want to start by going halfway with swaddling your baby while keeping one arm out. Your baby will start to adjust to not being a tight burrito, and be able to stay safe when rolling. You’ll want to swaddle in this method for about a week or two or until you can tell your baby is adjusted. Keep their arms free afterward.
Go Half Time
For parents that are working on transitioning away from swaddling before their baby has started to roll, this can be a good option. Let your baby sleep using either the cut the habit or go half burrito method of transitioning at the beginning of the night, and then after they wake up, swaddle them like normal. Let them go each night longer and longer with their arms completely or partially free. This helps to prevent any sleep disruptions to their sleep schedule.
Cheat With Transitional Items
Sometimes it’s just easier for everyone involved to use a nifty product that helps with the transition. There are a few different products on the market that can help you with their transition from being swaddled like a tiny human burrito to being free roaming. Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit or Zippadee Zip are two options that can help to make your transition easy on you and your little noodle.
Struggling with this transition and keeping your sleep cycle in tune with a happy and healthy baby? Contact us today to learn about how our services can help you with your little one. Let us help you get back on track.