Does my baby hate being swaddled?
It is common for newborn babies to protest when they are being swaddled. However, this does not mean that they hate it. In fact, swaddling provides a calming and relaxing feeling to babies, similar to the snug environment of the womb. To ensure a successful swaddling, make sure your baby is calm and gently hold their hands down to be swaddled. Your baby will quickly get used to it and may even breathe a sigh of relief once they are swaddled.
My baby gets out of her swaddle?
You need a better technique. If your baby is under 4 months and sleeping well swaddled except when they break out, you need a better technique or a better style of swaddle. This is not usually a sign your baby is ready to be un-swaddled. Try a baby loves sleep wrap, an ergo cocoon, or a love to dream for fail proof swaddling.
A baby who is ready to be un-swaddled won’t wake when they bust out, you will find them happily sleeping in the morning with their sneaky arms free. They carried on sleeping un-swaddled!
My baby wants to suck her hands but needs to be swaddled?
Your baby is probably not quite ready to suck their hands to soothe, if they can’t control them when over tired and guide their own thumb or hand to their mouth, they are not quite ready. Try a dummy instead and see the hand sucking swaddle below.
This is my favorite type of swaddling for babies under 4 months. Its firm, and if done with a nice big swaddle (1m by 1m minimum) they don’t escape. It’s important to go down (2) then up (4), then down again (6), then up again (7), this creates little wings for the arms, and they can’t slip out the top.
If your baby is ready for 1 arm out, go to stage 5, and then swaddle the body, not the arm.
This is Dr Harvey Karp’s technique, I find this works well until your baby gets too strong and busts out on the first side.
Need more newborn sleep tips?
This type of swaddling is useful for a baby who wants to suck, but hasn’t quite got the co-ordination developed to put their hand in their mouth and keep it there. You use the swaddle to hold their hand near their mouth, but also to prevent them startling or smacking themselves in the face, or scratching their face.
All of these techniques are demonstrated here with aden and anais muslin swaddles. These are nice and big – (over 1 m square) and have the right amount of stretch and right amount of restraint. This is why we give these away for our host at new-born sleep talks.
Why does swaddling help?
Your baby has just spent 9 months inside the womb with very little room to move. The womb has created a snug feeling, allowing your baby to easily fall in and out of sleep when inside you. Once outside this feeling is lost, and swadding re-creates this snug secure feeling. Your baby also is born with a very strong startle reflex, this will wake your baby frequently as they drift off to sleep if you don’t swaddle, or create that snug feeling by holding her in your arms.
How can I stop my baby waking up when I go to swaddle her? She was so sleepy in my arms.
Try swaddling in the initial settling period while she is wide awake, then get her nice and drowsy in your arms, this will mean you don’t need to put her down to swaddle her. You can just gently sneak her into bed drowsy but awake, and she will be less likely to jolt awake.
Will my baby need blankets over the swaddle?
If it is winter you can sleep your baby with their feet at the end of the cot or bassinet and firmly tuck a blanket in over the baby. Ensure they can NOT wiggle down the cot or bassinet and end up under the blanket. It is safest to use natural fibers like wool, cotton and merino and to avoid polyester etc which can cause over heating in your baby. You may find in summer your baby needs only a sheet over their swaddle, and may even be so warm, they only need a nappy under the swaddle.
I want to use a fitted swaddle like the ergo cocoon – can I buy a nice big size so she grows into it, and I don’t have to buy more than one?
If you use a fitted swaddle with a zip it is most important that you buy the size closest to your babies current weight. This will help it do its job well and prevent the startle reflex well, but most importantly it will be safe. If it is lose and too big, your baby could slip inside the swaddle and this would be a danger to her life. If you want to buy just one swaddle – try the baby loves sleep wrap or Lovetodream, in our experience, this will fit from newborn – 6 months!
When do I stop swaddling?
The million-dollar question! I recommend you swaddle through the 4-month sleep regression if possible. This means you are less likely to experience this sleep regression, and if you do experience it, you will be able to settle baby to sleep with hands-on techniques if still swaddled.
If your baby starts to roll back-tummy you need to either un-swaddle immediately or invest in a safety sleep for a few months to prevent baby rolling back to tummy in their swaddle in bed. Fortunately for us most babies don’t do this until close to 6 months when they can easily cope with no swaddle. Unfortunately, some little clever bubba’s do this as early as 3-4 months!
If your baby isn’t rolling and is over 4 months and you think they might be ready to un-swaddle, try one arm out for a few days to ascertain if your baby is ready. If they cope well, then you can remove the second arm and transfer to a sleeping bag.
If you get to 6 months and you are still swaddling – you can definitely at this stage un-swaddle and your baby will sleep well.
There are different types of swaddle that fits our baby. However, they provided what they need or what to do when used the swaddle to our little kids.
Choosing the right swaddles are very important because the newborn babies that will use it has a very sensitive skin. Parent shoudl be more aware on choosing the right one so that our little angels would feel comfortable on using some.