3-Step Plan to Transition Your Baby from Swaddling
During the first few months after birth, newborns usually long for the womb. They look for the comfort and security of feeling snug during their slumber, which is exactly what swaddling provides. Most babies sleep so well when they’re comfortably wrapped up that parents dread the idea of having to transition.
But, this is just one of the many milestones every parent and baby has to go through. Here are 3 steps to ensure a smooth and fuss-free transition from swaddling.
Step 1: Swaddle With One Arm Free
Babies show signs of outgrowing the swaddling phase around 4 months. Some indicators are increased mobility, rolling over, and the blanket constantly coming undone. Being wrapped up usually becomes a big part of your child’s sleep association. So, it’s essential to make the change gradual to ensure a smooth transition.
Start by swaddling them with only their dominant arm out. This willgive your baby the security and comfort that they’re accustomed to while getting used to sleeping without being wrapped. Apart from that, it’ll also keep them safe in case they roll over onto their tummy. You can do this with a regular blanket or a suit specifically made for this method.
Step 2: Monitor How Your Baby is Adjusting
Proceed with the first step for about 3-5 days and see how they’re doing with it. If you notice that they’re not settling or waking up multiple times through the night, then it may be necessary to swaddle for another week or two. Then, go back to the first part when you feel like its time for the transition again. Once your baby is accustomedto sleeping with one arm out, you can now move forward.
Step 3: Swaddle With Both Arms Free
If you feel like they’re getting usedto the first step, you can go ahead and un-swaddle both of their arms while still keeping their legs wrapped. You can start with their daytime nap with one limb out and releasing the other midway. If they aren’t fussy or if their sleep didn’t get interrupted, then you can proceed with this method during the nighttime.
Other Helpful Tips and Methods
Apart from the three-step plan, there are other methods and products proven to be effective for plenty of babies. Some of them are:
- Using a sleepsuit – Also known as a wearable blanket, they’re thicker, weighted onesies that provide comfort and security and reduce the baby’s startle reflex. Some suits even come with a slightly heavier center to mimic the soft touch of a hand resting on their chest.
- Partial night swaddling – Start by putting your baby to sleep without a swaddle for half or at least a third of the night. If they wake up fussy, you can wrap them up for the rest of their slumber.
The swaddle transition isn’t always easy for parents and their babies. But, if you follow these steps and pay close attention to how your child responds, then you’re sure to make a smooth and fuss-free shift in their sleep association.