Swaddling is often a great method of keeping a newborn baby comforted and settled when they’re sleeping, but it eventually outlives its usefulness.
But quite often, babies develop an attachment to the swaddle and frequently wake up when they inevitably kick their way out of it in the night.
Today, I’ve got a step-by-step strategy for you to gently wean your baby off the swaddle and learn to fall asleep, and stay asleep, without needing to be wrapped up.
Swaddling a newborn baby can be a really helpful tool. A lot of newborn babies find comfort in being tightly wrapped. It reminds them of the experience of being in the womb when they didn’t have a whole lot of space to move around. So I definitely encourage people in the newborn phase to try the swaddle.
Now, there are babies out there who do not like it, so you don’t have to force the issue. Try a few times in a few different scenarios. And if it’s helpful, great. And if it’s not, that’s okay too.
I just want to caution you, though, today that sometimes the swaddle can become what we call a sleep prop. So my advice around the swaddle is to use it for the first 10 weeks or so. And at the 10-week mark, now you start to sort of gently move away from it by leaving one arm out maybe a nap or two or at bedtime for a week. Then you leave both arms out here and there throughout the day or at bedtime for another week. You just go waist down for a week. And then by the end of the third week, you’re completely out of the swaddle.
My advice is to move to a sleep sack instead. The Zipadee-Zip sleep sack is a great one. Also the Bitta Kidda sleep sack is another favorite of mine.
Now, what can happen though, and if you’re listening thinking oops, 10 weeks has come and gone a long time…