Weaning Off the Swaddle

The first two months of your baby’s life you’ll be in love with the swaddle. It’ll tell them it’s time to sleep and most likely it’ll help you get your newborn to happily drift off to sleep quickly and stay asleep longer. The issue is that after 2 months when their Moro reflex subsides, they really shouldn’t be swaddled any more. All the movement babies make moving their arms and legs makes them stronger and helps their brain develop.

Here’s how we weaned Archer off the swaddle. One night right after he turned 2 months we had Archer sleep in the bassinet portion of a pack n play (at Grandma’s house). Because it’s a bit curved it snugged his body so that he wasn’t rolling around and therefore was a good transition from a flat surface with swaddle snuggling him to a curved surface half snuggling him without swaddle. He began that night to sleep unswaddled. After a few nights sleeping there we moved him to his bassinet. At first he’d wake himself up and move a bit, but I’d just lean over, rock his bassinet and usually he’d calm down and drift off to sleep. If not, I’d pick him up and rock him to sleep again, holding him tight in my arms and holding his hand so that his limbs couldn’t flail around. He sometimes would fuss a bit but with calm rocking and walking, he’d calm down and start to drift to sleep. This only took a few nights of extra soothing before he was sleeping soundly without a swaddle.

Just remember, it’ll get easier for them to be unswaddled once their Moro reflex subsides, again usually this is at 2 months. You’ll notice when you put them down on the changing table that they stop getting a bit scared or suddenly raising their arms.

 

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