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Does swaddling make babies dependant on swaddling, making it harder for them to sleep later?

(27 Posts)
Chocolocolate Sun 17-Jul-11 16:05:40

When looking after other peoples' babies, I have always used swaddling to sooth them to sleep.

I am now having my first baby and intended to swaddle.

My mum has said that if I swaddle, there will eventually come a point where I don't want to do it anymore and at that point our child may develop sleeping problems as they are so used to being swaddled to get to sleep - they'd be dependent on the swaddling so to speak.

She also thinks, when staying with others, they may swaddle in another way and our baby may not settle.

I see her logic, but swaddling has always been useful to me when caring for other peoples' babies - my mum never swaddled me or my brother.

Has anyone experienced this dependence? What have your experiences of swaddling been like?

BerylOfLaughs Sun 17-Jul-11 16:07:31

Not in DD's case. Swaddled for the first month or two, then released arms and just swaddled the rest. She has never been a problem sleeper.

KenDoddsDadsDog Sun 17-Jul-11 16:09:02

DD was only swaddled until she could fit in a grobag. It was practical as well as comfortable, as she was born in freezing December. Didn't notice any change in her sleeping during the changeover.

Cedise Sun 17-Jul-11 16:33:56

Nope. No problems at all. Swaddled DD for the first couple of months, then gradually loosened it until by 4-5 months she was just sleeping under a blanket. IMO swaddling is the easiest way to settle a baby (if they like it, some just won't accept it).

SouthGoingZax Sun 17-Jul-11 16:38:51

No problems for either of my DTs. I swaddled till they were big enough for a gro bag, like Ken.
Swaddling really helped my 2 to settle too.

Sarahandmolly Sun 17-Jul-11 17:52:23

I would have loved to have swaddled my LO when born but she just hated it!

zabwino Sun 17-Jul-11 18:24:39

Swaddled my baby for 6 weeks, then swaddled with arms free until she was big enough for grobags. No problems at all. She settled so much better in those early weeks being swaddled rather than just tucked in with sheet and blanket.

RobynLou Sun 17-Jul-11 18:27:17

no problems like that here, DD1 was swaddled for the first 3ish months, then stopped with no problems. DD2 however hated being swaddled from the start - she was v big and v strong and wanted to be free to stretch out!

Emzar Sun 17-Jul-11 19:09:49

I've been swaddling mine for the first 3 months as he loved it, and now he seems to be bringing it to an end himself naturally - wriggling his arms out and sleeping happily like that.

Timeoutofmind Sun 17-Jul-11 19:13:01

My DD was swaddled for 5mo cos she loved it and it really settled her. We stopped when she was breaking free so now she rolls around her cot for around 20mins before settling but I think that's a developmental thing anyway.

I don't know what we'd have done without the swaddle in the early months!!

BumperlicicusTotalus Sun 17-Jul-11 19:16:15

Dd2 swaddled till about 7 months. A few false starts but when she was finally ready it was actually no problem. My opinion is do whatever you need to do to all get some sleep in the early days and worry about the consequences later.

monkoray Sun 17-Jul-11 19:44:42

Nope, swaddled with a woombie until DS was about 6 months then switched to a grobag and no sleep problems. (Never swaddled for daytime naps so he had slept unswaddled). Slept through from 7 months.

Amaretti Sun 17-Jul-11 19:49:19

No, they seem to move on from swaddling, unlike feeding or rocking to sleep which they get hooked on.

LaWeasel Sun 17-Jul-11 19:55:31

I shouldn't think so.

DD liked to be very loosely swaddled (the way they do in hospital) and moved on to grobags via just a draped sheet on very hot days and then eventually a regular duvet very happily.

fantus Sun 17-Jul-11 19:57:32

Another here who had no problems. Both DC's were swaddled till around 4 months then the swaddle was loosened for a few nights then popped in a gro bag. No change in sleep patterns from either of them.

emmyloo2 Mon 18-Jul-11 07:27:29

We swaddled until around 7 months blush but we then moved to a grobag and slowly removed the swaddle. No real problems at all to be honest. Our DS has always been a good night time sleeper and he continued to sleep as well at night without the swaddle. So I don't think it is habit forming....

exoticfruits Mon 18-Jul-11 07:36:19

You have to find out if the baby likes it! Mine hated it. The midwife said 'all babies like being swaddled, it makes them feel safe'-I was a new mum so I didn't like to say anything, but I thought 'rubbish-not mine!' I knew from the womb that he didn't kick much, but he moved his arms all the time.
I watched him after she had done it and with incredible effort, and much screwing up of the face, he got his arms free. I then felt able to say that he didn't like it.
Many babies do- but there is never a rule for *all babies*-it is like carrying them around all the time-some love it, some just want to be put down in their own space.
Get to know your baby and take the lead from them.

poptartpoptart Mon 18-Jul-11 11:13:59

We swadled DS until he was about 8 months cos he loved it. My PIL's said it was cruel to see him bundled up so tightly, but he never complained and was a happy baby that slept really well. It was when he started to break free himself (an arm usually) that we decided that maybe he was outgrowing it. I too was really nervous about removing the swaddling and progressing onto a grobag, but he was just fine and continued to sleep as he usually did.

rubyrubyruby Mon 18-Jul-11 11:16:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TrinaLuciusMalfoy Mon 18-Jul-11 12:13:09

Can't remember how long we swaddled DD for, but it wasn't very long, couple of months tops. She just grew out of needing it and has generally been a very good sleeper since.

idlevice Mon 18-Jul-11 12:18:32

Our DS was swaddled for ages, at least 6mths. As he got bigger he'd get his arms out naturally & then when it seemed like he was more out of it then in, we stopped, no probs. Also he would nap out & about in his pram/buggy without being fully swaddled, just something tucked round him, so I reckon it would be pretty rare for it to be an issue.

EssexGurl Mon 18-Jul-11 16:55:28

Both my children were swaddled. Now almost 6 and 2 they are fantastic sleepers. We only get disturbed if there is something seriously wrong. They are in bed by 8pm and awake at 7am with nothing in between. Hope the same happens for you!

GirlWithTheMouseyHair Mon 18-Jul-11 17:51:59

DS was swaddled til 7/8 months, tried stopping at 4 and 6 months but he didn;t sleep so just left it a bit later. Stopped swaddling arms for a week, swaddled in a grobag for another week then he was just in his grobag, easy peasy

SingOut Mon 18-Jul-11 20:08:38

No issues here either, my DS was very small (5lb 9oz) when born and very 'startly'. He used to flap & jerk about and wake himself up, so for the first month or so I swaddled him in Grobag wrap things, they were amazing and I don't know what I'd have done without them. As he got bigger and able to fit into a grobag he also settled and flapped less, and became so sturdy he'd wriggle out of the swaddling cloth. So then it was grobags from a month old until he went into a cotbed with a duvet aged about 2.5 years. He's always slept really well, and I put this down to to grobags in part keeping him warm and cosy at all times because he's a real wriggler and moves around a lot in sleep; I still have to tuck his duvet in or he'd fall out of bed grin

pointythings Wed 20-Jul-11 21:26:27

I semi-swaddled as both of mine were arms-free merchants from birth but wanted body and legs secured to settle. Popped them into grobags when they were big enough and no problems.

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