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Secrets of newborn parenting no. 1: Swaddling doesn't work

(39 Posts)
richiarata Wed 15-Feb-17 09:54:18


We've been told repeatedly that swaddling is the answer to getting your newborn to calm down and sleep, But: it isn't. We've now tried six or seven times, the last few with a so-called 'miracle blanket'. Our daughter hates it. She screams until she's set free. We've checked that it's not too tight and it's not like she's not tired. Is there anyone out there who has actually genuinely made it work, because from where I'm standing it just seems like everyone's pretending :-(.



VibrantAmI Wed 15-Feb-17 09:57:35

My DS hated it, until we swaddled him having his arms out free. Then he merely tolerated it.

liquidrevolution Wed 15-Feb-17 10:00:37

DD hated her swaddle. We ended up using it as a expensive blanket.

Not even going to discuss the expensive unused sling hmm

richiarata Wed 15-Feb-17 10:01:15

Thanks! But isn't the point of swaddling to contain the arms?!

Afreshstartplease Wed 15-Feb-17 10:02:02

None of mine were swaddled

GummyGoddess Wed 15-Feb-17 10:02:08

DS only liked it for a few weeks if we did it so that his arms were bent with his hands by his face

Trifleorbust Wed 15-Feb-17 10:02:39

Mine likes to be closely wrapped but not swaddled. She wants to throw her arms behind her head.

Snap8TheCat Wed 15-Feb-17 10:02:48

I don't think you can discount every suggestion for every baby. It did work for my dd so I could (I haven't) suggest it to a new parent looking for ideas.

PleasantPhesant Wed 15-Feb-17 10:03:05

Worked for my 3

Isn't it down to what the babies like though?

If swaddling was a miracle cure for sleeplessness there wouldn't be any tired mums.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 15-Feb-17 10:03:13

DD hated swaddled - I think that because she was two weeks late she liked to stretch out and sleep like a starfish.

I thought swaddling was on the don't do list, or has it changed again?

Sandsnake Wed 15-Feb-17 10:03:15

No, it wasn't the magic bullet for our DS either but think it definitely works for some. Our best win was white noise - really hardcore white noise. Look up 'baby got colic' on YouTube - if it helps your daughter at all you can then buy it on iTunes. It was the only thing that helped calm our DS when he was at his most unsettled and he still sleeps (through the night, which I thought would never happen!) to it now at 15 months. Good luck!

savagehk Wed 15-Feb-17 10:03:30

We never tried, despite having bought swaddling-stuff before hand. Why do you want to swaddle?

NotTheBelleoftheBall Wed 15-Feb-17 10:03:57

Mine slept longer when swaddled BUT could only be swaddled just after she fell asleep, if there was an ounce of 'awake' in her she'd fight to the death to get her arms out.

RebeccaCloud9 Wed 15-Feb-17 10:04:53

Worked for my DD (zip up swaddle bag). It was the only thing that stopped her waving her arms around and waking herself up. She was in that bag for months (obviously only when sleeping)!

Chocolateorangegoblin Wed 15-Feb-17 10:05:06

Both of mine liked being swaddled up until about 12 weeks.

Whitelisbon Wed 15-Feb-17 10:05:44

Worked for 3/5 of mine.
Dd1 hated it and would scream non stop until released. Ds1 wasn't keen, didn't scream but wouldn't sleep while swaddled.
Dd2, ds2 and dd3 wouldn't sleep unless they were swaddled, in fact dd3 is 11 months and still likes to be swaddled on occasion.

kel1234 Wed 15-Feb-17 10:05:50

I don't like swaddling. My lo was in hospital for 12 days and the nurses insisted on bundling him up like it was the Arctic in there.
As soon as I got him home I never bothered. He's always settled himself to sleep

Semaphorically Wed 15-Feb-17 10:11:58

Both of our DDs hated being swaddled. They both waved their arms around a lot inside my pelvis when I was pregnant (ouch) so I suppose they never got used to that folded feral position. And neither had a particularly strong startle reflex so they didn't wake themselves up with it.

What worked for us, although none of it was a magic fix: shush/pat (like the noise of breathing/feel of heartbeat in utero), white noise, being really warm (DD2 only, DD1 hates being hot), not over-stimulating them (or, if over-stimulated, feeding to sleep in a darkened room at the end of the day, no talking no eye contact).

Semaphorically Wed 15-Feb-17 10:12:50

fetal not feral!!

milpool Wed 15-Feb-17 10:13:51

DD1 was like a tiny Houdini and just broke out of any attempts to swaddle her. Gave up pretty early on that one.

Haven't even tried with DD2 (who is nearly 3 weeks old).

For us, it's all about boob. Feed until asleep. Shove boob in mouth when awake. Usually does the trick.

Failing that, white noise helps.

youngestisapsycho Wed 15-Feb-17 10:18:13

Mt first DD was swaddled and very happy... but she was lazy and slept all the time! Second DD hated it.

PleasantPhesant Wed 15-Feb-17 10:19:27

I have to say white noise worked for us too..we've always kept the window slightly open in the bedroom and I think that's one of the reasons they sleep so well.

I would say fresh air is vital for good sleep too. In the buggy or playing outside when they're older.

They've always been early risers (5am when 6 months old -18 months ish) but they're not light sleepers at all.

BertieBotts Wed 15-Feb-17 11:27:02

Sort of. The point is to stop their arms flailing but it's also to provide pressure like a tight hug which can be comforting. DS only liked it with his arms out but I didn't bother very often.

clarabellski Wed 15-Feb-17 11:33:11

We found swaddling worked for the first month or so while DS was still in the very sleepy stage with strong startle reflex. When he became more aware of his surroundings and more mobile, he naturally broke out of the swaddle and we moved to sleeping bags instead.

Its not for everyone, but then neither is any parenting technique. Find what works for you.

annlee3817 Wed 15-Feb-17 11:50:54

we swaddled with arms out, our DD was happier that way and we also had a sleepyhead which for us was amazing, not for everyone though. It's really never going to a be a case of one size fits all, they're all different, so it's just a guessing game until something works smile

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