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How do you know when they are ready to be deswaddled?

(32 Posts)
Iwasthefourthwiseman Thu 23-Dec-10 18:58:53

Dd2 is 13 weeks and has been swaddled for sleep since birth, but has recently 'found' her hands and is currently doing 'superbaby' a lot (you know, fist clenched and randomly stuck in thr air!) and just now in the car she fell asleep with her fingers in her mouth. So I was wondering if was time to progress to a sleeping bag?

Obviously the fear is whatever change I make is going to make night times worse not better. So any tips on how I know if she is ready and how to make the transition?

Iwasthefourthwiseman Thu 23-Dec-10 19:51:23


lillylane Thu 23-Dec-10 19:59:05

I have no experience, my DD is the same age and I tried to swaddle her when she was a day old, she was having none of it, she has always slept with arms and legs outstretched as wide as possible.
Do you swaddle her for naps too? Maybe try a naptime without and see how she goes?

tomhardyismydh Thu 23-Dec-10 20:04:02

no idea dd would not be swaddled from the onset. but i never used a sleeping bag just blankets tucket in with her arms free.

my dn is 4 and still likes to be swaddled at bed time.

i agree stop for naps and see how it goes, maybe use sheets and blankets well tucked in.

LadyintheRadiator Thu 23-Dec-10 20:09:56

<nervously lurks for answers too>

Also, any experts, how best to stop swaddling - get a bit looser each night, or free one arm?

Do you swaddle for naps, 4th? I don't because I am not that organised hmm but maybe if I did she'd nap better. <too late emoticon>

sedgiebaby Thu 23-Dec-10 20:21:43

I'm on my first baby and don't have a clue!! But I do swaddle always and for naps too, baby will flay arms around and claw at face and wake herself otherwise. However in recent days she wants to chomp on her hand and has been wrestling a hand free so I have been doing a swaddle 'wrap' with a cot sheet where one arm is free the other straight down the side of the body, I tuck both arms in the cot with a blanket (so she is snug and warm) but she can easily get the one out if she needs to without getting all tangled up. It seems to work, it gives her the freedom and the cosy tight feeling still.

sedgiebaby Thu 23-Dec-10 20:22:54

ps my baby is 12 wk's tomorrow. She also does the 'superbaby' given half a chance.

ToysRLuv Thu 23-Dec-10 20:40:20

You can try to put them down for a nap with 1 arm out and see if that works, then with 2 arms out, etc. Or see whether they would be okay with a less restricting mode of swaddle (swaddle pod etc.) and when they have been able to sleep like that for a while, move onto the next step (e.g. peke moe) and then a normal sleeping bag. This is what I did. But there is absolutely no hurry. Swaddling does not harm babies in any way (unless they are swaddled round the clock, as they used to do hundreds of years ago), on the contrary, so you can go on doing it until LO is about a year old (obv. only if needed). I had DS out of the swaddle and in a peke moe when he was around 9 months old.

Iwasthefourthwiseman Thu 23-Dec-10 20:40:37

I do swaddle for naps but only recently since I've been able to put her down rather than just sleep on me.

The one arm thing is a good idea.

coldtits Thu 23-Dec-10 20:41:51

Just don't bother, it doesn't matter. She'll fight her way out when she wants to./

Iwasthefourthwiseman Thu 23-Dec-10 20:43:29

What's a peke moe?

I'm not too worried about her being swaddled for too long, it's just that age old dilemma of what is going to make her sleep better - staying swaddled or having her hands out. Any psychics out there?grin

ToysRLuv Thu 23-Dec-10 20:43:33

And that 1 year deadline is not specific.. some people still "tuck their babies in tightly" (in fact swaddle them in blanket) even after that, but do not expect them to stay like that all night.. it's just something nice and calming to do after a bath.

ToysRLuv Thu 23-Dec-10 20:47:12

A peke moe is a rectangular sleeping bag without armholes, so in my mind is a great way to get LO used to having arms "free", but not quite free (hard to explain)..

Jojay Thu 23-Dec-10 20:51:15

Ds2 was a swaddle addict and was swaddled for all sleeps, even in the buggy, until he was 7 months at least. Any attempt to even loosen the swaddle before then resulted in an awake, howling baby.

When he was ready to sleep without being swaddled, I just loosened it a bit and he learned to 'escape' on his own.

Trial and error is the only way, but she'll let you know what she likes.

Iwasthefourthwiseman Thu 23-Dec-10 21:34:45

Oh, I hate trial and error! Trial and error means a crap nights sleep!

MrsTeddy Thu 23-Dec-10 22:15:30

Usual time to stop swaddling is about 12/14 weeks although as with everying they are all different. I found the right time to stop swaddling was when my baby stopped becoming calm when she was swaddled and instead started going nuts as soon as I wrapped her arms! Then we moved to sleeping bag with swaddle just on her lower half for comfort (I only used a thin cotton sheet for swaddling so no danger of her getting too warm, you might not be able to do this if you've been using a swaddling blanket or something thicker).

Jojay Thu 23-Dec-10 22:51:26

I know trial and error is scary - I was terrified when we first unswaddled DS!

But you know it's the only way.............grin

Iwasthefourthwiseman Thu 23-Dec-10 23:05:49

Ok, we are going for one arm tonight!

muslimah28 Thu 23-Dec-10 23:16:52

we stopped when ds escaped the swaddle and still stayed asleep. We were used to his lil houdini tactics but his escapes from thw swaddle usually waked him up. When he stopped waking having released himself from the blanket we stopped swaddling. No gradual loosening, that would just make his exit from the swaddle easier and then wake him up. He was about 3 months.

Iwasthefourthwiseman Thu 23-Dec-10 23:30:43

We have a miracle blanket which is pretty difficult for her to get out of.

Iwasthefourthwiseman Fri 24-Dec-10 07:47:04

Well, trial and error paid off! She woke at 7.30 instead of 6! Do I dare deswaddle the other arm tonight?

LadyintheRadiator Fri 24-Dec-10 08:54:39

Hurrah! Well done DD2

Iwasthefourthwiseman Fri 24-Dec-10 09:21:32

Just trying to get her to nap in her sleeping bag but she keeps startling. Will she get used to it?

Cosmosis Fri 24-Dec-10 10:26:20

I think they just grow out of the startle reflex, I only noticed last night that DS no longer does it (at 15 weeks), but I can't think when he stopped, maybe a week / 10 days ago?

Iwasthefourthwiseman Fri 24-Dec-10 10:44:20

Well the sleeping bag isn't really working. She will only sleep as long as I am bouncing her. May need to stick to the half swaddle for a while.

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