How and When to Stop Swaddling Your Baby

How and When to Stop Swaddling Your Baby

April 20, 2018

How and When to Stop Swaddling Your Baby

How and When to Stop Swaddling Your Baby
Photo by @ladyheaton
How and When to Stop Swaddling Your Baby

While swaddling can be a lifesaver, there will come a time when your baby outgrows theirs, and it’s time to move on to sleeping without one.

How do you know it’s time to remove the swaddle? Be on the lookout for these following signs:

Your baby is not in their swaddle: I knew my son was ready to be removed from his because his arm, legs or entire body would be out of his swaddle when I went to get him in the mornings. If they can break out of it, it’s time to toss it. You don’t want your baby to start putting it over their face or head, or tangle themselves up in it.

Your baby wakes up in a different position: Rolling over from back to front in their crib can literally happen at a moment’s notice. When you check on your baby in the morning, or actually watch them do it on your monitor, it’s time to take the swaddle off so it doesn’t pose a safety/smothering threat.

Your baby has outgrown their automatic reflexes: At around six months of age, your baby will stop experiencing those jolts while they are asleep, which means they’ll be able to sleep through the night soundly. So, they will not physically be in the need for a swaddle.

Your baby is able to pull themselves up in their crib: Chances are if your baby is able to pull themselves up in their crib, they are not in need of a swaddle. It won’t really do them any good at this point, as they’ll soon figure out that climbing and jumping around in their crib is much more fun than staying stationary (and it’s also time to lower your crib settings).

They appear frustrated: If baby seems uncomfortable, angry or unhappy in their swaddle, it’s time to remove it because it will have adverse effects. Think about a time when you have been pinned down or put in a small space, but didn’t want to be. That’s how they’ll feel!

Tips for Transitioning Baby Out of Their Swaddle

Here are a few tips that will help you through the process.

Swaddle overnight only: Consider removing their swaddle for nap time. This will help get them used to being “free” as they sleep and will build up their tolerance to the openness they feel in their crib, just for a short amount of time.

Swaddle every other night: Once your baby gets used to napping without a swaddle, start to remove it overnight. Put them in it one night, and give them off the next. Continue this for a week or so to see how they do. If they aren’t really missing the swaddle overnight, you may just want to take it away all together.

For more tips on transitioning baby out of swaddles, read the full article at Maternity Glow.


Kate Trout is the blogger behind Maternity Glow, where she writes about pumping and feeding tips and practical parenting tricks.

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