When to Stop Swaddling and Introduce a Sleep Bag or Sack
Swaddling starts in the hospital and often continues through the first three months of a baby’s life.Around this age, most swaddling parents begin to wonder how they will know when it is the right time to stop swaddling, altogether. It can be a daunting question, especiallyfor moms and dads who have come to rely on the benefits of using a baby sleepsack. Babies who are swaddled have been proven to sleep longer and cry less than babies who are not swaddled.Inaddition to keeping your little one warm and toasty in those early months of life, swaddling also keeps your baby from being disturbed by her own startle reflex.
It’s time to say goodbye to swaddling if…
…your baby is breaking free.You will want to avoid any scenario where loose blankets are in the crib. If your baby is able to free himself from a sleep sack, it is time to stop swaddling altogether. An improperly wrapped swaddle is a SIDS risk, and for the safety of your child, you will need to stop immediately.
…your baby is rolling over.Medical professionals advise that a swaddled baby should never sleep face down, and once your little one starts to roll, you can’t guarantee that he won’t end up on his stomach.For safety reasons, rolling from side to side is an important sign to watch for as swaddled babies sleeping on their stomach are at risk for SIDS.
…your baby isn’t soothed. If your once sound sleeper is now waking up frequently through the night, then the swaddle has perhaps lost its magic. You will know this is the case if your baby appears restless, and unable to get comfortable. He may cry out and appear frustrated that he does not have the ability to stretch and kick.
…you’re considering sleep training.Many parents introduce some form of sleep training around 3 months of age. If you plan to begin sleep training, then you will want to consider weaning a baby sleep bag. Sleep training helps babies learn to self-soothe, and your little one needs to be unswaddled in order to get the hang of this.
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