When your baby is born it is swaddled right away not only to keep it warm, but also so your little one doesn’t get scared of all the space available around. Infant are used to being in moms belly, where it is all tight and cozy.
Especially the premature babies, they will calm down easier when you place your hand steady on them. Rather than when you will try doing slow circles on their hands or heads. For infants, it is all about the firm contact. It makes them feel safe.
Once your little baby is born, nurses swaddle the baby really tight. There is couple of reasons for baby swaddling.
- So your baby would feel safe and protected, while getting used to all the space around.
- Swaddling also prevents babies from waking themselves up, from their own hand movements.
- Swaddling calms down babies, and helpless them sleep a lot calmer and longer.
- The most important part of swaddling is keeping the baby warm, until her/his body can keep the body temperature normalized.
We all know the most common swaddling technique the burrito swaddling, but their is a lot more. Some babies don’t even like swaddling, if your baby has trouble sleeping being swaddle like a burrito try one of these methods.
- Feeding Cues Swaddle – swaddle is great for the first two weeks of your babies life.
- Hands Up Swaddle – swaddle is great for the first month of your babies life, especially if they prefer sleeping with hands free.
- Bat Wings Swaddle – swaddle is great from 2 weeks to 6 weeks of babies life, is perfect if your babies needs swaddling just to fall asleep.
- Houdini Swaddle – swaddle is great from 6 weeks to 12 weeks, if your baby is fussy and has gas releasing problems this swaddle is the best choice.
- Arms Only Swaddle – swaddle is great from 3 to 4 months, best for babies that run warm. This type of swaddle will help them not over heat, but still feel safe and cozy.
- Burrito Swaddle – swaddle is great from 3 to 4 months, if your babies needs lots of leg space movement this swaddle is the right one for you.
- Preemie Swaddle – swaddle is great for babies born before the 40 weeks.
When To Stop Swaddling
There is couple signs that the baby gives, which will let you know that it’s time to stop. This time comes around babies that reached 5 months.
- Decreased or no startle reflex at all
- Easily unwraps from swaddling during the night (being to strong or mobile)
- Wakes up during the night, when usually slept soundly.
- Increase in activity or being able to pull the arms out in the sleep
- Doesn’t want to be swaddled or wanting on of the arms to be out
- Rolling over on the stomach because of stronger arm and neck movements are available
How To Stop Swaddling
There is a lot of different techniques, that can help you teach your baby how to sleep without swaddling. It could take you couple nights and maybe even 2 or 3 weeks, but I know that you can do it mommy. You can go fully without swaddling right away, or going step by step (which pediatrics recommend).
If you decided to go all out and start sleeping all free from swaddling, I wish you the best luck and maybe your baby will be one that gets into it right away. But if your not that lucky step by step is your way.
If you used to swaddling you baby legs free which is the burrito swaddle or arms only swaddle, try not swaddling the legs first for a day or two and see how your baby sleeps.
After wards without swaddling one arm and give your little one couple nights to get used to it. Also try switching up the hands every night. Once you believe that your little one is ready go for it.
How My Swaddling Went
Since Angel was a premature baby and went to NICU right after birth, the nurses didn’t swaddle him because of all the wires connected to him, His swaddling started one week after being born, and oh boy I had a fight with that one. Not only I didn’t know how to swaddle, but he didn’t want to get swaddled himself.
You would ask than why swaddle at all? Well I wouldn’t swaddle him, but he didn’t want to sleep hand free from swaddling. After some days of fighting he gave up, I finally won. My personal favorite swaddling way was arms only swaddle, he had a lot of gas released during the night.
At around 5 months he learned how to roll over on his belly, that’s when I knew swaddling had to stop. At first I wanted to go all out and stop swaddling fully right away, but after couple nights of no sleeping I gave up and went to step by step method. And after a week he was ready to go all out.
Trust your Self
You know your baby better than anyone pick the swaddling method right for you, or don’t even swaddle. It’s all up to you, I believe in you mom. Let me know in the comments: What is your favorite swaddling method or you don’t swaddle at all?