I'll try to keep this short and sweet:)

My little one is almost 9 months and I've been swaddling her since she was about one or two months. Now it seems like the time has come to end this because she seems to be getting to big/squirmy to be swaddled all night. I used to swaddle my older one (who is 5 now) and I can't remember how long I kept it going or how old she was when I stopped swaddling.

I'd appreciate anyone's comments/advice/experience in reminding me how to "ween" myself off of swaddling and how long I should wait.

As a side note, I don't want to hear the "how dare you swaddle your child" opinions because they have no baring on my question, so I'd appreciate if you could keep those comments to a different discussion please and thank you.

Thanks for any knowledge on this! Happy 2010 to you all:)

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We stopped at around 7-8 months when he was not liking it anymore, I always found it be so comforting for him, he felt like cuddled I suppose.
I swaddled my children also. I usally started by leaving their arms free at about 3-4 months. I was always under the impression that swaddling at the beginning is to keep the babies startle reflex froming waking him/her. I then gradually moved on to a "sack" to make sure they were covered at night and didn't get cold. Swaddling is a wonderful thing that offers many benifits to a child that I am sure you are well aware of, but to any "negative types" out there (would there really be here??) I believe in the advice that every child is different and if isn't broken don't fix it. Parents usually know best of what their children need, especially parents that follow an attachment parenting style of parenting. Let your child guide you to what she needs.
I think you should just go with the baby's cues. I stopped swaddling around 5-6 weeks because she kept kicking out of it. I just assumed she didn't want to be wrapped up anymore. But she slept in my bed and probably just felt all safe and cozy with us. So I don't really think there's a right time to stop, it has to do with baby's preference.
Thank you all for the advice and encouragement! I'm always happy to know that there is support here and "what works, what doesn't" suggestions are always great.

So an "update" (I feel like I should hahaha)... I tried arms free (thanks for the sleep sack idea, April, I was reminded of the one my mom still had from my little sister which I'm using now) for a few nights and it was just one of those things where she wriggled herself around her bed and sat up and in the end was wide awake by 4am. I figured it was the same thing in blue, either she's swaddled and stays, mostly, in one place or she's not and ends up flailing around her bed but under both circumstances she's awake by about 3 or 4 in the morning and seems to have a really hard time going back to sleep or is really restless if she does. Her bed time isn't extreme, I've been playing with that for some time now, I need her in bed by 8pm and am trying hard not to put her down much earlier then that and also not to much later because once she's in bed I can study. She takes the standard two naps a day, so she's not oversleeping throughout the day, and I have her really well scheduled (thanks to having an older girl, it's much easier this time around then it was with the first born). So at this point I'm sleep deprived everyday and wonder how I can help her get back to a good sleep rhythm, because I'm sure being awake for 2 hours in the middle of the night has to be exhausting for a baby too. I have been taking her in my bed at nights/early in the morning now too (thanks for the reminder, Cindy, I think mine is happy to be near me too, plus I was reminded of an anthropological study I read a while back that stated that babies who co-sleep are all around healthier: they nurse better, they sleep better, less risk of SIDS, mom feels better...was odd because of course this society makes you believe that it's much more harmful for babies to co-sleep, but that's only so they can sell a crib or bed to you, plus the "industrialized" nations are the only ones that push for babies sleeping alone from day one, preferably in their own rooms down the hall so now you have to buy a bigger house hehehe. No thank you, capitalism) and it's making her rest at least and then sometimes she'll fall asleep after spending an hour whimpering, pulling my hair, giggling, and doing other little things that are annoying in the middle of the night but cute at any other time of day. My older one actually didn't sleep well next to me, she was always kicking and tossing and turning, I could never get her settled down when she was sleeping next to me, so I'm glad it works better now. Oh well, at least I've tried hands free and I'm thinking that the problem really isn't swaddling that's keeping her awake at night. Back to the drawing board, so to speak.
I would cut back to one nap a day. My daughter needs just that. Wake her if she sleeps past 2 hours. We also co-sleep. Always have. I have to laugh at your very accurate description of what most people think is the norm. I have 2 older children who both slept in our bed. They do hit an age where they want there own space. We usually transitioned to their own bed in our room and then eventually to their own rooms. Now, neither of my older ones every fight sleep, hate their room or are scared to go to bed. Both go when they are tired, usually before or near when I would like them to with a simple good night. We too get kicked a bit at night by our 2 year old, but I am happy knowing that she is safe and happy and feels secure.
Good luck!
That is great! I'm glad you've had such success with your children and sleep because in my opinion (and most all of us) it's the most important thing. I think I laughed writing it thinking how many times I've seen the shows (usually on Oprah or Dr. Phil) where the parents act like it's the most inconvenient thing all of a sudden that their child, usually a pretty young one at that, still wants to sleep with them and then it's a whole hour show of how to step by step coax your child into their sad and lonely room all by themselves. I could kick myself knowing that I didn't nurture that more with my older one because she really is afraid of the dark and all the usual things and she's 5 right now. But now having the new born, I didn't want to start a new trend with first one that would probably leave her sleepless too because of the fussy baby sister. Oh well!
I would try to cut back to one nap but she get's very tired within a few hours after getting up, so I tried to push it until 10am or later which is when she'll sleep for an half-hour to tops just shy of an hour, so going from shortly before 11am till the evening would be horrible for probably all of us because she really needs the second nap (she usually sleeps an hour and half at most) and I need the time to study (this mom's a little selfish;-). But it's a good tip in a couple months when she's a little older I will probably try it when I'm not in school during the mornings and she's a year old. Gosh, they do grow fast, I'm sure pretty quickly this will all be a distant memory and we'll be on to the next "crisis" haha.
Thanks for your advice and story about your own children!
I think two naps a day are pretty important at this age-- there are always exceptions but that would be rare at this age.

You said you didn't want to put her down much earlier than 8-- wondering if that's something you need (ie. you aren't home) or you might be flexible here-- many babies around 9 months will start to sleep through the night, a 11-12 hour stretch, though usually an earlier bedtime helps this. Also the first nap is a continuation of night sleep, so making it later may not be helpful to your daughter.

The challenges you are seeing could be due to sleep needs changing as well as the swaddling-- a reasonable pattern of sleep at this age could be 7-7 bed, nap 8 or 8:30-10 or 10:30, nap 1 or 1:30-3 or 3:30, bed again at 7.

Specifically for swaddle weaning, I'd say switching to warmer pajamas rather than a sleep sack always worked better for us. At this age they usually roll over and sleep on their tummies, which if they do it themselves and your crib mattress was new for this baby, should work.

Good luck!
Kira


www.askyourfriendkira.com
That's really helpful advice, thank you very much! I do agree about needing at least the two naps. My nap schedule is pretty similar to that: 9:30am and it's usually for an hour and then again by 1:30 pm for about 2 hours (sometimes 2 1/2). I slowly changed her bedtime over the last 3 months or so, first it was from 7 or 7:30 pm gradually to 9:30 pm and then back from that late time down to 8pm. When she's in bed before then she's usually wide awake by 6 am and sometimes earlier. It seems like 8 pm (even though she always wakes a lot during the night) had her wide awake by 7:30 am. I will give it a try again though, I guess patience really is a virtue in these times. I keep thinking that swaddling doesn't have very much to do with her not sleeping, but the warm pajamas sounds like a good idea. I do wonder if something like sleepy tea or melatonin would help get her into a better pattern? But then I guess it's quite early to start something like that since infants don't usually follow along with the standard sleeping guide. Thanks again for the info! Have a great day!
Swaddling is wonderful. Thank God for "the happiest baby on the block" . I think I stopped at 6 months because I transfered my son from the co-sleeper to his own room.
I agree, it's the greatest thing, I think, for a baby to feel secure by swaddling. And I really liked that book/video;-)

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