Seeing a baby wrapped comfortably in a blanket is an adorable sight. But there will come a time that a swaddle won’t be necessary. If your baby is used to swaddles, how do you transition smoothly to a swaddle-free slumber? Read on, and we will teach you how to get baby to sleep without swaddle.
It won’t be easy. Weaning a baby off his swaddle is challenging, so we will show you some tips and tricks you can do to get him accustomed to a swaddle-free lifestyle.
Tips And Tricks To Stop Swaddling For Your Baby
If your baby is comfortable being swaddled, why should you transition them out of it? Don’t be fooled by the comfort. Swaddling is temporary and can become dangerous as they start moving more.
Signs Your Baby Should Stop Swaddling
These are the signs that tell you your baby should transition out of a swaddle:
- A baby usually shows signs to stop swaddling at three to four months old.
- If your baby consistently breaks free from the swaddle, you should start to transition them slowly.
- If your baby starts turning over on their side or stomach, this becomes a huge risk factor. A baby should never sleep face down in a swaddle.
- If your baby starts getting annoyed over being swaddled, then it should be time to figure out how to get baby to sleep without swaddle. At this time, babies begin to wiggle or squirm out of their blankets.
- If you notice your baby’s startle reflex decrease, you should stop swaddling your baby.
NOTE: Do not swaddle your baby all day long. They still need to practice and strengthen their motor skills. Swaddling them at certain times also teaches babies to self soothe, which is a skill that comes handy when you start to transition them off the swaddle.
Swaddling may have a calming effect on newborns but it isn’t something you do forever. Transitioning babies out of a swaddle is like slowly easing them into the new world.
Tips To Help Your Baby Stop Swaddling
If you want to know how to get baby to sleep without swaddle, some techniques gradually allow you to do it.
Swaddle the baby with one dominant arm free
- Try this for two to three nights.
- If the startle reflex is still there, the closed arm will resist any disturbance caused by both arms’ jerking.
Try the transition during nap times first so you can observe them.
- If the baby still shows signs of a startle reflex, keep the swaddle on for a few more weeks.
- Check how often they wake up during sleep periods. If they wake up too often, don’t transition yet.
Use a wearable blanket.
- If your baby feels more comfortable sleeping in arms out swaddle, you can proceed to a wearable blanket.
- This type of blanket rests on your baby’s chest and allows this gentle pressure to provide a secure feeling as they slowly transition out of a swaddle.
- This type of blanket is a safer alternative to regular and loose blankets.
- This transition is an abrupt removal of the swaddle so parents can evaluate the baby’s response during this stage.
- Prepare for crying during intervals if you go cold turkey.
- This method is perfect for babies who prefer to self soothe.
Use a swaddle strap
- A swaddle strap is an arm only swaddle with both legs free.
- This method allows them a slight feeling of being wrapped so they can ease their way into a swaddle-free sleep.
Part of learning how to get baby to sleep without swaddle is being cautious about their needs. The key to this transition is not to rush anything.
Recommendations For Sleepwear After Swaddling
Now you’re at a point that you finally stop swaddling, and your baby seems to agree with it too. Here are suggested sleepwear for your baby after a swaddle:
Zip-up wearable blanket
- It is more comfortable to move around because of space.
- The zipper makes it easy to change diapers.
- It provides sufficient constraint for comfort.
Baby sleep sack with tags
- Sleepsacks offer unique “toys” that come with them in the form of tags.
- A blanket that offers tags will teach them to self soothe.
- Most models come with zippers for easy diaper changes.
How To Make Your Baby Comfortable Swaddle-free
It’s not enough to just learn how to get baby to sleep without swaddle. Being swaddle-free is like having a new lifestyle, and you can help your baby ease into this new world by providing some support.
- Choose a good post-swaddle attire.
- Create a soothing environment for your baby by playing ambient sounds or gentle white noise to aid in sleeping. Make sure that the lights and temperature are conducive for sleep.
- Create a sleep routine for your baby that will make them used to an idea of sleep. Your routine can look something like this.
- Prepare a warm bath during bath nights.
- Put on their diaper and sleepwear.
- A feeding session with low lights or no lights at all.
- Burping session.
- Read one short book (reading the same book every night is a sleep cue for sleeping).
- Turn on white noise or ambient noise.
- Say goodnight to some things in their room like stuffed animals.
- Verbally repeat words like time for sleep.
- Lay them gently on the crib after snuggling them.
- Leave the room.
Getting your baby to sleep can be challenging, and it can even be more challenging if you transition them off something they have been used to. Knowing how to get baby to sleep without swaddle will require work from both you and your baby. As your baby eases into a new lifestyle, you also have to prepare yourself with the changes that come with it. Get more tips on swaddles.