When to Stop Swaddling Baby? – Things You Should Know
For hundreds of years, parents swaddle their babies to keep them relaxed and soothe. It is also the best way to keep them from crying. However, did you know that too much swaddling can lead to habitual sleep association? In this article, we’ll discuss when to stop swaddling baby and how we can carefully transition from not swaddling again.
You must know what is swaddling and how does it can affect both parents and babies altogether. Plus, I will give some much-needed details on the advantages and disadvantages of swaddling baby way too long. Most importantly, you will also know the things to consider when do you stop swaddling a baby.
What is Swaddling, and How Does It Benefit Babies?
Swaddling is a method to securely wrap your newborn onto a blanket with their head only popping out. This means that their entire body ranging from neck to bottom, is swaddled by the blanket; in turn, this makes the baby feel soothe and comfort.
Swaddling helps by mimicking the actual process they go through in the womb. Remember that they were in your womb for nine months, and if we're talking about babies, the memories live on as well. For some medical experts they don't highly recommend swaddling a baby. It makes them dependable on the method when they are fussy.
The time will come that you will keep your baby comfortable in their bed. It should be the utmost of your concerns. That's why you need to know when to stop swaddling baby because the idea of keeping their arms and legs comfortable under a cool blanket will give them and their parents a couple of hours daydreaming.
When to Stop Swaddling Baby?
You must be wondering about when do you stop swaddling a baby. Lucky for you, the answers aren’t hard to come by. The good news about this question is that it can be answered hastily. The truth of the matter is, you can stop swaddling your baby whenever you want or when it would be beneficial for both of you.
As I've mentioned earlier, swaddling a baby is just a method to keep infants from crying or fussy. Usually, swaddling stops around 3 to 6 months when babies are introduced to new beds and cribs. However, for the most part, it can still happen for 6 to 8 months; it all depends on the baby. But if you find it that this specific month of your baby is the appropriate time to stop swaddling, then go for it.
Eventually, most babies reject the idea of swaddling when they are too big to be swaddled already. This becomes the telling point that you should stop swaddling your babies when you are supposed to be trying to calm your baby through swaddling, and they suddenly get irritated when wrapped under a blanket, then you must stop.
If it happens again, then you stop the whole swaddling process. It is because six months or older babies tend to feel comfortable in their crib or bed. Plus, swaddling may constrict their movements, keeping them fussier for most of the time.
General Guidelines on When to Stop Swaddling Baby
As parents, you must be aware even about the simplest things with regards to your baby. One thing you should know is about when to stop swaddling, baby. Here are some of the few guidelines and telltale signs on when to stop swaddling baby.
- The average age to stop swaddling your baby is around 3 to 4 months old. By this time, you should’ve incorporated cribs and beds to their daily routine.
- Newborns have this startle reflex called Moto-reflex. Most babies tend to overcome this one during the 4th or 5th month. So, initially, it may not be the appropriate time to stop swaddling. If the moto-reflex is still strong, she may have the potential to startle herself during nap time or wake them.
- If your baby is breaking from the swaddle, this does not necessarily mean that you should stop swaddling. But if they are continuously breaking free from your swaddle, try a new bigger swaddle blanket, and if it persists, it may be the appropriate time to stop swaddling.
- One of the biggest NO-NO when it comes to swaddling your baby has them sleep face down. It would be a disaster seeing your baby lie in this position. If your baby is starting to roll here and there while swaddled, it would be the perfect time to stop swaddling. It is highly dangerous if you continue during this stage.
- Ensure that your baby isn't swaddled for long periods during the day. While swaddling for infants is a good choice, keeping their body free should help them move freely whenever they want to develop their bones and motor skills. Plus, if your baby is awake and asleep whenever swaddled, it might be the time to transition from swaddling to stopping it entirely.
- If you are to introduce your baby to sleep training, it would be nice to stop swaddling them before the training starts gradually. Part of the sleep training process is to keep them comfortable, self-soothe on their own. And to learn self-soothe, they should be unswaddled.
I stopped swaddling my boys around their 5th month because their moto-reflex is quite gone already, and we've introduced them to their cribs and beds that are much more comfortable and soothing to their delicate skin. Plus, I can easily watch them in their peaceful sleep.
The importance of when to stop swaddling baby lies on you as a parent. You may or may not even need to introduce swaddling them during their infancy stage. However, swaddling has been a method for keeping crying or fussy babies relaxed and calm. However, keep in mind the signs when to stop swaddling baby. No parents want to rely heavily on swaddling their babies. Incorporate new routines during the early parts of their lives to have a smoother transition.
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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.
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By: Alicia Davis
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