How to Tell Your Baby is Ready to Stop Swaddling

Many parents are faced with a tough decision: when do you stop swaddling your baby? We know how important sleep is to a baby’s development (and a family’s sanity), so we want to do everything we can to make sure our little ones get the best rest. In the beginning, that means swaddling properly. As they age, however, it becomes necessary to stop swaddling and use traditional blankets for sleeping. Here are some signs that your baby is ready to stop swaddling:

Your baby starts rolling from back to front.

If your baby has started moving around while swaddled, she is likely ready to transition. This is an important sign to look for. Your baby could begin rolling in the swaddle as much as a month after she starts rolling without it, because the pinned position makes movement difficult. If your baby can roll without the swaddle, it’s a good idea to use a transition swaddle so your baby gets the idea of moving around to find a comfortable position on their own. Most importantly, a rolling baby can roll on to her front, which is a suffocation risk. You want her arms free by this point so she can reposition herself if necessary.

Your baby is waking up multiple times each night.

If your baby is waking up often throughout the night, she may be ready to give up the swaddle. When you come into your child’s room to soothe them back to sleep (or maybe feed or change a diaper), watch your baby’s behaviors closely. If she seems to be trying to find a comfortable position, the swaddle may be too restricting for her now. Once this sign occurs you should switch to a transition swaddle so your baby can stay safe and secure, but gain some mobility. (Ideally you want to wait until at least six months until your baby outgrows the startle reflex.)

Your baby is escaping the swaddle.

This is the surest sign that she is done swaddling, but you have to be absolutely sure your baby is actually escaping, and not the swaddle just falling apart. If your baby is getting out of the swaddle during the first few months of life, brush up on your swaddling technique or use a specially designed swaddle. She doesn’t have the motor control to escape at this point, but her startle reflex could be strong enough to break free. If your baby is escaping around four to six months, she may be done with the swaddle. Switch to a wearable blanket to help transition out of the swaddle.


Written by Stephanie Parker from Sleepingbaby.com, inventors of the Zipadee-Zip

The motto for Sleeping Baby, makers of the Zipadee-Zip, is: "Inspiring Dreams One Night at A time," and that, in a nutshell, is how it all started…with one little dream that has since become the Parker family's reality. When Brett and Stephanie Parker's daughter, Charlotte, was born, the feeling that welled up inside of them was indescribable; they never realized until first looking into those baby blues of hers that they were even capable of that kind of love.

When it was time to transition baby from swaddling, the Parkers tried every sleep sack on the market and every swaddle weaning trick they could find for nearly two weeks and nothing worked to get baby Charlotte to fall and stay asleep.

Stephanie became determined to restore sleep and sanity to their household and set out to find a solution that would soothe Charlotte's startle reflex and provide her the cozy womb-like environment she loved so much but still give her the freedom to roll over and wiggle around in her crib safely. Out of sheer desperation and exhaustion, the Zipadee-Zip was born. The first Zipadee-Zip(R) Stephanie put together on her little sewing machine worked like magic!

To date tens of thousands of Zipadee-Zips have been sold and all from word-of-mouth marketing. It is so rewarding for the Parkers to see other parents and babies getting the sleep they both need and deserve!

For more information, visit sleepingbaby.com.

Interested in writing a guest blog for Sleeping Baby? Send your topic idea to pr@sleepingbaby.com.

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