3 Signs Your Baby Should Stop Swaddling

We were faced with a common parenting dilemma: our new baby Charlotte loved to be swaddled and slept like a baby up until it was time for the swaddle to come off. Our little bundle of joy had become so accustomed to sleeping in her swaddle, without it she did not sleep AT ALL! We were exhausted, frustrated and sleepless for two weeks trying every sleep tip and post-swaddle sleep sac we could find -- but nothing worked. Especially because baby Charlotte had a startle reflex so anything we tried that was arms-free did not help. Tired and determined to help our little girl sleep, I pulled out my sewing machine and invented the first Zipadee-Zip, and it worked! Charlotte slept 12 hours that first night and for two long naps each day after. Now, we are dedicated to helping other parents know when it's time to stop swaddling and how to make the transition easy for baby and parents.

Here are three signs that your baby should make the transition out of a swaddle:

Sign #1: Suddenly baby wakes up multiple times during the night

One sign that it's time to transition from swaddling is when your baby who has slept well while swaddled, all of a sudden wakes up multiple times a night acting as if they are uncomfortable trying to find a more comfortable position to sleep in. If you are able to wait until this sign occurs, the transition from swaddling to the Zipadee-Zip is pretty immediate. This will usually happen between 4-6 months of age. A baby won't outgrow the 'Moro' or startle reflex until around 6 months old so the closer you can make the transition to that benchmark, the more seamless the transition will be.

Sign #2: Baby starts rolling from back to front

If your baby has started rolling while swaddled, he/she is likely ready to transition. For safety reasons this is an important sign to watch for. It is recommended by medical professionals to stop swaddling as soon as baby begins to roll.  A baby will start rolling in the swaddle sometimes as much as a month after they start rolling without the swaddle. A baby that is swaddled in the arms pinned to the side position takes longer to master the roll. If your little one can roll on their own without the swaddle, but still cannot roll while being swaddled, it's a good idea to use the Zipadee-Zip for naps first before night time sleep. This way, your little one can more gradually get used to the idea of rolling and get comfortable with the idea of sleeping on their belly or side and with more freedom. After your little one is able to take great naps (as long or longer than those your little one took while swaddled) you are ready to go full time with the Zipadee-Zip.

Sign #3: Baby is regularly escaping the swaddle

Do you have a little Houdini? This sign is a bit of a double edged sword. Some parents think their little ones are ready to transition because they are escaping the swaddle when in reality it's simply a matter of the swaddle not doing a good job of staying on the baby. If a baby is escaping at 2 months and at the beginning and into the 3rd month, it is often the fault of the swaddle. At the age of 2 and 3 months, a baby's startle is often still too strong to give up the helpful, startle-soothing restriction of a tight swaddle. Although many babies have had great success with the Zipadee-Zip at 2 and 3 months, the best transition time is right around the 4-6 month mark. Swaddles like the miracle blanket or the Woombie are great swaddles that will take you past that 3 month mark and won't easily fall off. This will allow for you to make a more seamless transition to the Zipadee-Zip.

Written By Stephanie Parker, Inventor of 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! Visit www.sleepingbaby.com.

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

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Sleeping Baby makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

  • Sleeping Baby says...

    Great Question, TCK. There is a slight resistance built into the wing-span of the Zippy that helps a baby self-soothe like they would in the swaddle and sleep better than they would in a traditional sleep sack or PJs. It is this resistance that helps prevent the startle from waking the little one up. I hope that helps! If you have any more questions, please send me an e-mail at support@sleepingbaby.com. Thank you! :)

    On April 13, 2016

  • TCK says...

    I don’t understand. if the point is to stop bay from hitting herself and waking up then how does this solve the problem when it looks like their arms are free? and able to move around. please explain.

    On March 25, 2016

  • Angie Byars says...

    Hi. I have a almost 3 1/2 month old. Went from great sleeper at night to pretty bad in the last 2 wks. She’s been finding her fingers to suck on during naps which helps her fall back asleep but for some reason not at night. I can’t decide if I should swaddle tightly or leave fingers out for sell soothing? Neither is working great. If I order your product there will be no access to fingers. What do you suggest? Break the finger sucking habit now? Thanks so much. I just want more sleep again.

    On December 12, 2015

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