By Maggie Moore
Swaddling is one of the primary sleep tools I recommend to all parents of newborns. Babies should be swaddled for all sleep, whether bedtime or naptime. This technique helps babies feel secure by emulating the feeling of coziness they felt in the womb. Additionally, it helps with the startle reflex that is inherent to all babies and can cause them to startle themselves awake.
My inbox is flooded daily with messages from parents who are concerned about what will happen with their little one’s sleep once they outgrow, or start to fight, the swaddle?
Let’s discuss the gentlest, most effective way to transition baby out of the swaddle.
Is it time?
- Has your baby turned into a little Houdini? No matter how tight the swaddle is your baby keeps busting out? If this sounds like your little one, it is time to transition away from the swaddle.
- Baby turned into a rolling stone? If your little one has started to roll over, it is time to immediately transition them out of the swaddle. A baby who rolls in the swaddle with their hands and arms inside is a SIDS risk.
Set the expectation –
Similar to adults, babies can struggle with change; it is simply human nature. During the swaddle transition it is important to avoid making any changes to your child’s sleep environment, schedule or, how you are putting baby to bed (especially if they are going to sleep independently).
You should expect some disturbance in your little one’s sleep while they adjust to sleeping without the swaddle and in something new. Once they adjust, their sleep will return to normal.
Where to go after a swaddle?
Picking the right product is key, and you will find there is no shortage of products to help babies sleep better at night following the swaddle transition. There are a few KEY features to look for in a new product:
- Does it continue to help with the startle reflex?
- Can baby roll in the product?
- When will baby have to transition again?
The Zipadee-Zip was designed for swaddle transition and checks all the boxes above for a product that will help with the adjustment. Additionally, Zipadee-Zip continues to help with the startle reflex. Most babies don’t grow out of this until after three months and many will need to transition out of the swaddle before then. (The Zipadee-Zip is only for babies three-months or older.)
The design of Zipadee-Zip provides baby with free range of movement and is safe for stomach sleeping, leaving parents able to sleep more soundly knowing that their baby if safe if they roll to their stomach during the night.
Since transitioning from product to product can cause disturbance in a baby’s sleep, it is nice when a product can be used for more than just a few months. The Zipadee-Zip can be used up until three years of age! I always recommended staying in a Zipadee-Zip until your toddler is ready to transition to a big kid bed, as it will make it difficult for them to climb out of the crib.
When it comes to infant and toddler sleep, simplicity and structure breed healthy sleep habits. Limiting transitions will make your little one’s sleep environment consistent and eliminate the chance of regression!
Maggie Moore is the Founder and Head Sleeper at Moore Sleep. She is a certified pediatric sleep consultant through the Family Sleep Institute, which means her sole focus and objective is getting your baby on a healthy sleep schedule so the whole family can get the sleep they need.
Like many parents, Maggie and her husband struggled with getting their son on a healthy sleep schedule and he was unable to fall asleep independently. As a result, her family was losing precious sleep every night.
Maggie became a firm believer when, shortly after hiring a certified pediatric sleep consultant, her son began sleeping independently at bed and nap times. It was a turning point that resulted in not only restful nights, but waking up fully rested with the energy to face the day. Maggie knew right away she wanted to become a certified consultant herself so she could help other families struggling to get the sleep they need.
Maggie and her family reside in Southern Indiana (near Louisville, KY). She received her bachelors in Journalism and a second concentration in Communications & Culture from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. Follow Maggie on Facebookand Instagram.