Learn Why Swaddling Needs to Stop Eventually
The reason that swaddle transition products are so important is that swaddling must end for all babies once they get to 2 months of age. After this point, a number of safety risks start to emerge for babies that continue to be swaddled.
After 2 months, a number of safety risks start to emerge for babies that continue to be swaddled.
Healthy Hip Development and Hip Dysplasia
Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) or hip dysplasia is a condition where the "ball and socket" joint of the hip does not properly form in babies and young children, according to the NHS. This can cause serious problems for both children and adults, leading to the following:
- Problems moving around, for example, a limp
- Discomfort and pain
One of the causes of this condition is improper swaddling or swaddling a baby for too long. In order to allow for healthy hip development, legs should be able to bend up and out at the hips. This will allow for the natural development of the hip joints.
The best swaddle transition products are built with this consideration in mind — giving babies a good amount of flexibility where they need it so muscles and bones can mature naturally.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Each year, there are about 3,400 sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID) in the United States, according to the CDC. Similar figures exist in other parts of the world, making this a global issue.
Research shows parents and caregivers can help reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths by following a number of safety practices, including:
- Stop swaddling your baby once they reach 2 months of age
- Keep soft bedding such as blankets, pillows, bumper pads, and soft toys out of your baby’s sleep area
- Keep your baby’s sleep area (e.g. crib or bassinet) in the same room where you sleep until your baby is at least 6 months old
- Place your baby on his or her back for all sleep sessions
- When your baby starts rolling over onto their tummy, which could cause them to get stuck on their fonts with their mouths obstructed
- When your baby kicks off their swaddle sheets regularly, suggesting that they’re n longer comfortable being wrapped up so tight
Promote Healthy Sleeping Habits
Swaddle transition products like baby sleepsuits or sleeping bags are an easy way to keep babies warm, cool, comfortable, and protected while contributing to healthy sleeping habits. For instance, the right garment can relax your baby and induce sleep much better than an item that is not suitable for your child.
Many parents also find the routine of putting on a swaddle transition product at the same time each night helps to signal to their child that it’s time to start winding down for bed.
Learn more about creating optimal nighttime routines in our post: How to Help My Baby Sleep — The Perfect Evening Routine
Making the Transition from the Swaddle
Given the importance of ending the swaddle at some point, it’s quite clear that there needs to be a swaddle alternative. As babies of 2 months are generally not comfortable without any form of specialized sleeping garment and are too young for pajamas that come in separate tops and bottoms, choosing the best transition swaddle product becomes the most logical route for parents.
Another point to keep in mind is that just because your baby is too old to be swaddled, it doesn’t mean they have grown out of their Moro Reflex, which can continue to affect your child up to 6 months and over.
If you didn’t know already, babies are much more sensitive to slight changes in their environment, which can evoke a natural reflex in their bodies, often referred to as the Moro reflex.
It can help to remove things that are too disruptive or stimulating from their environment, such as telephones, electronics, or even other children, but it can also help that they are dressed in the best swaddle transition product.
This helps you create a womb-like environment for your little one by restricting your baby’s movements — reducing startling and often stopping the Moro reflex completely because your baby feels safe and can’t extend their arms out as they would usually do during the reflex.
Types of Transitional Swaddles
There are many types of baby clothing garments out there that can help with the transition period. These transitional swaddles can be called baby sleep sacks, sleepsuits or all-in-ones, depending on the brand. Some will offer a footed design (where the hands and feet are covered) while others will have cuffs that let your baby's fingers and toes pop out.
Transitional swaddles can be called baby sleep sacks, sleepsuits or all-in-ones, depending on the brand.
Our own version of the transitional swaddle is the Zipadee-Zip. It is designed to offer similar restrictive comfort to the swaddle, yet provides more freedom of movement. And unlike many other products on the market, it can be used for babies up to 24 months, providing parents with a reliable and proven sleeping product that will tick all the important criteria for choosing a swaddle transition product.
When Does Swaddling Need to Stop?
Most health organizations around the world have updated their advice for parents in regards to swaddling and when they should stop, now suggesting that parents should end this practice after 2 months.
In the past, parents may have swaddled their children up to the age of 3 or 4 months, however, during this time the various risks associated with swaddling start to rapidly increase, so an earlier transition is advised.
A few signs that you should be looking for the best transitional swaddle to take over also include:
Factors to Consider When Buying a Transitional Swaddle
Choosing clothes for your baby, especially if it's the first time, can be daunting. And unfortunately, there isn’t one single brand or type of transitional swaddle that is best. To help you during this process, below are some essential criteria you can check your products against.
You must choose a transition swaddle that is neither too tight nor loose. Both can be dangerous for your baby, so look for products that offer a healthy amount of room between your baby’s body and the fabric of the swaddle transition product.
Cottons and cotton blends are generally good all-rounders, but in colder weather, you may need something warmer, such as fleece. Just be careful that any fabric you choose is breathable and doesn’t cause overheating.
The best transitional swaddles also function without friction or stress, as well as offer great aesthetic appeal. Never choose a product just because it looks adorable.
Our transition swaddles at Sleeping Baby are designed for babies from 0-24 months, however, other brands have a shorter window where their product will be suitable. Make sure you always check this.
Final Tips On Choosing the Best Transitional Swaddle for Your Baby
Our final piece of advice would be to never make a decision about any baby clothing item you go for without reading a good number of reviews or receiving a recommendation from a friend or family member.
A product's design might look amazing when you view its images or videos online, but it’s the real-life experience of parents that should help guide your decision more than anything.