Swaddling can be a parent's favourite tool to help calm their baby into a restful night's sleep. But unfortunately, swaddling comes with an expiration date. Most parents wonder the best way to identify when baby should discontinue swaddling, and we're here to help!
First and foremost, it is important to note that every baby is different. Not all babies will be ready to transition at the same time. It's important to watch your baby for key developmental milestones to know that it's the right time to start the transition.
The general rule of thumb is that your baby should start the transition process when she shows signs of rolling over from back to front, when she shows signs of breaking free from the swaddle, or when the swaddle becomes disruptive to sleep.
If your baby is able to roll on her tummy, it's important that swaddling is discontinued. Your little one must be able to protect her/his airway should she roll on to her tummy by using her arms to push her upper body up. If she's showing resistance to the swaddle, try swaddling baby's arms in one of the many positions the HALO® SleepSack® Swaddle allows. The SleepSack® swaddle was designed with a flexible 3-way swaddle to help make baby's transition to the HALO® SleepSack® Sleeping Bag a gradual process.
Step-down Approach to Gradually Transition from the HALO® SleepSack® Swaddle to SleepSack® Baby Sleeping Bag
You may choose to follow the steps below in sequential order or jump around depending upon your baby's sleep habits and preferences.
One Arm Out
If baby is showing resistance to the swaddle wrap with both arms in, try swaddling only one arm by positioning your baby’s dominant arm out of the swaddle. In this position, your little one will get a gradual introduction to the feeling of being able to move her arm freely. Put baby to sleep wrapped one arm out for a few nights, so that they become comfortable and accustomed to it.
Both Arms Out
After your baby has mastered this transition, wrap your baby with both arms out of the swaddle. In this position she has the freedom to move her limbs, while at the same time feeling the snug and familiar comfort of the swaddle wrap around her torso.
SleepSack® Sleeping Bag
When this transition period is over, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies are dressed in sleeping bags, such as the SleepSack® Sleeping Bag, for safe sleep through her first year.
Start early and take it slow.
Start paying attention to your baby's developmental cues. If you notice changes in how they're sleeping or if they start to show signs of rolling over, it's time to start the transition process. Take your time through this process, allowing your little one to graduate to each phase. Rushing can produce anxiety for both you and your little one. If an entire night with one arm or both arms out of the swaddle is too intimidating, try graduating to the next stage during baby's naps throughout the day.
With this strategy and your trusty friend, the HALO® SleepSack® swaddle, the transition won't be one to fear. Tackle it with grace and confidence. You got this!