If you have a newborn or you’re expecting a new baby, then this video about swaddling is for you! As a pediatric sleep consultant, I am here to help make getting sleep easy. I’m going to cover all the do’s and don’ts when it comes to your baby and swaddles.
If you don’t have a newborn, you might be wondering what is the deal with swaddling! Be sure to read the whole post because we are going to cover it all.
When you have a newborn, you’re going to want all the easy tools and strategies because you will be tired. This is the only age where you’re just going to be exhausted. As your baby gets older as a toddler or preschooler, you should have sleep strategies that enable them to sleep through the night, but with a newborn, you are going to have broken sleep.
In the first three months of your newborn’s life, they are craving that womb-like environment. They need the swaddle, and it is so helpful for them to avoid the startling reflex from disturbing their sleep. While completely natural, the Moro (or startle) reflex, can jolt them from sleep. Swaddling enables them to feel secure and is great for those first 12 weeks of life.
After 12 weeks of age, you should discontinue the use of the swaddle. Sometimes there are newborns that are early rollers around 6-7 weeks. If your newborn has begun rolling that early, please stop using the swaddle. It is no longer a safe option!
I teach the transition out of the swaddle in this video here! Between eight to 12 weeks of age, you’ll begin this transition process. If your baby was born early, they may not be ready at 8 weeks, but closer to 12. The 8 to 12 weeks is a window of opportunity, but when your child reaches 12 weeks, the swaddle needs to go! At this age, evict the swaddle because your child at this point will learn how to roll around, use their arms, and have access to their fingers to suck on or grab pacifiers. They need to have the opportunity to be in charge of their own body.
What if you think your baby hates being swaddled? Don’t give up!
Do try lots of different types of swaddles.
I can already see the dollar signs racking up here because baby products aren’t cheap! Explore Facebook marketplace, your friends, family, and anyone who recently has had a baby. Get their opinions on their favorite products!
You may be surprised how many people have swaddles they are looking to hand off or sell. Every baby is different so try out different options, but here at Little Z, we love the Summer Infant SwaddleMe.
The swaddle is simply a tool and a cue. When you start wrapping them up in the saddle, it tells your child that sleep time is coming! Feel free to use them at nap and nighttime.
Don’t buy into that myth or those Facebook comments where you see well-meaning grandmothers and the older generation saying, wow, I would never sleep in a straight jacket. Why would you put your baby in one of those swaddles?
I’ve seen these comments and it blows my mind! A newborn is very different and they crave that cocoon-like experience in the womb. You’re trying to use the five S’s for newborn sleep— and there’s a reason why this works! It’s mimicking the last 9 months in the womb. There is zero research out there that tells us that a swaddle is a bad idea.
Speaking of newborn sleep, I’d love to share with you our free newborn daytime routine guide! As you implement all of these do’s and don’ts, remember that your newborn is going to change and evolve. When it comes to newborn sleep, nothing is linear! Some days will be up and sometimes it will be down and that’s ok!
Don’t forget to grab our free newborn daytime routines guide and gain more confidence with your infant’s sleep every day!
Sweet dreams. See you next time.
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