Is your infant getting a little more active and you are not sure when to stop swaddling your baby? We know, you just mastered the baby burrito and now you suspect those days are coming to an end. What can we say, they grow fast.
Swaddling has been around for a very long time, and many infants have benefited from it, but there is an age swaddling is no longer a good idea.
Before you stop swaddling, there some stuff you should know. Like, what it is, first of all.
What Is Swaddling?
When you swaddle a baby, you are wrapping your baby in a material snuggly. Swaddling a baby makes them feel like they are still in the womb. If you swaddle a newborn the correct way, it can help calm them. It is not good to swaddle a baby that is ready to be active and wants to move, and you can upset the baby.
Hospitals swaddle your baby because they want to keep the baby warm. The hospital does not want your baby to get too cold. This is a great way to help your baby stay at the correct temperature until the baby really gets the hang of regulating their own temperature.
Another very important reason behind swaddling is to help prevent the child from SIDS.
What is the material mainly used to swaddle a baby?
Most swaddle material is made from some type of cotton. However, there are companies that make it from bamboo, polyester, spandex, and much more. Some companies make the material with velcro to close the baby in and others you just wrap and tuck in the loose piece.
The importance behind no longer swaddling
When your child gets a little bit more active, they can get out of the material you swaddle them in. This is a scary thing because the material could suffocate them.
For many parents, this is the main reason why it is very important to stop swaddling after the baby becomes active. The average age is around 2 months when the infant starts to move around everywhere.
These active babies could roll over, and if they are swaddled, they will not be able to turn back. Babies do not medically need to be swaddled. So, if your baby is happy and has no trouble calming down for them to be able to rest, then do not waste your time.
If you swaddle your baby for too long, you can cause the child to have developmental hip dysplasia. Swaddling after a certain age can also cause the child to miss developmental markers, such as rolling over, lifting head, or pushing up on arms. It, of course, is not a good idea to prolong your baby’s development.
When to Stop Swaddling Your Baby
Now, this question can be answered in many different ways. Some people think you should stop swaddling after the baby is 1-month-old. As others say, it is closer to the three-month mark. We say it does not go by the age of the child, and it goes by a few other things.
During the day
First, if your child is starting to wiggle a lot, this is the first sign the child no longer needs to be swaddled.
Another way to know is if your newborn is always getting their arm out and you have to keep rewrapping them.
These are the best signs for a parent to know their child is ready to start on their next stage of development, and you should not restrain your child from the next steps.
During the night
If you are wondering when to stop swaddling your baby and sleep isn’t an issue, now may be the time. If your child sleeps just fine without being swaddle, that is perfectly okay. You can just put your child in a sleeper outfit and call it a night.
The babies that are a little fussier or just can not fall asleep without being swaddled should not go past the four-month mark. As this is the age, children roll over more while sleeping.
You could always put them in a similar type outfit that is closer to swaddling, but it will allow them to move around during sleep time.
Remember it is not recommended by the CDC to have any loose items in the crib, even a blanket.
How You Should Stop Swaddling
I am a mother of five children, and I have found by abruptly stopping one day was easier for my children. Yes, it was a little harder at night for a few days, but they all adjusted quickly.
Not everyone has to take the cold turkey method like me. You can take baby steps and allow your child to adjust to sleeping a little different every day.
When you have decided when to stop swaddling your baby, you will need to figure out how. The best way to start the transition process is by leaving one arm out for a few times. Then you can then leave two arms out and then one leg at a time.
After this, the child should be adjusted entirely to sleeping free of swaddling. To do this, you take the same steps on how to swaddle, but you leave either one or two arms out, then the legs.
Check out the video below:
Another great way is using a sack sleeper after you decide when to stop swaddling your baby. The sack will still keep the infant’s legs together but not so tight as swaddling. Then once the child has adjusted to the sack, you can which it up with an infant gown or a regular sleeper.
Also, adding a mobile to the crib could help soothe your baby after you decide when to stop swaddling your baby. Some babies really love the motion and sound of mobiles while they are laying in their crib. If you buy one with slow, soothing music, it can help them fall asleep faster. Mobiles nowadays even have projector options!
Benefits of No Longer Swaddling
When you decide to take that step of no longer swaddling your baby, you are doing a great thing for the baby. You are also adding some benefits to yourself.
For example, one wonderful thing is you will no longer have to waste time rewrapping your bundle of joy every time they get loose.
Plus, with them being so free, they will become more active. So, now you will be chasing after them, trying to get to them before they get into anything. This may have a few ups and downs, depending on what they get into to.
Of course, that money you saved from no longer buying swaddle material you will probably spend buying toys. But it will be worth every penny to see the joy your baby expresses.
Babies grow up way too fast, and there is no way to slow them down. So, enjoy every moment and pictures are a must!
At want age are you planning on no longer swaddling your bundle of joy? Please let us know how it goes in the comment section below.