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Q&A: When to stop swaddling?

How long should I swaddle my child? My daughter is almost five months and still seems to enjoy it.

Re: How long should I swaddle my child? My daughter is almost five months and still seems to enjoy it.

The Bump Expert

We recommend that parents stop swaddling their babies by three or four months of age. At this time, most full term infants are acclimated to life outside of the womb and no longer crave the constriction of a swaddle.

It is actually extremely important to give babies over four months old the freedom to move at night. When we stop swaddling our children we were astonished to see how much they traveled around their crib during the night. They scooched and flopped from one end to the other, several times a night! Babies may look peaceful when they sleep, but don't be fooled. They are actually doing important exercise while they slumber. All that nighttime movement helps them enhance their gross motor development, which is crucial for upcoming milestones like crawling, standing and walking. A swaddled baby doesn't have a chance to refine these skills at night.

watch: more swaddling advice

sleep experts conner herman and kira ryan Conner Herman and Kira Ryan, cofounders of Dream Team Baby

Stop swaddling? Are we loosing our common sense here?

My first two and my youngest little guy were always swaddled at the beginning but when they were ready they told me so. I don't think you should determine how long you swaddle by the age, rather you should focus on when they are ready. Both of my children swaddled until they started pushing their way out of it. Usually the arms came out first and then I just started loosening up on the swaddle. They slept well when fully swaddled and then slept well when they didn't want the swaddle, (if you need a date, around 5 months). I sort went with their cues not their age. To suggest that if you swaddle too long that you are hampering the progress of your child's "gross motor development" is really stretching it. Again, if you watch your child's cues and the child starts getting out of the swaddle then he is using the motor skills the way he naturally should.

citronella |

re: Q: Stop swaddling?

We just recently starting "weaning" our son from the swaddle. He is 18 weeks old today. We figured he was ready when every night he started breaking out of the swaddle and waking himself up to get out of it. But, when we went completely without it, he couldn't fall asleep either. So we started by leaving one arm out of the swaddle. We did that for about a week and then moved to both arms. We now just swaddle him from the waist down. He sleeps well this way. I like this because I don't worry about him kicking off the blanket and getting cold or pulling the blanket up over his face and restricting his breathing. We use the kiddopotamus swaddle blankets that velcro and we love them. We are going to swaddle from the waist down for a little while longer and then move him to using a halo sleepsack. I agree, go by your LO's cues not just by their age. Every baby is different.

BBHolmes |

re: Q: Stop swaddling?

I stopped swaddling my daughter at about one month. She just liked to have her arms free to put behind her head. She sleeps just like her daddy. So, I have been swaddling her from the waste down ever since and she sleeps just fine. I agree. You need to take the cue from your baby. They'll let you know when they are done being swaddled.

chelsiebells |

Q&A: When to stop swaddling?

My daughter is four months old and still loves to be swaddled at night. She often becomes restless rubs her eyes and waves her arms causing her to wake up more if she isn't swaddled at night. During the day she will often nap without being swaddled but tere is something about that nighttime routine that she is unwilling to part with at this time and I see no problem with allowing that to continue until she is ready. As for suffocation she is strong enough to roll over and back, raise and turn her head at will it would take quite a few blankets to suffocate her.

krealander |

Q&A: When to stop swaddling?

My preemie is still in the NICU, but I am hearing reports and seeing with my own eyes the way this tiny child wiggles and flops all over her incubator. The nurses swaddle her, but she usually seems to work her way out of it. She's only 9 days old! Is she doing this because she is uncomfortable in her swaddle, or is it something else?

BrideofJackSparrow |

Q&A: When to stop swaddling?

My son spent a few days in the NICU, too, and I found that with all of the monitoring leads and wires coming off of him, it was difficult to get him swaddled snugly, and he'd work his arms out of it. Once he was home and all of those things were off, we could swaddle him easily in the Kiddopotamus velcro blanket and he was very content. If you have any concerns, just talk with your NICU nurses -- they are so knowledgeable and reassuring!

JulesNY |

Q&A: When to stop swaddling?

I'm having my first in mid March and live in NJ where it can still be cold. I was told the miracle blanket and halo swaddlers are fantastic. Should I get a cotten or fleece swaddle blanket? I'm not sure if the baby will be too hot or too cold :/

mikalala |

Q&A: When to stop swaddling?

Milkalala I just had my first baby in october, he is 11 weeks now and I live in RI and use the micro fleece swaddleme blanket by summer and i love it. its light enough that i dont worry about over heating and I dress him and his no pjs. Also I used the halo one when he was a newborn and didn;t like it because the zipper was annoying at night and it was difficult to change him unlike with the one i use now and it has a hole so you can have them swaddled in a swing or bounce seat

cdoull24 |

Q&A: When to stop swaddling?

i still swaddle my girl. she turned 5months recently and i still find it the best way to get her to sleep. especially if she's being cranky and not wanting to fall asleep. she DOES wiggle her arms out almost every night and has her arms behind her head even during naps, but to GET her to sleep, i still find it quick, simple, and she still seems to enjoy it also. like i said, she breaks out eventually, but once she's already fallen asleep i dont mind

becki18 |

Q&A: When to stop swaddling?

My little girl is 5 months old and i still swaddle her. She will not take a nap during the day unless she is swaddled. Every night I put her down without being swaddle just to see how she will do, if she starts crying I will let her cry it out but if it is more than 10 or 15 minutes I will swaddle her. Most nights she will go to sleep for about an hour or two but then she will wake her self up and I will have to swaddle her to get her to go back to sleep because she sleeps in her cradle in the room with us and I can't just let her cry because she will wake her daddy up. But then last night she slept all night without being swaddled. I have a friend that said she swaddled her little girl for 9 months and she didn't have a problem with development.

staciepayne |

Q&A: When to stop swaddling?

My son just turned 7 months old & still insists on being swaddled naps & nighttime! Ive tried many times to put him down & even rock him to sleep without it on & he just throws his arms everywhere & cries. As soon as he is swaddled, he closes his eyes & goes to sleep. As far as Im concerned, this makes him happy & he sleeps well with it so Im gonna keep doing it! He may break out in the middle of the night & thats fine, but if he wakes himself up then I re-swaddle him.

bmgray01 |

Q&A: When to stop swaddling?

I think my son was around this age when he really started resisting being swaddled. I say take your cues from your child, they'll let you know when they are ready. Prior to this, he would not sleep without it. Halo sleep sacks are a miracle. They have a velcro-on swaddle feature that can be removed when your child is ready and you still have a safe sleep-sack! Best shower gift we received!

ibbecca84 |

Q&A: When to stop swaddling?

My daughter is just a little over 3 months and has been turning over now for about two weeks. She seems to love to be on tummy now for play and naps. I am scared to death to let her sleep at night without the sleep sack though cause I know she will flip over. Last night however I woke up twice to the arms out and she was turned. I will take this as a "cue" but can someone help me to feel better about not being so freaked out to let her sleep on tummy? Everything out there now about SIDS just is so scary. She is my first and we do have sheets only on the crib. No toys, blankets or bumpers etc.

mj1115 |

Q&A: When to stop swaddling?

Our baby girl is just on 10 months old and we have only stopped swaddling now. She on her own let us know she did not want to be swaddled by pushing her arms out. So do it for as long as baby tells you differently.

Nicola Gartland |

Q&A: When to stop swaddling?

How do do you know if baby is to hot when being swaddled? what kind of swaddle should be used in the summer?

cpontio |

Q&A: When to stop swaddling?

I, personally, only swaddle during the day and that's only if I feel she needs help calming down in addition to soothing from me. I don't feel it helps for sleeping because you will find they come expect it beyond an age where they should be able to sleep on their own.

rampulmb |

Q&A: When to stop swaddling?

Is there such a thing as too much swaddling? Do you swaddle your baby all day (except during activity/tummy time)?

ErinEF |

Q&A: When to stop swaddling?

I agree that you should stop swaddling once your child feels like it so. There are numerous benefits to swaddling, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Babies who are swaddled have fewer spontaneously awakenings and go back to sleep more quickly, and may even prevent sudden infant death syndrome. Jenny - CPAP

J3nnYCP4p |

Q&A: When to stop swaddling?

I stopped swaddling my baby at 9 mos. She loved it. I was worried that we waited too long, but she transitioned well and continued to sleep 11-12 hrs a night without it. I also don't think it affected her gross motor development at all. She is now 17 mos and has developed just fine. So I really think it depends on the baby. Once the are a few months old, they will let you know if they don't like it and if they are too hot.

NYSoutherner |

Q&A: When to stop swaddling?

I have just stopped fully swaddling my son at 4 months. I had one arm out for around a month and thought he would then do fine with both arms out and placing him in a sleep sack. Unfortunately, he has been waking every 2 hours the past two nights that we have tried this. Before, he would sleep 5 hours, feed and then sleep another 3. I will take any thoughts or recommendations....or even hope that it gets better after a few nights

mhann |

Q&A: When to stop swaddling?

I stopped swaddling at 11 weeks. One week later, my daughter rolled over for the first time. Now she spends most of the night rolling around in her crib, and I have noticed that "tummy time" is much more productive; she is trying her little butt off to crawl!

BGo |

Q&A: When to stop swaddling?

My son is 18 weeks old and we are still swaddling him as well. He has eczama and tends to scratch his head when he gets tired so the swaddling helps. But he is at times breaking one had out at night. It doesn't always wake him up but sometimes it does. But it does seem like he sleeps better during naps with the being swaddled. He doesn't usually get out of it during naps and tends to sleep longer in it. HE started to wake up again in the middle of the night (he's slept usually 830-6am for the past 3 months) and it seems like the swaddle helps to calm him down some even though he tends to wiggle out of it sometimes.

MandyJo18 |

Q&A: When to stop swaddling?

I don't think there is aright answer for all babies - it really depends. I would say to stop swaddling when your baby tells you they are ready. They will tell you when the start to escape from the swaddle or can roll-over in the swaddle - then its time to wean out of the swaddle. Some babies still need to be swaddled, but it becomes dangerous. We used the magic sleepsuit to wean and because it provides a swaddle like effect for baby. Again, let your baby let you know when to stop

william24 |

Q&A: When to stop swaddling?

With the responses I have read, I agree with the moms out there instead of the expert on this one. Listen and look for cues from your baby. My little boy is only 11 days old and already has told us that a tight swaddle is not for him. During the day, we just drape a light receiving blanket across his lap and during the night, he sleeps better when loosely swaddled. We live in Central Florida so of course it's hot (thank goodness for central a/c!) so he is usually in a short sleeve onesie and is swaddled in a cotton receiving blanket. I wonder, though, if I put him in a long sleeve onesie if he would like it and not need the swaddle blanket at all.

Rubychic713 |

Q&A: When to stop swaddling?

usually it is best to stop swaddling when your baby can roll over due to safety issues. This is right around 4 months give or take. Once we stopped swaddling our LO we used a sleep sack to transition called the zipadee zip. I have lots of friends that use it too. It super amazing & our girl sleeps perfect in it!

katychessher |

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