Transitioning from a Swaddle

Are you having trouble with your little one transitioning out of a swaddle?

Here are some things to try;

Ensure your little one isn’t over tired

Firstly I would ensure your little one isn’t over tired this will only heighten any sensitivity to the feeling of having their arms out. It will also mean an increase in jerky, rigid movements and harder settles in general.

Begin from the evening

Begin from the evening for a few days then the naps. Make sure your little one is warm and start with one arm out for a few days then the second arm following that.

I recommend arms out of their swaddle or love to dream by 4.5 months. It is important to know that little ones arms may still be jerky when you first take them to arms out, they may flap around. This doesn’t mean they aren’t ready and you should re swaddle. This is generally just a matter of leaving them out so they can become more practiced and controlled in their movement – give them time to adjust. The flailing arms when you first remove them from being swaddled after 4 months isn’t generally due to the startle (moro) reflex as that generally settles by 3-4 months of age.

Allow baby time to adjust

Allow your baby time to adjust even if they are awake but happy don’t feel the need to rush in and put them off to sleep. Give your little one time.

Consider learned sleep associations may hinder progress

If you find sleep only gets worse, even after a week or so, I would consider the possibility there are other learned associations coming into play that are causing having on your little ones sleep. If this is the case a plan to teach your little one to self settle, paired with appropriate awake times and a good structure is key.

The Gentle Sleep Specialist xo

Tara Mitchell

As a qualified Infant and Toddler Sleep Consultant, paediatric nurse, and mother, I have supported thousands of parents and families to create healthy sleep habits with their little ones. My caring nature enables me to build lasting rapport with families and create the best plan based on each individual child. Sleep provides much needed help to the physical, emotional and mental well being of the child and parents.

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