Babies love the snug feeling of being wrapped in a swaddle. It can aid their sleep, and help them to settle. But they cannot be swaddled forever. After a certain age, or when certain milestones are achieved, there comes a time when you must stop swaddling. We explore when you should stop swaddling your baby and why.
The recommended age to stop swaddling is around 8 weeks old. Some will be ready to progress beyond a swaddle after only a month or two. The thing to watch for is the milestones. When they hit the following
milestones, it is time to transition away from swaddling.
It Just Doesn’t Settle Them
While most babies love the feeling of being cocooned in a swaddle, some don’t. Some hate the feeling of being restricted. If your baby will not settle well when swaddled, or if they get more agitated when they are swaddled, then it’s time to stop.
They Begin to Roll
It is dangerous for your baby to sleep on their tummy while wrapped. The risk of SIDS increases by up to 7 times if a baby sleeps wrapped on its tummy. So, when your baby starts to show signs of rolling, it is time to transition out of the swaddle. When they first learn the skill of rolling to their tummy, they often cannot roll themselves back again. This results in an increased risk of suffocation. Transition away from the swaddle to prevent that risk.
If Your Baby Consistently Breaks Free of the Swaddle
Breaking out of the swaddle is not necessarily a sign that your baby is ready to give up swaddling. However, it is a safety concern. If they are breaking free every night, then that means there are loose covers in their bed. This is a suffocation risk.
What Comes After Swaddling
If your baby is used to being wrapped at night, then it is best to gradually wean them off. Sleeping wrapped can become a habit, and habits take some time to break. That’s why we recommend transitioning from a swaddle to the Angel Sleep Sack. With the Angel Sleep Sack, they will have some protection against the startle reflex, yet have the ability to move about. You know that they will be snug all night long, and won’t have the danger of suffocation from loose blankets. Find out more about the Angel Sleep Sack here.
The next stage is to allow them the freedom of having their hands free. With their hands free, they can hold a blankie or snuggly toy, suck their fingers, or put a pacifier back into their own mouth. If your baby has reached this stage, then the Hands Free Sleep Sack is the perfect option. They still have the cosy feeling of a sleep sack, but their hands are free to help settle themselves.
We would love to hear how and when you stopped swaddling your little one. Leave us a comment below and let us know about your transition tips and experience.