Friday, September 2, 2011

Reader Swaddling Questions

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Zasha said... Hi there,It's me Zasha again (with a 4 week old son)Thanks for giving me this link. It is a relief to know that there are other babies who cry for 2 hours when put down for a nap and not just mine!What's your take on swaddling for naps ad night sleep? Do you think it would help my baby to self-settle better? I notice that his arms/hands are constantly moving when he's crying it out! His eyes are shut while he's crying but he seems to be disturbed by his own (arms/hands) muscle movements. What do you think? I could be wrong.Thank you again!
May 27, 2008 3:15 AM 
Plowmanators said... Hi Zasha,I swaddled my daughter, and most people do swaddle for at least a short time. I think if your baby will tolerate swaddling, do it. You are right that the "startle" reflex wakes them up. The swaddle helps prevent that. See these posts for more about swaddling: Swaddling: Swaddling: When to Stop? :
May 27, 2008 10:54 PM

Lauren said...

My son has always slept swaddled, and I know it helped him sleep better. He is 5 1/2 months now, and his sleep is frequently disrupted when he comes out of the swaddle, both and night and during naps. I think we're ready to wean. I've experimented with leaving one arm out, then the other, and even both arms. I don't know if any makes the difference. I think it's just going to take some CIO. I know it is also interfering with night sleep, so do you think I should still only do naps first, or just drop it altogether? When CIO, he can and often does cry through the entire nap. We're on the 4 hour shedule, so that is a long time. Also, it seems like if he ever does eventually tire enough to fall asleep after crying, it ends up being very close to time for the next feeding and then I absolutely hate waking him when he's only rested for such a short time. I have been known to go 4 1/2 to 5 hours when this has happened just to allow him to get that sleep he so desperately needs. Is this what you would do, or go ahead and wake him, even if he's only just fallen asleep?

Plowmanators said...

I might drop night first since he would be more tired anyway. Either way is acceptable; you will just have to decide what you think is best for him.

With the 4 hour schedule, I think I would let him nap one transisition that wake him. That means you would wake him after sleeping about 45 minutes. It is just too hard to make up that time to fit all of your feedings in when you are on a four hour schedule. Be sure to check out the blog label CIO for help through the process.

CE said...

When we tried to drop the swaddle at night, our daughter woke up every hour for 5 hrs. So, I decided to try the nap first. However, her startle reflex ALWAYS wakes her up and then prevents her, I think, from getting back to sleep. I have been trying 1 arm out, both arms out (with trunk still swaddled), but she still startles herself. I haven't been fully swaddling her at naptime, because she is working on self-soothing and sucks her fingers to fall asleep.

Are there any other ideas to help diminish the startle (waking her up) without the swaddle (1 arm or otherwise)?

Plowmanators said...

None that I know of. That is what the swaddle is for, so she might still need it right now.

Lana said...

I am curious as to what you use when you no longer swaddle. Do you use a sleep bag or something else? Also, I just started using the Kippopatamus Swaddle Me as you suggested and was wondering if you find it's better to take them out at night to feed them (I breastfeed) or leave them swaddled? Also at what age did you move your kids up to the large size of the Swaddle Me. Thanks so much and God bless!

Plowmanators said...


When I stopped swaddling Kaitlyn, I still wrapped the blanket around her torso. It really was for my peace of mind more than anything. Eventually, I went to those sleep bags that have long sleeves and zip up made by Carters for nighttime and nothing special for naps.

When I stop swaddling McKenna, I plan to go straight to the bags and will likely use them for naps because she absolutel does not like to feel a chill on her skin. She is like me :)

Linda said...

I have a Miracle Blanket that I swaddle our 10-week old daughter in at night which keeps her fro being startled. Is it ok to keep her in that for 10 hours straight from 8PM to 8AM? I do not unswaddle her for feedings. Also, her naps are all over the place. Should I swaddle her for naps? Thank you very much!

Plowmanators said...

Linda, I can't speak specifically for the miracle blanket since I don't have one. I have heard they have warnings on how long to swaddle with it. I swaddle my babies all night long, but I use something different, so I am not sure if that matters or not.

I would swaddle for naps for sure. That might improve things.

babylove said...

My little girl is 6 weeks old today. She has been working her arms out of the swaddle for a week now (we started BW/Baby Wise at week 5). Naps are especially wiggly, she breaks her arms and legs free. I am concerned because she pulls the blanket over her face as she is getting her arms out. I usually sneak in and pull it down. She is able to fall asleep on her own, but not every time. She does much better at night. Once she does get her arms out she keeps herself awake with her arms. She will doze off and then flail. She also usually fights 1-2 naps each day. By fight, I mean she will either sit quiet in her crib awake or playing the doze/wake game; or she will sleep for a very short time and wake up fussy. Both scenarios start with wiggling her arms/legs out of the swaddle. Any thoughts?

Plowmanators said...

I would try a swaddle blanket. The miracle blanket I have heard good things about. I used the SwaddleMe blanket and really liked it. It is quite inexpensive, also. The swaddle blankets are a lot harder for the baby to get out of than normal blankets.


Rachel said...

I know all these questions are past, but I would love to add my "two cents" about weaning the swaddle. When our daughter finally started rolling and coming out of the swaddle we switched to using sleep sacks. It seemed like the perfect solution! She still felt comfy and cozy and we were able to use a sleep sack until she was more than a year old. Then as it got warmer (and she got older) she didn't have as hard of a time transitioning away from the sleep sack.

Ikaika and Laura said...

Just some tips I learned about swaddling from my friend who is an infant sleep specialist. It takes a baby 3-5 days to get used to their bodies and learn to control their involuntary movements. I found with each of my 4 kids she was right! All of them stopped flailing around by the 4th day no swaddling day or night.
Another tip, she also (and this may be more "adjusted" BW but it worked for us by the 3rd or 4th day) says 45 min max for crying per nap/sleep period, 20 if they fall asleep and wake back up again. Her premise is the same eat/wake/sleep its just the timed crying that is a little different. She even has incorporated independent playtime into the sleep training which I love!
I recently trained my daughter at 8 weeks (late b/c we were too busy to start earlier) with no swaddle and the 45/20 min of crying and she was not crying for night sleep by the second day and for naps the 3rd. By 9 weeks she was sleeping 12-13 hrs and shes been doing it ever since, she is 17 weeks now.
I am not saying the first few days are easy, they are not! It is hard and the babies sleep very little but after a few days it's over and they are excellent sleepers. Not everything works for everyone but this plan worked well for us and I thought I'd share an "alternative" to the swaddle if others like me don't really like swaddling. :o)

Kris Weaver said...

Ikaika and Laura- How do you incorporate the independent playtime into sleep training?

Also what do you do with the rest of the feed/wake/sleep cycle after 45/20 until next cycle start time?



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