how to wean from the swaddle

How To Wean From Swaddling

Swaddling becomes a comfort to both babies and their parents throughout the newborn stage. The time will eventually come to wean from swaddling though, and it’s often when you’re least prepared for it. Here is my guide to figuring out how to wean from swaddling and what you need to know when the time comes to do it!

What is swaddling?

Swaddling is the act of wrapping a baby up in a light, breathable fabric while they sleep to simulate their old home, the womb. It helps keep them calm and assists in settling them in to sleep sweetly and deeply through the night. It’s important to wrap only the body, not the neck or head. It’s also important to swaddle using the correct techniques to reduce the risks of it coming undone through the night which, in turn, may increase the risk of SIDS in babies.

When to wean from swaddling

If you’re worried about not knowing when to start weaning your baby from swaddling, you really shouldn’t stress. In fact, most babies will give you pretty clear clues that they’re ready to ditch the swaddle and you won’t have to actively wean them at all. If you find your baby consistently showing the following signs, it might be time to try removing their swaddle for bedtime:

  • Fighting against being swaddled more than usual
  • Swaddling them doesn’t have a calming effect like it used to
  • They end up wiggling out of their swaddle frequently through the night
  • They start rolling over during sleep time

Tips for giving up the swaddle

If you find your baby rolling over through the night, ditching the swaddle is a MUST as soon as possible. This is to help avoid baby becoming tangled up or stuck on their stomach with their arms swaddled. They need to be able to roll themselves back over again which is difficult with arms in a swaddle.

The best place to start weaning from swaddling is by just taking one arm out to test the waters and see how they go. From there, you can judge their reaction and remove the other arm to further the weaning process OR pop the arm back in if they’re not quite ready.

If your baby keeps escaping their swaddle but isn’t yet ready to sleep without it, try a sleep sack or sleep bag instead. They do much the same job but allow room for a little more movement through the night.

As always, if you find yourself having trouble getting your little one to sleep please reach out. I’m here to help!

Sleep sweetly and deeply my dears! x

Header Image 📸 @little_seeds_uk