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How Long To Swaddle A Baby?

Are you thinking about how long to swaddle a baby or do you want to know how to swaddle your baby? If so, you have come to the right place. Swaddling is very beneficial and encouraged by me and many others. If you are looking for better sleep, swaddling could be your answer. Unfortunately, your baby cannot be swaddled forever. There is a point in time when it isn’t safe for babies to be swaddled. If you are interested in finding out how long to swaddle a baby and much more on swaddling, keep reading.
 
In this post, the following questions will be answered. 
  • What is swaddling?
  • Why should I swaddle a baby?
  • When to swaddle a baby?
  • How to swaddle a baby?
  • How to stop swaddling a baby?
  • Best Swaddles and Sleepsack
**Disclaimer: This post should not be taken as medical advice. It is for informational purposes only. Also, this may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if your purchase something at no additional cost to you. 
 
how long to swaddle a baby
 

What is swaddling?

Swaddling a baby is pretty much just wrapping a baby in a breathable blanket tightly but not too tight, and keeping the babies head out. There are so many ways to swaddle a baby, and now there are so many products and videos that can help you acheive the best swaddlign method. This is done usually to remind the baby of the womb and calm them down. There are also many other benefits which we will get to soon. I highly recommend swaddling your baby and many parents out there do it.

Why should I swaddle a baby?

All parents are encouraged to swaddle their babies for several reasons. It is your decision in the end whether you want to swaddle your baby or not, but I highly encourage you to. Here are the reasons you should swaddle your baby.
  • Swaddling a baby decreases the baby’s startle reflex. When babies are first born, they tend to get startled for no reason. It is just a way their bodies react to this new world. Every newborn is born with it and it goes away between two and four months of age. Unfortunately, this reaction tends to wake them up a lot during the night. By swaddling babies, you keep their bodies tight and prevent them from moving their bodies easily keeping them asleep.
  • Swaddling helps babies sleep for longer times. This in return help you sleep for a longer time. Just make sure to wake up your baby every 3 hours for feeding if they are young.
  • Swaddling keeps babies from moving which can cause them to come into contact with a choking hazard like a loose sheet, a pillow, or a blanket. Please, remember that infants under one year old should not have any loose materials or objects in the crib. No blanket or pillow should be placed in the crib and the sheets should be tight.
  • Swaddling also keeps them warm and comfy. It is hard for them to transition from the warm uterus to this new environment. So, swaddling reminds them of the womb, aka their previous home. It is also hard for them to regulate their temperature. So, the swaddle will help them get warm and not realease to much of that warmth. 
  • Finally, swaddling can help calm a baby down especially if the baby has colic. A baby has colic with they cry for no known reason for at least 3 consecutive hours daily.
  • It decreases Sudden Infant Death. There are research that suggest that swaddling a baby and placing him on his back while sleeping helps reduce the likelihood of sudden infant death. 
  • You can also swaddle a baby when breastfeeding because babies tend to get their hands in the way. When their hands are not a problem anymore, babies can focus and latch on easier. 

When to swaddle a baby?

Many parents ask this question continuously. You should start swaddling from day one when your child is first born. Your child will love it and remember for the reasons above, it will be good for your baby.

When should you stop swaddling? Great question! You should some swaddling your baby when he/she begins to become more mobile and try to roll. Usually, this increase in mobility occurs around two months of age. This is when I recommend ditching the swaddle, but you can keep the baby swaddled to three or four months old. That is because that is the age when a child is actually able to roll over. Once your baby can roll over, ditch the swaddle because once they can roll over they may land on their tummy and suffocate. It is very dangerous to keep them swaddled at this time and that is why most parents swaddle the child right before they reach that milestone.

There are three signs you can use to help you decide whether you should stop swaddling or not. 

  • When the startle relex disappears, you may unswaddle your baby.
  • When the baby rolls over or tries to roll over, unswaddle your baby.
  • If your baby tries to fight off the swaddle or gets out of the swaddle, you may begin to unswaddle. But, remember when your baby is still a newborn, she may resist the swaddle because it is a new thing. That is normal and should not be taken as a sign to unswaddle baby. Just keep swaddlign and the baby will get used to it.

There is only one risk to swaddling. That is if you tighten the swaddle too much, the baby may not grow properly. So, do not tighten it too much. 

how long to swaddle a baby

How to swaddle a baby?

There are different ways you can swaddle a blanket, but this one is the most used way.
  1. Place down the blanket. Make sure it is spread out. It should be completely flat on the surface showing all 4 corners. 
  2. Fold one corner and place the baby’s head over the folded corner. 
  3.  Place the baby’s right arm flat down next to his body, and wrap the right side of the blanket over his arm and body. Tuck the end of the right side of blanket underneath him.
  4. Take the bottom side of the blanket and bring it up over his feet. 
  5. Wrap the left side of the blanket over his body with his left arm flat right next to him, and then tuck it under his body. 

Again, there are different ways to swaddle a baby, but this is the most common one. So, now you are probably thinking you know how to swaddle your baby. You are probably going to have so many problems doing it. Your baby might be able to break through it. You will probably watch a thousand videos about it. But, trust me 

How to stop swaddling baby?

There are a few ways you can transition your baby from swaddling.
 
  • The first one is just to stop cold turkey. This one may cause problems in terms of a few hard nights. Your baby may not sleep easily as usual and might wake up through the night. But he/she will get used to it eventually.
  • The second one is by taking one hand out at first for a couple of days then the second one then taking off the entire swaddle after a few days or week. This is what I did and it worked like a charm.
  • The third way is to transition from a swaddle to a sleepsack then nothing eventually.

If you want some tips, you can read below. 

  • I recommend stopping swaddling very slowly. Taking one hand out at a time.
  • You can use white noise or any type of meditation music to help comfort the baby at this hard time.
  • You can use a pacifier to help soothe the baby and ease the transition. 
  • This is the best advice I can give you is to transition froma. swaddle to a sleepsack. I recommend the best one below. 

Best Swaddles and Sleepsack

Nowadays there are so many types of swaddles. Swaddling is not easy and you will this out once your baby si born. They will try to squirm themselves out of it. Fortuantely, there are swaddles now that prevent all the problems that arise with swaddling. Here are my favorites. Just click on the name of swaddle to see it on Amazon. 

This swaddle includes valcro and a zipper. This makes everything so simple. 

Many babies like their arms upward rather than next to them. So, this is a great choice! 

These are my favorites because the only thing you need to do is zip up the swaddle.

Conclusion

Swaddling is a very good techniwue to get your babies to feel comfortable and sleep better. But, you should stop swaddling at 2, 3 or 4 months old. Once your baby can roll over, you need to stop the swaddling. You can use a sleepsack to transition them slowly. 

If you would like to know more, I recommend watching this video “Swaddling Your Newborn” (How Long To Swaddle A Baby) [03min35 sec]

 

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