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Baby swaddle transition, moving on from wrapping your baby

Posted by Karen Faulkner on
swaddling your baby, baby swaddle, baby wrap, baby development
Baby sleep
This blog is dedicated to Miss Abigail. I felt it needed a share as I come across the swaddle/wrap issue so very much.

I am most definitely a subscriber to the wrap and have become a fan of it, but only up to 4 months of age or until baby learns to roll over.

See my very 2nd blog for all the gen on the wrap and swaddle - how, when, why etc!

The SIDS recommendations are that the wrap/swaddle should be stopped once they learn to roll over. This is what their guidelines say:

"If you wrap your baby, consider baby’s stage of development. Leave arms free once the startle reflex disappears around 3 months. Most babies eventually resist being wrapped. Wrapping style should be appropriate for the baby’s developmental stage. It is essential to discontinue wrapping as soon as baby starts showing signs that they can begin to roll, usually between 4-6 months of age but sometimes younger. Babies must not be wrapped if sharing a sleep surface with another person. Baby should not be wrapped while sleeping in a baby sleeping bag" (Red Nose Website 2017).

Once a baby can roll over they can get themselves out of danger and being wrapped can stop that process.

In England, where I trained as a Health Visitor in Salford (Manchester) we generally didn't wrap/swaddle. Instead, we favoured a tuck in with the sheet and blanket, firmly at shoulder height. (That's "blankie" for my Australian readers! LOL).

baby sleep

I had a phone call from Abigail's mummy Elicia and we talked about what to do about the wrap once Miss Abigail had started rolling.

I mentioned that she could move her on to being wrap free with a half wrap and then eventually progress onto it being removed over a week or so.

Mum wanted to use a sleeping bag. I think grobags are great and ideal for the seven to nine month old adventurous wriggler who likes to get out of the blankies in winter at 3 am and then wakes up because they are cold. But I think most four month olds find the lack of the 'tucked in approach' a bit unsettling because tucked in blankets help security. Blankets can also be a good sleep association. Babies also like to roll over and the gro-bag can be something they get caught up in. This is because the baby has a few inches between feet and bottom of the sleeping bag.

So we decided on moving from the swaddle by using a normal sleepsuit/sleeping bag combined with the English blanket and sheet approach. And guess what?

Miss Abigail slept so much better after the sleepsuit and tucked in with sheet and blankie approach. YAY and double yay and it has continued. Hallelujah!

Another option is to use a swaddle transition suit such as a Zipadee-Zee or a Magic Merlin suit.

More free resources to read below

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