Transitioning your baby out of the Swaddle

Hey ff fam,

Once your baby starts rolling, you need to stop using a swaddle. For safety reasons, their arms must be out so they can adjust themselves to breathe as they need to. 

Ideally, babies are swaddled from birth until pretty close to when they start rolling, because their Moro reflex is really strong, and their hands moving can wake them up, leading to trouble staying asleep at nap and bedtime. 

As your baby gets closer to rolling, we find it helpful to start practicing sleeping without the swaddle. However, we don’t want to suddenly go from sleeping swaddled to suddenly expecting them to not need it. 

Instead, we recommend doing the following:

  1. Start with one arm out. Many transition swaddles make it possible for you to keep your baby swaddled on one side while letting their arm out on the other side. 
  2. Start with the first nap of the day. For most babies, not all, this is the easiest nap to get because they’re still tired from their long stretch overnight. This makes it a great time to practice slowly removing the swaddle, because they often fall asleep more easily (and stay asleep) for this nap. 
  3. Once they’re used to having one arm out, take out the other arm while still keeping their chest in the swaddle. This provides them that comfort with their chest being secure, like in the womb, while giving them more freedom with their arms. 

If your baby is rolling and you need to drop the swaddle immediately, don’t worry! We recommend rocking them completely to sleep (even if they had been self-soothing) and then placing them in the crib or bassinet. If they have short naps while they adjust to having their arms out, add in a catnap at the end of the day to help them get to bedtime without becoming overtired. 

If you are a member and experiencing difficulty with transitions, reach out to INFANT@FULLFEEDINGS.COM for email support.

If you are not yet a member, check out our NO CRY IT OUT sleep method HERE! We have super affordable online programs that will teach you an easy 3-step method to get your little one to sleep!