Swaddle Transition- What you need to know?
Many babies love being swaddled especially when they are asleep. They are calmed by swaddling and they remember the cramped space in the womb wherein 9 months were spent by them. Eventually, the habit of swaddling has to be broken down and the baby should learn sleeping without it. After few months, freedom of movement is needed by babies for exploring the world around. This exploration can be hampered if the babies are kept in cozy cocoons. This is where swaddle transition comes into picture.
Preparing for swaddle transition
1. Safety must be considered
In general, swaddling the babies is completely safe. However many babies start rolling over when they are 3–4 months of age. At this stage, the heads cannot be controlled well. It should be kept in mind that the older baby is at a risk of rolling over or falling on the stomach, posing risk of suffocation.
2. The behavior of the baby must be observed
When the baby is all set for giving up swaddling, she will give some signals. This might include:
Crying when it is swaddled
Struggling to loosen the blanket
Regular unswaddling during sleep. If this starts when the baby is very young, you have to take care as a great suffocation risk can be posed by blankets and coverings.
3. Wait for the reflex to start disappearing
Babies are always born with the ‘startle reflex’ or ‘Moro reflex’. When they are startled, they have a tendency of flinging out arms sideways. They startle easily and are seen flapping their legs and arms. With swaddling, they can stay still and calm to sleep. For getting the best results, parents must wait till the Moro reflex is disappeared or before the baby is weaned from swaddling. Unless the baby starts rolling, safety becomes a big concern.
4. The transition must be planned
Once it is believed that the baby is ready, think of how swaddle transition would be made. Will it start at nighttime or naptime? When will it start? How can the difficulties be handled? A weekend or a convenient time must be set aside for experimenting with unswaddling the baby. Know that some normal sleep time of the baby has to be compromised for doing this. If the partner can help, it is definitely a very preferable option. Take turns in observing the preferences of the baby and try to soothe the baby without swaddling.
5. Stick to the routine
Have plans of keeping maximum possible routines in place when the baby is weaned from swaddling. If the same sleep routines are kept for instance lullaby, bath, dim lights and whatever is typically done, the baby would definitely accept this unswaddled sleeping more easily.
For perfection, read online for more information. There are several forums and discussion boards wherein these things can be found easily.