You finally develop a good sleep routine for you and your baby, and now it's time to start thinking about changing it! But when do you stop swaddling and how do you know when your baby is ready? Many parents find the transition terrifying, but don't worry, once you figure out why and when, you'll know how you should approach this next phase in your baby's sleep routine.
When should you stop swaddling your baby?
- As a general rule it is recommended to stop swaddling your baby when they start to show signs of rolling. The signs you can look out for are:
- Using hands to push up during tummy time
- Decreased or no startle reflex
- Lifting their legs and flopping them to the side
- Ability to escape out of a traditional swaddle
If your baby is showing one or more of these signs, then it’s time to transition to “arms-free” sleep. Babies will show these signs between 2 - 6 months of age. It’s important to note that for some babies it can happen as early as 8 weeks while for other babies, this happens much later. You should always consult your pediatrician if you have questions.
Why should you stop swaddling your baby?
The number one reason you need to transition your baby from swaddling is for their safety. If your baby rolls over onto their tummy while being swaddled, they may find it difficult to roll back over onto their back. Not only is this uncomfortable and distressing for your baby, but there are serious risks involved too. When you notice your baby showing signs of starting to roll, you can begin to transition from swaddling to “arms-free” sleep to make sure they sleep safely.
How to transition your baby from swaddling...
Your baby may love being swaddled, but if they're showing signs of rolling, it's time to transition. We recommend a gentle approach to ease your baby from swaddling to independent sleep, without interrupting your precious sleep routine. Love To Dream Transition Bags are made specifically for this purpose, with zip-off wings that allow you to start with them fully enclosed like a swaddle, then move to zipping them off one wing at a time until your baby is transitioned. This allows your baby to slowly transition rather than totally interrupting their sleep going from being swaddled straight to pajamas. Some babies will transition to arms-free sleep easier than others. If your little one is taking a little longer, or you aren’t experiencing the smooth transition you had hoped for, you can try letting your baby fall asleep with the wings on and then unzip the wing once baby is asleep. Stick with it and your baby will get there! Once both wings are removed, your Swaddle UP Transition Bag functions as a sleep suit that can be used until your baby outgrows it.