by Kelly from Bamboo Bubby
How long to swaddle baby?
If you’re wondering how long to swaddle your baby for, the answer will be different for different babies. It is usually recommended to stop swaddling baby when they start to roll over on their own and are needing their hands/arms to roll themselves back over.
However, making the switch from swaddling to sleeping bag can be especially difficult for a baby suffering eczema, who has often spent many months longer than other children being wrapped tightly to prevent scratching and damage caused during sleeptimes. While some of these babies welcome an end to the wrestle-wrap-routine, others find it distressing and need to be eased through the process while they adapt and associate sleep with the sleeping bag rather than being swaddled tightly.
Learning to Sleep Using the Loose Angel Style Wrap
If your baby is still being wrapped with their arms down, tightly against their body, change the wrap style to one that will allow their arms to move and be raised, yet still remain wrapped. This is sometimes called a ‘loose angel style wrap’ and is shown best at this link.
Let your baby sleep like this for several days or until they have become accustomed to the change and are settling and sleeping well.
Moving from Swaddle to Sleeping Bag
Once your baby has become accustomed to sleeping with a bit more freedom, then you can continue to wrap them in this loose angel-style, but put them into a sleeping bag leave one arm out completely.
Usually a week of sleeping like this will have your baby begin to adjust to the idea of a sleeping bag.
Sleeping with Arms Unswaddled
Wrap your baby’s body only with the swaddle wrap, leaving both arms free.
If you find your baby is waking themselves by scratching or rubbing or causing themselves damage to their already delicate skin, then a baby sleeping bag with sleeves can sometimes help this or by finding gloves or mittens that they cannot remove easily.
Once again give your baby approximately a week of learning to sleep like this.
Stop swaddling baby
Finally, remove wrapping from your baby’s bedtime routine altogether and place them in their sleeping bag for all sleeps.
HAPPY SCRATCH-FREE SNOOZING!
Kelly Northey is the owner of Bamboo Bubby, a company which makes bamboo bubby bags that are especially good at helping to relieve the symptoms of eczema. To see all of Kelly’s articles, click here.