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How do you know when your child is ready to sleep without being swaddled?

My almost 4 month old has started breaking out of her swaddle at night. We are using the Kiddopotamus Swaddle Me blanket and she was outgrowing the small/medium size. I went in the other night and she had gotten both her feet and one hand out. So, I went to purchase larger swaddles and they aren't tight enough. Any thoughts? Should I try to let her sleep without being swaddled? The only problem is that she wakes up when she gets an arm out. I also have a Halo Sleep Sack, but haven't tried that. Thoughts?

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Asked by hmurf at 7:18 AM on Jul. 20, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 2 (6 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • We stopped swaddling well before that, I think by 6 weeks.

    Answer by SWasson at 7:26 AM on Jul. 20, 2010

  • Some like it a long time, others don't. I know a baby who loved it for 10 months. Her sister squirmed out of it every night by 3 months.

    And another I know of is only swaddled from the waist down. Always got his arms out of it. And that only lasted a couple of weeks. Mom went to a sleep sak after that.


    Answer by Anonymous at 7:36 AM on Jul. 20, 2010

  • my first dd didnt like to be swaddled so we stopped after 2 weeks, my 2nd liked it until about 2 months. Try putting her to sleep without it and thats how you will know

    Answer by SabrenaLeigh at 7:40 AM on Jul. 20, 2010

  • The signs to stop swaddling are breaking loose, rolling over, and not wanting it. Because she's breaking loose, then it's best to stop. Each of my boys did that, DS1 at 3 months and DS2 at 4 months. For both of them, we switched them to Halo sleepsacks after gradual weaning (one arm out, both arms out, sleepsack). I thought for sure it'd be very hard for DS2 to sleep with being swaddled (he slept amazing with it and it really calmed him down). The de-swaddling process was a lot easier then I thought and he quickly was back to sleeping just as good as he had been when swaddled.

    Answer by smittendorff at 3:25 PM on Jul. 20, 2010

  • For my DD she didn't really sleep comfortably without being swaddled until about 6-7 months which I know is longer than normal. But for her it worked. She hated being on her back so once she was able to roll over onto her side and tummy she did ok without being swaddled. As she grew and we still were swaddling her I had to get inventive because they don't make big enough swaddlers and she was strong enough to break out but then would fuss once her arms came lose. I used a Halo Sleep Sack and had to pin the swaddle wings onto the back so it would stay in place, and then I used the velcro on the front. I think if your baby has trouble sleeping it might be wise to swaddle a bit longer, but if baby does ok without it, or can stay asleep once they break free, mabye it's time to transition out of the swaddling.

    Answer by MaryMW at 3:53 PM on Jul. 20, 2010

  • Depends on what the baby likes.  My 6 day old son is asleep in his bassinet right now with just a receiving blanket over him.  He's not swaddled.

    My oldest daughter HATED being swaddled once we left the hospital so we never did it unless she was super fussy and then half the time she kicked out of it.  My other kids were swaddled until they were around 3-5 months but not all the time.


    Answer by justanotherjen at 6:18 PM on Jul. 20, 2010

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