The Challenges of Swaddling

When I thought about the many challenges I would face once I became a mom, swaddling definitely did not cross my mind. Everything else has seemed to come fairly easy, I'm surprised that of all things, swaddling, actually un-swaddling, seems to be such a struggle for us!

The past two nights of sleep have been far from restful. The first night I tried having Beckett sleep without being swaddled, he woke up after one hour. I then tried keeping him in his sleep sack and swaddling him with a blanket on top. I've always used the blankets with the velcro, but thought using a regular blanket would be good because he could slowly break out of it throughout the night. He woke up four times that night. Last night we began with the regular blanket swaddled over the sleep sack. He woke up six times. SIX times people. In my sleepy state I wasn't thinking straight and rather than giving in and swaddling him after the third time waking up, I was convinced that it would get better and not to give up. Today I am a zombie. It makes me very grateful for a baby that (usually) sleeps well.

I know some of you have mentioned not to stress about it and just continue to swaddle him, but he is almost 5 months. I feel like he will be rolling a lot soon (even though right now he doesn't show much interest), and I do not feel good about having his arms pinned down once he can roll. Also, he is using the largest swaddle blanket with velcro they make, and it's almost too small! It's actually starting to get a hole in it where I have stretched the material too much.

I don't know what to do.  I want to just go cold turkey and push through the next few nights, but I don't think it would be safe for me to drive or go to work on such a small amount of sleep. I also don't care to spend the money on one of the many products they make to help transition from swaddling, but I think I might need to since my blanket plan isn't working. They all look so ridiculous to me though. I know you can also just leave one arm out and after a week or so try leaving both out. I think I'm going to take a break for a few nights, catch up on my sleep, and then try again with a different method. If anyone out there has tips I will gladly take them. I'm honestly so surprised that this has been such a challenge! Swaddling.... who knew?


chloƩ said...

I went through this exact same thing with Ben. Like exactly. To the point that I almost regretted ever swaddling him. I tried to go cold turkey and it didn't work. He cried the saddest cry I had ever heard.. Like he was so scared. And I realized that he just felt safe being swaddled and so I kept doing it even though he would roll over. I did it well past 5 months so you are not alone! I had a neighbor tell me she swaddled her baby for a year and that made me feel better. I think you just have to do what works best and not worry what others might think. Us parents are all in survival mode and just have to take it day by day. I never ever thought Ben would sleep unswaddled but it was just easier to get him to fall asleep if he was swaddled and go in and adjust him if he woke up and rolled over rather than try to start the night unswaddled. I ended up buying a zipadee zip and he still wouldn't sleep in it unswaddled so I started to swaddle him with the zipadee zip. He would usually break free eventually but I think having the zipadee zip as a back up prevented him from freaking out about not being swaddled. He still felt somewhat safe and protected from the zipadee zip since his hands were still covered but he also started to learn how to sleep with his arms and legs having more freedom. If that makes sense? One night he just flat out refused to be swaddled. I never thought the day would come but he started to
Just sleep in the zipadee zip with a blanket laid over him. He outgrew it a couple of months ago and I could have bought a bigger size but I didn't. He now does really well with just a sleep sack I got from cotton on and a blanket. I never ever thought the day would come. I felt compelled to comment since I seriously went through this until he was like 9 months old. Your little guy will roll over but he will let you know if he is uncomfortable! I say just do what works best for now and gets you the most sleep! Don't worry about later! Worry about now! It didn't take a day or a week or even a month for Ben to sleep in just the zipadee zip but I made it work with swaddling looser and looser each time knowing he would break free and I do believe it helped him transition over time! It was kind of expensive for all that it is but worth it. If you want to
Borrow ours you can! I can mail it to you! Just let me know! Good luck! You are doing a great job!!

Glori Olsen said...

We just started to leave one arm out of the velcro swaddles and then move to both arms out but still wrap it around their middle. It was a good way to keep the routine but if he rolled over he wasn't just a helpless caterpillar.