Swaddling Not Going Swell? Here are Some Alternatives.
Some babies enjoy swaddling, which is the practice of wrapping an infant in cloths to sleep, because it mimics pressure in utero. Swaddling is meant to calm babies and promote sleep, which directly impacts healthy development—but many babies struggle to get comfortable in a traditional swaddle. So, learning how to swaddle a baby is important to make sure your little one gets the sleep they need.
Here are some common issues and suggested solutions that may help.
If the issues still continue, be sure to contact your healthcare provider.
My baby wants their arms out.
A traditional swaddle restricts arm movement, but if baby wants to use their arms and hands, don’t discourage it! You can swaddle them while keeping their arms outside.
I’m having trouble wrapping them up.
For swaddling, the wrapping process is more about safety than style. There’s nothing wrong with a little trial and error, as long as they are safely wrapped. If the wrapping process isn’t for you, there are many ready-made swaddles that make it simple to wrap them.
The swaddle doesn’t calm them.
One of the main purposes of a swaddle is to calm them, so if that’s not working, try other calming methods. Some of these include:
- Placing a hand on their chest
- Calming them on their side or stomach, and then placing them on their back once they are asleep.
- Here are some other calming techniques.
They don’t like the leg restriction—or I’m concerned I’m restricting their legs too much.
Hip dysplasia is a common swaddling concern. Look into a baby sleeping bag, to allow their legs to have more movement than a traditional swaddle.
They are having trouble transitioning out of swaddling.
Sleep suits can be a great alternative or swaddling transition. The suits keep baby’s arms in a T-shape, to prevent rolling, while still keeping them comfortable. Make sure to keep the room they are in cool, as suits can be warm.
Remember, swaddling (or an alternative solution) should end when your baby begins to roll.