Who Swaddles?

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fireflies11's picture
Joined: 03/26/11
Posts: 613
Who Swaddles?

I am having a tough time deciding if we should continue to swaddle Jonah at night. We swaddled DS1 until he was 6-months old, but he really needed it. When we swaddled him he immediately calmed down, w/o it his arms would flail around and upset him.

Jonah is definitely a different baby. He seems to be able to self-soothe better, doesn't need the paci to fall asleep and his hands don't flail around much anymore.

DH thinks we should swaddle but I'm on the fence. We usually swaddle him right before putting him down at night (not during the day) and no matter how asleep he is, he becomes wide awake and starts to grunt and fight to get his hands out & then we need to spend time getting him to fall back a sleep. Sometimes I hear him all night in his crib grunting and fighting it. It breaks my heart to see him grunt and fight instead of sleep soundly. But w/it he seems to stay asleep longer.

Last night I put him in a sleep sack and put him to bed once he already fell asleep and he slept very calm, however he woke up after 4-hours. But he was super hungry, so I think he would have anyway if swaddled. Trying to get him to go back to sleep was tough. He fussed and wiggled for about an hour and only slept for 2-hours and only ate for a minute or two before falling back asleep. Not sure if it was because he wasn't swaddled??? He was very wiggly.

Any thoughts? Does everyone swaddle at this stage or do only some babies need it?

gaidinsgirl's picture
Joined: 08/28/06
Posts: 2004

sometimes we swaddle. I try not to swaddle during the day because I don't want him sleeping for long stretches during the day. I don't swaddle when he is in bed with me ( he can't defend himself that way). I do swaddle him when he is in his own bed ( bassinet) but it does absolutely no good most of the time because he can break out of the best swaddles lol. He does sleep better swaddled though. His arms go crazy when he isn't swaddled.

.hilary.'s picture
Joined: 01/31/10
Posts: 1505

We did at first but now we have her sleeping in a little cosleeper bed that goes between our pillows, so to be safe we don't swaddle. In her crib we would though, but she's not in there much at night and swaddling is a night time only routine for us. However last night she was kicking and flailing all four limbs all night long, even though she was sound asleep. I got no sleep because she kept me up Sad swaddling might have helped that, lol!

kmm123's picture
Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 1839

If he isn't sleepy enough he will fight the swaddle but the two times I tried not swaddling were epic fails. He wouldn't go down and then was up non stop. He definitely seems to need to be swaddled to sleep in a longer stretch. If I take him to our bed - usually I do around 5-6am he comes unswaddled

mlle_carrie's picture
Joined: 07/17/05
Posts: 1134

We swaddle and she loved it at first, but I think she is starting to be over it now. I don't swaddle during the day for the same reasons as Angie. I don't want her to sleep too much. Lately, when I try to swaddle her at night, she fights it and kicks her way out. I have been using some knitted cocoons that people made for me. They keep her warm and snuggly, but she can free her arms if she wants to...plus they are really cute and a lot more convenient than a blanket. I can even keep one on her during the day and handling her and passing her from person to person is a lot easier than having a cumbersome blanket wrapped around her.

PAmom2boys's picture
Joined: 04/29/09
Posts: 1494

We swaddle at night so Andrew sleeps longer. I loosely swaddle during the day just do he stays warm enough.

The only baby I didn't swaddle was ethan but that was b/c he'd fight it and he was a big screamer/screecher due to reflux.

I'd give it another night not swaddled to see how it goes. He may not need it anymore.

sugspop's picture
Joined: 02/22/07
Posts: 1418

My DS hated the swaddle! I didn't even go a week with the swaddling with him. Mayleigh seems to like it for overnight, not naps though. I will do it as long as she seems to like it and it calms her! DS hated it... I just think some babies don't want/need it.

Joined: 12/01/10
Posts: 997

We are swaddling less over time. We started out swaddling at night when he is in his bassinet but he started trying so hard to get himself out of the swaddle to the point that he wakes himself up from struggling. Now I've been bringing him into bed with us after he wakes up for the first time during the night so we can nurse and sleep together until morning. I remove his swaddle blanket while he is in our bed and he seems to sleep for longer stretches of time. We don't swaddle during the day. He really likes having his hand by his face.

Joined: 10/05/09
Posts: 672

We swaddle at night. we have a summer swaddle blanket. Ryan sleeps way better with it. We just lay him down and he's out. I don't swaddle during the day because I want him to be more awake and be able to move freely to exercise his legs and arms. He sleeps worse without it because he startles himself awake, but that's ok during the day. We usually swaddle him just before he's done eating at night and finish the feed with him swaddled. He falls asleep at the boob in his swaddle or if we're giving him a bottle, in his bed in the swaddle. Works like a charm. If he's too awake he will fight to get out of it, but he's usually really sleepy at night.

ETA: we also have a halo swaddle sack and I find it too cumbersome to put his little arms in and out, so we don't use it much

Jenn0113's picture
Joined: 03/09/07
Posts: 5335

Kara hated to be swaddled from day one. I think it would help her sleep longer but instead she cries the second you do it to her and won't stop until you take her out of it.

Joined: 12/01/10
Posts: 997

"science_gal" wrote:

We swaddle at night. we have a summer swaddle blanket. Ryan sleeps way better with it. We just lay him down and he's out.

We have a couple of the summer swaddle blankets and I love them for ease of use for the times that we do swaddle. I never got the hang of swaddling with regular blankets no matter how much stretch they had. DH was the pro swaddler and I felt like such a failure at it until we started using the summer swaddle blankets.

AshnBill's picture
Joined: 11/06/06
Posts: 5333

We do lightly...Vivi doesn't like her arms to be too tight in there.

joyjim's picture
Joined: 05/22/06
Posts: 822

Life was so much easier when Kai was swaddled. Now he hates it and struggles like some of you said, fighting it until we free him. But he startles all night and screams. In fact he startled all day even though I was holding him. I sure hope this stage of startling passes soon so he can get better sleep. Sad It is so sad to see him freaking out like he is falling!

lesleynka's picture
Joined: 04/26/11
Posts: 1845

We swaddle. Boots loves it! And so do we bc like others have said she will keep herself up flailing around if she doesn't have it. you can swaddle with the arms out too. They still get the tightness without the arm restriction.

joyjim's picture
Joined: 05/22/06
Posts: 822

Does swaddling without arms still help them not startle???

fireflies11's picture
Joined: 03/26/11
Posts: 613

Problem solved! After some scientific experiments, it is decided: SWADDLE! I got two nights in a row of 6-hour stretches! Woo hoo! He's also calming down more & not fighting the swaddle.

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

I only swaddled Trystan for the first 10 days or so. I couldn't after that because we went to visit DH's family in Idaho and he slept in his little Poo chair (I had to buckle him in it every night so that he wouldn't slide out, so I couldn't swaddle him). After we got back home he seemed to sleep the same amount of time whether or not I did it. During the day he's too all over the place (he likes to swing his arms around and be free lol)...

clio's picture
Joined: 11/05/07
Posts: 590

We swaddle for the night and for naps. Like the others, he will spend his entire time flailing his arms and legs otherwise. I thought he was too constricted one night and wanted out (he was really struggling with his arms in the swaddle), but the result was worse. It was pretty obvious that he wasn't going to get any sleep. I'm a horrible swaddler when it comes to regular swaddle blankets (I've even got the Anis and whatever they're called muslins), so I rely on the miracle blanket. Turns out, I need stupid proof baby stuff.