Swaddling is a widespread practice for newborns, as it can help soothe babies, promote better sleep, and reduce crying and fussiness. However, many parents wonder how long they should swaddle their baby. In this blog, we will discuss the recommended duration of swaddling and some tips for transitioning your baby out of swaddling.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents stop swaddling their baby by 2 months or earlier if it starts to roll over independently. This is because once a baby can roll over, they may be at risk of suffocation if they become trapped in their swaddle.
However, it's important to note that every baby is different, and some babies may need to be swaddled longer than others. Some babies may be ready to stop swaddling as early as 1 month, while others may need to be swaddled until 3 or 4 months. It's essential to pay attention to your baby's cues and adjust your swaddling practices accordingly.
One way to determine whether your baby is ready to stop swaddling is to loosen the baby swaddle over time gradually. This can help your baby get used to sleeping without the tightness of the swaddle. Start by leaving one arm out of the swaddle for a few nights and then both arms out for a few nights. Eventually, you can stop swaddling altogether and let your baby sleep without it.
Another way to transition your baby from swaddling is to use a transitional swaddle. These swaddles are designed to help babies adjust to sleeping without a swaddle by providing a more gradual transition. Superbottoms offers a variety of transitional swaddles, such as the Sleepy Nest, which can be used for babies up to 6 months of age.
It's important to note that some babies may experience sleep regression when they stop swaddling as they adjust to sleeping without the comfort and security of the swaddle. This is normal and can last a few days to a few weeks. To help your baby adjust, you can try other soothing techniques, such as white noise, a pacifier, or gentle rocking.
In addition to paying attention to your baby's cues, it's essential to follow safe swaddling practices to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The AAP recommends the following safe swaddling practices:
- Place your baby on their back to sleep, never on their stomach or side
- Use a swaddle that is snug but not too tight
- Leave enough room for your baby to move their hips and legs freely
- Do not cover your baby's head or face with the swaddle
- Stop swaddling your baby as soon as they show signs of rolling over on their own
In conclusion, the recommended duration of swaddling is until 2 months of age, or earlier if the baby starts to roll over on their own. However, every baby is different; some may need to be swaddled for longer. You can gradually loosen or use a transitional swaddle to transition your baby out of swaddling. It's essential to pay attention to your baby's cues and adjust your swaddling practices accordingly. By following safe swaddling practices, you can help reduce the risk of SIDS and promote a safe and restful sleep environment for your baby.