Hey Saltee People,
Today we are talking about the transition out of the swaddle. Just to give you some background information on swaddling as I know a lot of you may just be reading this as non-parents. Newborns are proven to sleep better and longer when swaddled. They have a startle reflex that causes their arms to flail around that often wakes them. If your baby is swaddled, they don’t wake themselves up. It also allows them to feel like their still in the womb. There is not really any set age of when you should transition but you MUST get your baby out of the swaddle when they can roll from their back to their belly so their arms are free if they roll over in their sleep.
I feel like Jameson had been in and out of rhythms of good sleep and bad sleep for the first 3 months of his life. Through it all, I knew how to put him to sleep in the swaddle. It got to the point where he was only waking once at night. I felt as though I had finally mastered it but then Jameson started showing signs of rolling the first week of October. So I kind of started the transition but it really really didn’t go well. We tried one arm out of the Ollie swaddle and not only did he wake up through out the night but also it seemed impossible to rock him to calm before we put him in the crib. So what did I do? I tried cold turkey the next night and then the night after that I just put him back in the regular swaddle because he wasn’t actually rolling and I was going insane.
Then October 7th, he fully rolled. Should I have started the transition sooner? Possibly. But there I was, now HAVING to get him into something where his arms were free. I immediately took to Instagram for solutions. I got a lot of suggestions for various transition suits/sleep sacks but I really didn’t want to buy anything new. I have a love to dream swaddle and we used them earlier on before his startle reflex got really bad and I put him in an arms down swaddles (The Ollie Swaddle + Halo Swaddle). The love to dream swaddle is a zip up swaddle where the arms are up. One of my friends suggested I go back to that and so I did a test, to see if Jameson did end up on his stomach if he would be able to push himself up and he could (Pictured below). And while not technically recommended I felt comfortable putting him in that as an transitional tool. I also felt comforted by the fact that we bought the Newton mattress which is a crib mattress that is breathable. So, worst case scenario if his head did end up face down, the mattress is specifically designed to where you can in fact breath through it.
We had him in the Love To Dream for nights and naps from the 7th to the 10th. There were a few reasons why I decided to move on from this swaddle on the 10th. The first being he really had mastered the art of rolling. The next being that I was getting paranoid after finding him on his stomach in his crib multiple multiple times. He also was sleeping better and had gotten used to his arms being up. The last reason is that the end goal of all of this is for him to sleep with either nothing besides his jammies or/and a sleep sack (wearable blanket).
So the next step of our transition was to use the Halo Swaddle but with his arms out. I opted for this because you can still have the velcro wrapped tightly around his body so he feels snug and it also fits like a sleep sack. I didn’t go with the Ollie Swaddle with the arms out because the end goal, like I had said earlier, is for him to sleep in a sleep sack/wearable blanket, so going with the arms out swaddle that mimicked this closer just makes sense to me. So for the past few days, every nap and every night sleep he’s been in the Halo Swaddle with his arms out.
Through all of this transitioning, Jameson began to wake up 2-3 times through out the night, and me being tired would immediately put him on the boob so he would just nurse and fall asleep. Is that what I should be doing? No. Our pediatrician gave us the clear to let him sleep through the night without feedings months ago.. so there is no nutritive value for him feeding more then once. I know that it’s mostly just for soothing purposes. So the next few weeks I will be working on getting back to the amazing place we were before all of this swaddle nonsense. One wake per night! We got there after I took the Taking Cara Babies Newborn course and really implemented her tools. I just took the course for months 3+4 and it is just full of so much good information. I will say, it only works if you implement the tools and I need to continue to do that. Now that I have somewhat regulated Jameson to the point where he can sleep without his arms being down, I feel like I can focus back to the one wake per night and since it’s all I will be working on it will be easier then when I thought my world was falling apart.
So as of today 10/12 Jameson is able to put himself to sleep with his arms free which I feel is HUGE. He will cry a little sometimes, and Chris and I have decided to let him cry/fuss (not scream) for 5-10 minutes before we intervene. It was a LOT of work I had probably like three mental breakdowns in the past week and I was exhausted. But today when I was able to put him in his crib and watch him put himself to sleep on the monitor I was beaming. Like most difficult moments in our baby’s life, we got through it, and it was shorter then I thought. I really want to stress that in the moment, I thought all of my hard work was going down the drain. I thought it would be weeks before I felt any confidence in his sleep again. Less then a week later of dedicated, hard work, I see a light at the end of the tunnel…. we haven’t even hit the 4 month sleep regression yet so I guess I won’t get ahead of myself. I have to remind myself of this constantly, YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS. It will pass, and you’ll look back at the newborn/infant stage and miss it.
Let me know if you guys found this helpful and if you want me to keep writing blogs similar to this!
*please note – there are a few like to know it and referral links through out this post, however these are the tools I already owned and used to get through this transition. I do not work with any of these companies and all of my opinions are genuine*