When should you stop swaddling your baby? Generally speaking, swaddling your baby is safe for the first two or three months of life. When a baby rolls over or can keep their arms down, the swaddle must be changed to allow arm movement. You should monitor your baby while they are not swaddled, as they may wake themselves or rollover.
Ideally, a swaddled baby is placed alone in their sleep environment, on their back. If parents sleep with their babies, they should avoid swaddling their arms. Studies have shown that this practice may inhibit the baby’s development, especially when the parent is not fully asleep. Nonetheless, it’s worth mentioning that prolonged swaddling hasn’t been proven harmful to a baby’s development.
While swaddling your baby should be the last resort, some babies may refuse it because they are too comfortable. It’s best to stop swaddling your baby before it starts rolling over and is cranky. The older your baby is, the more difficult it is to break the habit. In addition, a baby who is used to a swaddled blanket may not communicate with you, making it difficult to get them to let go of it.
Weaning your baby off the swaddle is important, and you can use a 4-step plan to wean your child from swaddling gradually. This transition can take a few days or even several weeks. For example, if your baby was swaddled with one arm, this will help prevent the Moro-reflex from affecting the other arm. Alternatively, if you can’t swaddle your baby with one arm, try swaddling her with one arm closed so your baby is less likely to jerk the arms.
Swaddling your baby will generally reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome by keeping them warm and calm. However, there is a time limit to swaddling your baby. At three or four months, the risk of suffocation increases if your baby can’t roll back over. To help reduce your child’s risk, stop swaddling your baby when they roll over.
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Although swaddling is generally safe, swaddling can cause overheating. Additionally, it may place pressure on the hips, which can cause developmental problems later on. Typically, babies are ready to stop swaddling between two and four months. Most babies can roll over around this time. If your baby still refuses to sleep in a swaddle, you may consider trying a sleeping bag instead.
You can start with a partial night principle for babies younger than eight weeks. This involves leaving their arms out for part of the night and then swaddling them again for the other half. Eventually, your baby may be able to sleep without swaddling, so start slow and gradually remove the swaddle. If your baby isn’t ready to stop swaddling, they may cry.