The transition from a swaddle or wrap is a challenge that comes up often in consultations with parents. You do need to transition your little one out of the swaddle or wrap once she’s rolling. You definitely don’t want her rolling over in a swaddle. You are right, this new found freedom of limbs around can make them be a little bit more excited, all of a sudden they are a bit more over stimulated. So I absolutely understand how parents believe that there is no chance their little one will be able to go to sleep, much less stay asleep. I am here to reassure you that they can! It is just a matter of little ones adjusting to the new situation and you supporting them while they do.
The premise of guiding a baby to sleep is appreciating that babies do need sleep and they thrive on sleep, so our ultimate aim is to help them develop good sleeping habits. Remembering that suddenly your little one has realised it has limbs, in its bed but that doesn’t change their need for sleep. You need to reassure them you are there. Sleep time is not a fun time.
How do you show baby it is sleep time?
- Prepare the room before the baby goes down to sleep
- Keep anything stimulating really low
- This includes you, do as little as possible, keep your voice hushed and your movements slow.
Maybe you try coming in and out to check, maybe you are sitting there but not doing much just reassuring her a little bit. Whatever it is that suits you, you need to choose something, and you need to see it through all the way until she is asleep.
And I get it, I know you feel like she is never going to because she is having fun, but she will. She will.
Do I start with nights or days?
Definitely start with nights first, I wouldn’t be trying to hard to push the transition for naps yet, because in the daytime she is going to be much more like “wooop party time!”. By night time she (and you) have the body clock on her team, she has the circadian rhythm, so she is much more likely to be like, “actually, I do need to go to sleep”. So I would say start with the nights, choose something that you want to do that you feel comfortable doing to support her, and see it through until the very end when she or he is sleeping. It is not going to be fun, sleep guidance is never fun. What is fun, though, is the results and having them sleeping better in the long term. And yes, unfortunately, because she is rolling, we do need to un-swaddle.
I call this stage limb freedom and it, like all things, will come to pass.
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