Swaddling Baby – Part III

In my last post, I discussed Alexa’s sleeping habits during weeks 6 – 11. As with most new parents, we thought we cracked the ‘baby code’ when she fell into a consistent and predictable sleep pattern. Well, you knew it couldn’t be that easy right? The minute we thought we had figured it out, everything changes and apparently, I’m told – that sums up life with kids. 
SO, life around 12 weeks got a little hairy. Unfortunately, I am not the type of person who functions well with limited sleep. When I was pregnant and had to wake up a few times a night to use the bathroom – I thought my life was ending. Well, during this time – I would have GLADLY welcomed that problem back into my life. However, looking back, as she is now 16 weeks, there were a number of reasons why she was struggling to sleep. Around three months most babies have a growth spurt, and if you’re a believer in The Wonder Weeks – the “Smooth Transitions” leap happens around that time as well. To add to that wonderful list of possible disruptions – she was also becoming increasingly more mobile (rolling from side to side) and uncomfortable in her swaddle. 

The final straw that broke the swaddle’s back came at 14 weeks when our peaceful little baby rolled completely onto her stomach and nearly gave her sleep-deprived mother a heart attack. (On a side note – it’s really amazing to me how alert and fast I can move at the sound of the baby in the middle of the night, when I needed about an hour of “snoozing” to wake up for work in my previous life!) Once the baby rolled over, for me – it was time to pack in the swaddle. With her being so mobile throughout the night, I never felt comfortable with the idea of her rolling over again with her arms pinned at her sides, which is understandably less than an ideal situation.

The three to four month-mark is generally when pediatricians recommend stopping swaddling because it begins to inhibit babies from learning to self-sooth (hard to suck your thumb if it’s strapped to your side!) and the development of the hip sockets – so she was right on schedule. At the suggestion of our pediatrician we started using the Halo swaddle sleep sack and simply left her arms out. This worked fine as a transition, but she was a little too small for the ‘small’ and a little too big for the newborn and the sack was bunching up, causing more issues than it was worth. After about a week of the sack, we went cold turkey and she now sleeps in footed pj’s and an undershirt depending on the weather.

Wearing the Halo Sleep Sack

Just PJ’s and a onesie

I won’t lie (sorry newer-new parents), sleep has continued to be limited post-swaddle. She still struggles a little with the moro reflex and wakes herself up, but it continues to be less and less. As I wrote in the beginning, once you think you’ve figured it out, something else changes. Now she is sleeping on her side and completely rolling from back to stomach, which causes more disruptions as she flip-flops all night long!

Oh the joys of parenthood, you just have to laugh!

Below are a few articles regarding swaddling for your reference:

http://strollertraffic.com/blog/special-report-swaddling-safety/

on.wsj.com/12s78pE



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