Swaddling with Older Newborns (8 weeks and older)
It really is so important to keep swaddling your babies until they are rolling from back to tummy. Until at least 3-4 months, babies don’t have the capacity to really control those arms. It becomes more of a hindrance in sleep rather than a comfort to have their hands free.
If your baby hates to be swaddled, please check out the Will I Ever Sleep Again? newborn class.
We highly recommend that you start or continue to swaddle UNTIL baby is independently rolling from back to belly or very close to it. The number one reason that sleep is derailed early on is coming out of the swaddle too early.
If your baby is able to roll to his or her side, it can still be safe to swaddle.
Babies can get to their sides often before they are ready to stop swaddling. Rolling onto their sides can feel a bit scary, but It isn’t uncommon. Some parents use the DockATot to help. Others roll a muslin blanket and put it at the baby’s hips to prevent rolling. If you try this, please make sure there is no loose bedding: putting this roll under the bassinet sheet can be helpful. Please run this by your pediatrician and only do if you are comfortable with it. Keep this and all blankets away from a baby's face.
Merlin's Magic Sleep Suit can be helpful for babies who have a strong startle reflex, but are rolling. This suit is safe until babies can roll IN the suit.
When your little one is actually rolling or very close to it, check out our blog on Transitioning Out of the Swaddle.