I do have a question though that was not in the book, unless I missed it. We have been swaddling our two month old son with one of those halo swaddles – the one that you put the baby in, zip it up, then there are wings that swaddle around the baby. The baby sleeps really well in this. We are trying to not swaddle him, but, it’s not working (at all). People say that I will know when he does not like to be swaddled anymore when he busts out of the swaddle. The problem is that this swaddle zips and velcroes. It is impossible to bust out of. Do you have any suggestions as to how to transition our son out of the swaddle and to sleep without it. Obviously, he will grow out of the swaddle at some point, but I wanted to start doing the transition now. If I unzip it, he constantly moves and then cries. When I put him to sleep in the swaddle, he initially moves a lot in the swaddle, kicking his legs, and moving his hands (inside the swaddle). Any suggestions are appreciated. Thank you.
Happy to help. This is your homework assignment, due in the
next four weeks: get rid of it. Two reasons: 1. you want him to develop
sleep associations that you want to live with for a long time–so any sleep
crutches should be out of his world by three or four months of life. 2. if
he isn’t moving around at night, the back of his head will become pretty
flat. So, while it is okay to continue it for a few more weeks, the
swaddler’s days are numbered. Your son will be older in a few weeks and more
capable of soothing himself with fewer immature newborn reflexes.
The take home message: I would suggest quitting, cold turkey, by 3 months of age. Most
babies like to move around at that point and have fewer of those
newborn startle reflexes that wake them up when they move around. Your
goal is to have the sleep habits you want to keep by 4 months, so
transitioning to that goal is the plan. That will also help reduce the
dreaded flat spot on the back of the head (plagiocephaly) that babies
get when they are constantly sleeping in one position.