View Full Version : Swaddling and developmental delays

10-01-2004, 02:06 PM
I have been swaddling my 2 month old from day one at night. It seems that it is the only way she will go to sleep or calm her...flailing arms etc. She is kicking more and becomes unswaddled at times during the night. I just happened to run across a comment in the "what to expect the first year book" that you shouldn't swaddle past 1 month because it can cause developmental delays. Now I am worried. Has anyone read this and what age should swaddling be stopped if not?

10-15-2004, 04:37 PM
I'm no expert however my ds is a preemie born 12 weeks premature, so we have had to deal with developmental delays since he was born. I have a few thoughts about your concerns. First of all, I don't think you need to worry too much about delays caused from swaddling, especially if you're just doing it at night when baby is sleeping. It seems that your baby is developing just fine since she's already kicking her blankets off. The only thing I may be concerned about is that the loose blanket to get too close to her face and cause her to have her air cut off while she's sleeping. You may want to look into a "miracle blanket" or a sleep sack for her.

The other reason I wouldn't worry if I were you is just logically, I think that if a preemie born as much as 12 weeks early can "catch up" developmentally by the age of two (ds is almost 18 mos now and almost completely caught up according to his pedi.) then I just doubt that swaddling is really going to significantly hold a baby back from developing to his or her fullest potential. I guess it's possible that it could slow it down somewhat, but I doubt it would be a significant amount, and nothing that your little one wouldn't eventually learn to do eventually. Eventually your baby will probably let you know she doesn't need to be swaddled any more and it won't be a worry for you anyway.

This is all just my opinion, of course, but I hope it makes sense and helps to put your mind at ease.

former 28-weeker
1lb 5oz now 22# and growing

Meatball Mommie
10-16-2004, 10:32 AM
I wouldn't worry too much about it. We swaddled with our DS until the receiving blankets were too small - at about 5 mo or so. He wouldn't sleep otherwise! We didn't do it for naps or any other time besides at bedtime. He's turned out fine so far ;) He crawled around 8 mo and walked just after his first b-day. HTH

10-16-2004, 09:50 PM
I think you're ok. We swaddled our son until he was about 3 months, and he's now 8 months old and doing great. If that's the only was your daughter will go to sleep/be calmed, it's making her feel more secure and that's a good thing. Think of it this way: if she's becoming unswaddled at night, then you know her leg reflexes are good! :-)

New Austin Mom
11-13-2004, 12:05 PM
I'm new to the forum and I also believe swaddling is still OK at this age. In fact we still swaddle my 9 week old at night and whenever he is fussy - it has a wonderful effect on him. I do have a question though - our son is a good sized boy and I'm struggling to find a blanket large enough to swaddle him with his arms in, which he prefers. We've finally gone to swaddling him with his arms out at night but I think he'd sleep better if we could put them in. For those of you who swaddled older (and therefore, larger babies) where did you find blankets large enough???

HHCs Mom
11-24-2004, 09:47 AM
We swaddled DS until about 6 months and he is fine. He is now almost 8 months and sat up unassisted before he was 7 months. Now he's working on crawling, so no developmental delays here. We swaddled for both naps and bedtime since that was the best and only way he'd sleep. We certainly didn't want anything to interfere with sleep! :-) He now uses the Halo sleep sacks for nap and bedtime and those are cozy enough for him but his legs and arms are free to kick and move around. He transitioned into the sleep sack with no problem.

"The Happiest Baby on the Block" book is where we learned about swaddling. Dr. Karp's method of swaddling is great and DS rarely got out of them. I believe he says to stop swaddling by 3 months, but we kept at it until we decided it was no longer necessary and because DS was bigger and able to wiggle out of it.

~Harrison~ 04.06.04

11-28-2004, 09:24 PM
Everything I've read says that it's fine to swaddle until babies are much older than yours. In fact, in Dr. Karp's Happiest Baby on the Block he says he knows of babies who were swaddled well into their 7th (or was it 9th?) month. At any rate, I know the baby was older. My 3 1/2 mo. old is still swaddled in her Miracle Blanket at nightime. She keeps one foot out with a sock on it. She looks hysterical. She can now nap without the swaddle, but when she was younger forget it!

Don't worry.

06-28-2005, 01:17 AM
RE a blanket big enough to swaddle--check out the swaddling blanket by swaddledesigns.com. They're great.