Swaddling & Sleep

Dr. Alan Greene answers the question, Should I be swaddling my baby when she goes to sleep?

Question

My baby won't sleep unless she is swaddled, but then she fights to get her arms out and wakes herself up. She is 3 months old. Should I still be swaddling her?

Answer

Different babies are comforted in different ways. Some like to be swaddled, some feel better free. Some like to be rocked, some are comforted by suckling. Those who enjoy swaddling usually start to outgrow it as their motor skills are developing, often by 3 or 4 months. During the transition, they may have mixed feelings. At first they enjoy being swaddled, and then they struggle to use their hands or feet.

This is usually a good stage for transitioning away from swaddling, perhaps at first by wrapping the body securely, but leaving the arms out. This is unlikely to be a passing preference that she gives up, going back to the way she was before. She is growing up!

 

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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