Swaddling: Yes or No, and what to choose?

In my ongoing mission to make this next baby sleep better than my first child (we can dream, right?) I am reconsidering my position on swaddling.  My son loved to be swaddled.  He only slept in his crib when he was swaddled, and slept for the longest stretches when wrapped tightly.  But he didn’t want to give it up.  Once he was rolling we had to cut him off cold turkey because frankly my nerves couldn’t take it.  At the time he was *gasp* sleeping in his crib the majority of the night and I checked on him constantly for fear he rolled over and couldn’t breathe.  But the problem was that we lived in an apartment with squeaky floors.  No matter how lightly you stepped you hit a creaking floorboard and it often times that woke him up.  It was awful.  After we stopped swaddling him he woke up every few hours again, down from sleeping in 6 hour stretches.  And it just went downhill from there…. we were laying him in his crib and he fell asleep watching his aquarium, he regressed to nursing to sleep.  Then he just started sleeping with us because I was exhausted.

I am terrified the next baby will rely on swaddling and the transition will ruin him too!  In my son’s baby book he started “sleeping through the night” at a fairly young age.  Til we stopped swaddling.  Then it took him until he was a year old.  Then he stopped again.  I just can’t get an 8 hour stretch of sleep!  I understand newborns aren’t meant to sleep all night, I am ok with that.  I just want to begin healthy sleep habits to hopefully have an easier time of it this go around.  So, do I swaddle this baby and stop sooner, or stop when they are “ready,” or just not swaddle past a couple weeks?

And, what blankets should I choose?  There are a lot on the market, some which profess to be “miracles” so I am lost!  I tried two brands with my son and we liked one of those.

The Organic Woombie

Pros:

Easy to use. Highly rated.

Coms: $$$, looks like you have to remove all the way for diaper changes

Woombie

The Miracle Blanket Swaddler

Pros: Supposed to hold in the wriggliest baby. Well rated.

Cons: $$$, complicated

miracle

Kiddopotamus & Co. Organic Cotton SwaddleMe

Pros: My son’s favorite, simple, inexpensive.

Cons: Velcro tabs wore out from drying.

kiddo2

aden + anais Swaddle Blanket

Pros: lightweight, beautiful, well rated.

Cons: $$$, traditional swaddling blanket so you actually have to “swaddle” lol

adan

Go Mama Go Designs Snug and Tug Swaddling Blanket

Pros: cute, breathable, choice of materials

Cons: $$$, have to wrap around and then under baby

gomama

Cozy Cocoon® Organic Baby Bunting

Pros: Super adorable designs, matching hats

Cons: $$$, Put on like a sock for some models, not as easy to change diapers with,


cozy cocoon

So, any ideas?  I am so not prepared for another 2 years of sleepless nights!  I swear, 2 kids is my limit, I don’t think I can do it 3 times!

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  • Katrina

    I am right there with you on an awful sleeper…. my son LOVED being swaddled too so I’m taking anything I can get and doing it again.

    Our nanny actually introduced classical music at naptime at around 6 months, routinely and it helped tons for our light sleeper bc when we’d flip it on he got drowsey and it helped drown out other noises…we will be starting this from day one this time!

  • Lauren

    Our daughter was over a year old before she would sleep in her crib, let alone unswaddled. We used several types of swaddlers. Now we’re expecting our 2nd, a son, and I am hoping to not swaddle at all. If I have to then hopefully not past a couple weeks or so. Let us know what you decide!

  • My daughter tolerated swaddling, she didn’t mind it as long as one arm was out. We had a sleep positioner (essentially two soft triangles connected by velcro making a valley) that kept her on her back as well as an Angelcare monitor. Once she was able to wiggle her way forward and out of the sleep positioner we also stopped trying to swaddle her and swapped to sleep sacks. The Angelcare monitor is amazing, it has a sensor pad that detects movement and is incredible sensitive, it detects breathing to the point if you have a fan going in the room you need to test it because it might pick up the breeze from the fan as breathing. My daughter, now two, was and is a fantastic sleeper. We now also have a son who is five weeks old. He HATES being swaddled and HATES sleeping on his back. We are talking screaming if you even try to trick him and flip him over once he is sound asleep. At this point we have a belly sleeper because you have to do what you have to do to get sleep right? Well if we didn’t have the monitor you better bet I would be up every five minutes checking on him, (he sleeps in a bassinet awaiting transition to the crib in the shared room with his sister), I’d be paranoid and he would be annoyed. We went with the bassinet as when our son woke up crying he would wake up his sister, not from the crying, but because she was worried there was something wrong with him. Now that he is in more of a routine at night (he is a great baby) and she knows and understands that when he cries he isn’t always hurt, we are debating on when to transition him to the crib. We have never been a fan of the co-sleeping because it seems like such a hard habit to break and the monitor would work, and the monitor is that important to us. We lost twins who were born prematurely and the thought of losing another child terrifies us.

    So that is my take on things. Don’t know if it will help you with your decision or not.