I was (and still am) the diaper professional in our whole family. If anyone here has a new baby, they turn to me for advice on how to wrap up their new bundle of joy, just like the hospital nurses do. Unfortunately, this changing phase doesn’t last forever and many parents end up thinking, “Well, now what?” And hope that they won’t give up too much sleep. Fortunately, there are a few ways to get out of this stage and into a wrap transition.
Ever since I read Happiest Baby on the Block, I’ve been a devout “pucker” of newborns. My children loved being tightly wrapped like little burritos, and as strange as it may seem, research has shown that babies are comfortable and safe when they are swaddled. It’s my top tip for helping your newborn to relax.
Swaddle Transition – 4 Easy Steps to Transitioning from Swaddling!
The first battle for parenting on this topic is usually knowing if your baby is ready to stop diapering. It’s obviously not a set answer, but there are some typical signs that the time has come. At some point, your baby will simply no longer stay swaddled during his midday nap or at night. This has made them strong enough to escape their comfortably warm burrito.
They can also start struggling if they are wrapped in a wrap from the start, and most importantly, want their arms to be free. The clearest indicator that it’s time to stop diapering is when you start to roll over. It is dangerous for your baby to sleep on their tummy in a wrap and if they can get into this position on their own it will no longer be safe to have them wrapped.
Once you have decided to stop diapering, you should know that there will be a transition period. Especially if your baby was a huge fan of being wrapped up, they may not really know what to do with themselves. Just be patient, everything will get easier when you have a new routine.
Understand the Moro reflex
You have probably seen babies swing their arms in the air with their fists clenched as they bring their knees close to their chests. That fun little move is the Moro Reflex. Often referred to as the startle reflex, it is your baby’s attempt to protect himself from harm. The What to Expect Books explain very well what the Moro Reflex is really about and how swaddling helps babies feel safe, which is what keeps them asleep.
While it’s incredible that people are born with this reflex, trying to block a sleep routine can be a real pain. Understanding this reflex is an important part of knowing if your baby still needs changing or if they can move on to a new phase.
How To Do The Swaddle Transition – 4 Easy Steps
1. Loosen up.
No, not your general attitude (although I could use this tip personally). This step will help you determine if your baby is ready to stop diapering. Loosen your wrap a little from the usual securing.
This will make the transition from such a firm posture easier. When you escape from that loose coil, it is also a clear sign that it is time to move forward.
2. Unwind one arm.
Your baby will likely have one dominant arm and it is best to choose this as the free arm. For this step and the next, there are some great wrap blanket options to make it a little easier.
3. Swaddle freely with both arms.
If attempting this step, it is important to double check that your baby is really ready to leave the diaper. If you are still showing signs of the Moro reflex or are not sleeping well, it may be too early.
4. Portable blankets!
These little gadgets are a lifesaver going through this transition. They weren’t popular when my oldest kids were babies, but now they’re super popular and something every mother should have. They will comfort your baby without restricting swaddling.
Best swaddle blankets for the swaddle transition
As with all baby products, be sure to read the safety information for each of these items before trying them out.
1. The Baby Merlin Magic pajamas
2. Love to Dream Swaddle UP
3. Woombie convertible
4th Love to Dream Swaddle Up 50/50
5. Anna & Eva wrap belt
After a while, your baby will unfortunately no longer be a baby at all! When they become toddlers they will no longer need sleeping comfort, but don’t worry, the next phase of “fun” begins! Let’s talk about climbing into mom and dad’s bed… .WOOHOO!
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