When should you stop swaddling your baby?
At Love To Dream™, we believe in the power of sleep. For over 15 years, we’ve proudly helped parents and caregivers develop a healthy sleep routine that works for the whole family.
Swaddling plays a fundamental role in the journey towards better sleep. But when is the right time to stop? From developmental signs to look out for to reasons you should stop swaddling after a certain age, find out everything you need to know below.
What are the telltale signs to stop swaddling?
Important developmental cues indicate when your baby can no longer be swaddled. On average, children will begin to display these signs between two to six months old:
The ability to escape out of a traditional swaddle.
Resistance to being swaddled.
Pushing up onto their hands.
Every child is different. If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to your GP.
Why should you stop swaddling your baby?
According to the Red Nose Foundation, swaddling your child once they show signs of rolling over or pulling up onto their hands increases the risk of restricted breathing. It's important to follow your child’s developmental signs to ensure a safe night’s sleep.
How do you transition out of swaddling?
Our Ready to Roll collection is designed to make the journey towards independent sleep as smooth as possible. With the same cosy feel of a swaddle, our award-winning Transition Suits and Bags have zipped wings to enable you to comfortably introduce your child to arms-free sleep.
1. The one arm out method
With our bestselling Swaddle Up™ Transition Bags, you can unzip one arm at a time to ease your child into a new sleep routine. We recommend following the same structure when naptime rolls around.
2. Both arms out of the swaddle
Once your baby has settled into a new rhythm, you can unzip the second arm to enable more freedom of movement. It might take a couple of nights for your child to adapt to this new way of sleeping.
3. The legs out method
If your baby is ready for more movement, the Swaddle Up™ Transition Suit is the perfect next step. With a hip-healthy design, your child will be able to sleep with their legs free to move.
Designed to last for years to come, the five-in-one solution can also be used for play and travel with a twin zipper for easy nappy changes.
4. Removing the swaddle
Once your child is used to sleeping with their arms and legs free, it’s time to adopt a swaddle-free sleep routine.
5. Alternating swaddling and sleeping freely
You can choose to alternate between using an arms-free swaddle and sleeping freely. Once your child has reached stage three of their development, you can look to our On The Move range for support.
A safer way to keep your little one warm during the night, our Swaddle Up™ Transition Bags and Suits replace the need for excess blankets. Refer to our temperature guide to find the right style depending on the season.
How many nights does it take to transition out of a swaddle?
Every child is different. We recommend slowly introducing change over time, as it might take a few nights for your baby to adapt to this new way of sleeping.
How do you get your baby to sleep without being swaddled?
From a routine to white noise, discover our expert tips on helping your little one to sleep without being swaddled below.
Our Love To Dream Transition Bags and Suits
Our Transition Bags and Suits are designed to help your child learn to sleep more independently. Our zipped wings allow you to remove one arm at a time, helping your child to adapt to more freedom of movement without losing the comfort of being swaddled.
Designed to be used all year round, our suits come in a range of fabric grades for the different seasons with four sizes to choose from: small (3.5-6kg), medium (6-8.5kg), large (8.5-11kg), and extra-large (11-14kg).
Establishing a routine
Regardless of whether your baby is being swaddled or not, creating a safe sleep routine is essential for the whole family. This will look different to every household, from bedtime stories to using white noise.
Try to reduce the amount of light in the room an hour before bedtime.
If possible, carve out an hour of time before bed to settle your little one. This might look like a bath, reading a book, baby massage, or singing a lullaby.
Some families like to use white noise to settle their baby. If this is something you’d like to try, place the sound machine at least two metres away from your child’s cot or bassinet, don’t let the sound level exceed 50 decibels, and always keep out of reach.
Can I still swaddle my six-month-old?
You must not swaddle your baby once they have shown signs of rolling over or pulling up onto their hands. This usually occurs between the ages of three to six months old, sometimes earlier.
Is it OK to stop swaddling at 6 weeks?
Swaddling your baby is a personal choice. If you decide not to, just make sure to follow the below measures for a safe sleep routine:
Red Nose Australia highly recommends that your child sleeps in the same room as you for the first six to 12 months to prevent the risk of SIDS by up to 50%.
Never co-sleep with your child. Use a bassinet or cot until your baby exceeds the weight or age limit.
Always ensure your baby sleeps on their back with the face uncovered.
Ensure your baby’s mattress is firm, clean, and flat.
Never co-sleep with your child. Remove any toys, loose objects, or blankets from the baby’s crib/bassinet before sleep.
Our Transition Swaddle Bags and Swaddle Suits
Our bestselling Transition Swaddle Bags and Suits are famous for their unique ARMS UP™ design. The patented wing tips allow your child to sleep in a more natural ARMS UP™ position which encourages self-soothing. They’re designed to adapt alongside your child on their sleep journey and are available in a range of colours, styles, and fabric grades.
Why you’ll love our suits and bags:
Our sleepwear is famous for its comfort, versatility, and longevity. Below, find some of the biggest reasons why you’ll love our Sleep Bags and Suits:
The wing tips are designed to prevent your baby from scratching their face.
Roomy leg design for flexion of the hips.
Range of fabric grades to suit the different seasons.
Snug fit around the waist for a secure feeling.
At Love To Dream™, we know that every child is different, and we’re committed to helping you to find the right solution for your family. With you at every step, Love To Dream™ believes today’s little dreamers are the shapers of tomorrow. For further advice from our experts, visit our Sleep Library.