Transitioning Out of the Swaddle

When to lose the swaddle, and how to transition smoothly.

Lovebug, LLC

When to Lose the Swaddle:

There is no one age to lose the swaddle. Your transition plan is going to start as soon as your baby starts to attempt to roll. This can happen as early as two months, but other babies won't start until 3 or 4 months. Lovebug contains a whole video lesson series to guide you through your transition. I encourage you to take advantage of your free trial and watch the video lesson series here.

Lessons based on your baby's age, keeping you ahead of their changing sleep needs.

When your baby starts to roll, it's time to ditch the swaddle. The reason is that if your baby does roll over when they are in a swaddle, they have no means to get themselves out of a face-down position. That face-down position increases their suffocation risk.

Like a lot of parents you might be worried that your baby loves the hugged feeling, and not having that feeling anymore will impact their ability to sleep. The good news is that everyone goes through this transition, and there are multiple approaches to transitioning out of the swaddle. 

To me, I think how you transition will ultimately depend on how strong your baby's Moro reflex is at your transition time. The Moro reflex is also the startle reflex.

Here is how to test if your baby still has the Moro reflex: VERY gently and carefully drop their body. If they extend their arms and have a startled look on their face, they still have their Moro reflex. If your baby still has their Moro reflex, they will likely miss the swaddle more because they crave a hugged feeling. In this case, I suggest you transition using a swaddle transition product such as Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit.

If you have a baby without a strong startle reflex, you have 2 options. 1) Go cold turkey to a sleep sack or 2) use a gradual approach to get to a sleep sack by starting with one arm out on day one. Then two arms out on day two. And then, after a few nights with two arms out, move to a sleep sack. 

The Best Transition Approach:

When you think of making any transition, start with naps and then move to nights. When you approach a transition this way, you will be able to depend on night sleep to keep your baby rested and adaptable while making a change. If your naps are impacted by the change, you can shift to an early bedtime to keep your little one well-rested until they adjust.

When starting with naps, start with the first nap of the day because it's usually the most established. If you hav a great nap and bedtime routine, it's going to make any transition much easier because your baby will be at least accustomed to most of the routine. On day one of the transition, at the first nap of the day, you will have one arm out of the swaddle. Continue like this for every nap and also do this at bedtime. Continue focusing on naps until you feel baby is ready to fully transition at night. Then, move to a sleep sack for all sleep and celebrate the end of an era!

You can take advantage of your free trial and watch the full video lesson series on how to successfully transition out of the swaddle here.

Lessons based on your baby's ag

How Lovebug will customize to your family to help you transition:

What else Lovebug will do to help your family transition smoothly:

Ready to apply these tips? The Lovebug app gives you tools to help! 
Start your free trial.

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