No 8 - How long should I wrap for?
Most newborns sleep much better swaddled, but once baby is a few months old you may start to wonder when is the right time to stop wrapping your baby for sleep.
There is no right or wrong time to stop swaddling. But we do recommend you wait until your baby no longer has a startle reflex, as she will find it easier to adjust to sleeping unwrapped when her arms aren't flailing around! This generally happens around 3-4 months.
A gradual transition to stopping wrapping works best, such as leaving one arm out for day sleeps and continuing fully wrapping baby overnight.
Here are the main considerations to help decide on the right time for YOUR baby:
1. Do what works for your baby and for you, not what your Plunket nurse, midwife, mother-in-law, coffee group or anyone else tells you!
2. Listen to what your baby tells you. If your baby has been sleeping well swaddled but starts to get frustrated or tries to escape their swaddle, they may be ready for at least one arm out or to drop the swaddling all together.
3. Does your baby need her hand out of the swaddle to make self settling easier? once your baby is over 5 months she will start waking 4-6 times a night and 'sleeps through' when she can get back to sleep without help. It is generally easier to self settle with at least one arm out, so baby can cuddle a comforter, suck her hand or put a dummy back in.
4. Is your baby rolling or close to it? Swaddled babies sleeping face down have 7 x SIDS risk compared to swaddled babies sleeping on their back. So it's not safe to carry on swaddling once your baby can roll over when swaddled. If your baby is rolling we recommend using a Safe T Sleep sleepwrap to keep your baby safely on her back.