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Farewell Swaddle!

By Rebekah Kuschmider |

Oh, the swaddle. I have such a love/hate relationship with the swaddle. On the one hand, it keeps my 4 month old baby’s arms securely away from her face so she doesn’t smack herself awake with her own hands. On the other hand, it’s a sleep crutch. Something to be overcome at a later time. A temporary solution. Plus? I have kind of an aesthetic objection to them. Sleeping babies are cute. Sleeping burrito babies look a little freaky.

But I do swaddle despite my misgivings because it nets us all a decent nights sleep. That’s a good thing and since the swaddle isn’t contraindicated for any reason, it’s worth it.

Or at least it was until last night.

Until yesterday my baby would go from fussing to grinning as soon as she was swaddled. This is a kid who doesn’t like to feel tired and she knows the swaddle means she get sot go to sleep. Add my breast into the mix and BOOM. Lights out for baby. But last night I swaddled her as usual and, while she fell asleep fine, she kept waking up and fighting it. Not her usual MO. On the third wake-up the lightbulb went off over my head. She wanted out of the swaddle. Her brother had done the same thing at a similar age. Just up and decided he wanted to sleep without it. No warning. Since following a baby’s lead on sleep is usually a good idea I took it off, nursed her back down, laid her in bed and didn’t hear another peep from her for 6 hours. Woohoo!

Well, not a total woohoo. It took her over an hour to go back to sleep after her 3am feeding and I’m typing this blog post on my phone as she nurses back down for a nap because I bungled the boob-to-bed transfer without the swaddle.  Oops.

I suspect the new swaddle- free world order is indicative of some new milestone brewing. Her little body needs the freedom to work whatever it is out, waking and sleeping. With that in mind, I’ll be curious to see what the next couple of weeks brings.

How long did you swaddle your baby? How did unswaddling go for you?

Read more from Rebekah at Mom-in-a-Million, The DC MomsThe Broad Side Follow Rebekah on Facebook and Twitter too!

Photo credit: photo stock


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About Rebekah Kuschmider


Rebekah Kuschmider

Rebekah Kuschmider is a writer and mother with an over-developed sense of irreverence, who has socialist tendencies and a blog. She lives with her husband and two kids outside of Washington, DC. You can read her work regularly at Stay At Home Pundit and The Broad Side. Her work has also been seen at Salon, Redbook, and The Huffington Post. Read bio and latest posts → Read Rebekah Kuschmider's latest posts →

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3 thoughts on “Farewell Swaddle!

  1. CKron says:

    We said goodbye to swaddling at 4 months as well! Was much sooner than I expected.

  2. Erika says:

    my son just turned two months and yep we still swaddle him. Though he is starting to act like it bothers him from time to time. But then again he doesn’t sleep in a crib or his pack and play, no he sleeps in his carseat. But only at night, extra snugNess included. I do however dread the night when he no longer wants to be wrapped up.

  3. The Urban Daddy says:

    Great article. We loved the swaddle for all three of our kids. What we found, however, was that when the kids wanted to get free, if we just swaddled one arm then it allowed them the freedom to move the arm but it also provided the same comfort to them to allow them to sleep well without startling themselves awake or scratching their faces with their nails. We chose the arm that they most wanted to free from the swaddle.



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