Introducing Katie Hilton – Expert Midwife & Health Visitor:
Many new parents choose to use a swaddle to help their newborn baby sleep and those who do absolutely swear by it! By swaddling your baby you’re mimicking the natural safe feeling your baby was used to in the womb, it also has the added benefit of reducing crying and preventing those common startle movements which often suddenly wake your baby whilst sleeping. But what happens when it’s time to move on from swaddling? This is where your journey with Love To Dream™ really becomes valuable!
When you’re ready to move your baby on from the swaddling stage at around 4-6 months of age there are a number of things you can do to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible. Luckily with Love To Dream™ this transition is made much easier by use of transitional swaddles, so your baby doesn’t have to completely lose that soothing sensation of swaddling.
Whenever you change anything in your baby’s sleep routine there will always be a period of time when your baby has to adapt to this change. For most babies this will take just a few nights, for others it might be a little longer. The beauty of using the Love To Dream™ range is that this transition can be gradual, so you’re less likely to encounter problems. Nevertheless, it’s always good to be prepared, have a partner, family member, or friend available to help you. Take turns in going to your baby and be consistent.
Many parents find that their babies protest loudly to any change in their sleep routine, be that the time, blanket your using or swaddling technique. It really helps to go slowly and then give little one time to adapt before introducing any further changes. The whole process might take longer, but both you and your baby will be much calmer. You could try changing just one arm at a time to the zip-on self-soothing sleeves to allow your baby to slowly adjust to arms-free sleep.
If you’re finding it difficult to transition your baby from a newborn swaddle to a transition swaddle you might find you need an additional/alternative way to help settle your baby to sleep. One of the most successful alternatives to swaddling is a slow, rocking motion. Now don’t get me wrong, you don’t want your baby to become used to needing to be rocked to sleep, as this will become difficult as they go through their various sleep patterns throughout the night, but you could consider using this technique to help settle and calm your baby before popping them in their own sleep environment once they reach that drowsy but awake stage. The beauty of this is that you’re showing them multiple ways to settle to sleep and this can greatly help as they grow older.
Don’t Get Overwhelmed
When a baby isn’t sleeping well, it’s common for the parents to feel overwhelmed. In reality, it may take a week or two for your baby to become used to the change in swaddle and this is totally normal. The most important thing is to try to stay consistent in all of your sleep routines and before you know it, you’ll all be sleeping soundly again!