Babies: 0 - 3 Months


My 3 month old has been getting out of every swaddle I put her in, no matter how tight. I even use the swaddle me velcro blankets. I have tried putting her down without swaddling but the startle reflex is still waking her up. What do I do?

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Re: Swaddling

  • This was recommended to me when we were still trying to swaddle.  LO doesn't seem to be bothered by his startle reflex, so we never tried it.  It came highly recommended though!

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  • Honestly, this was my kid. She hated, hated, hated the swaddle and kicked out of it all the time. Like even in the hospital the nurses had her wrapped so tight in a swaddle and she was squirming to get out of it.

    I just gave up. She slept fine without it. After a day or 2 she kind of "figured out" her startle reflex and worked through it. Whatever I guess. :)

    Not every kid needs or loves the swaddle.

  • yeah, my kid doesn't like the swaddle either. hasn't since she was born. her arms are always by her face, and she'd get upset when they weren't. her startle reflex doesn't seem to wake her up. in fact, having her arms down by her sides would wake her up all the time!
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  • It's possible she doesn't want to be swaddled anymore. My DD never liked it. She does startle in her sleep sometimes but it doesn't seem to bother her, she just keeps on sleeping. When your DD wakes up from startling does she go right back to sleep or does she stay up and cry?

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  • If you think she *likes* the swaddle and isn't rolling over yet, you can try the woombie or merlin's magic sleepsuit. Both are impossible to get out of basically but mimic the effects of a swaddle. But yeah, as PPs say, it's possible she's just no that into swaddling any more!
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  • My little guy hates the swaddle also. He likes his arms up by his face and would always break them out. We started swaddling with arms out and that's worked well for us. Holds him tight still but has free arm movement.
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  • My kids have been like this, too. Broke out of all of the normal swaddles. As PPs said, your LO might just be over swaddling. Or, you might need to try different tactics. I've found with mine that as long as I can get them to fall asleep swaddled, they can usually get through the night okay from there even if they break out of the swaddle later. I have an AngelCare monitor so that eases my concerns a little about their breaking out of the swaddle and it covering their face.

    That said, I use the swaddling method from the Happiest Baby On The Block and it's pretty decent. They still broke out of it when they were really motivated, but when they're falling asleep, it works well. It also wraps around and tucks in like the swaddle in the video above, which I think reduces the likelihood of their pulling the blanket up.

    One thing to note: recent advice I've received about swaddling has been to leave the legs a bit loose to allow baby's legs to bend and part naturally. Their legs in the early months are not supposed to be forced together and straight. It pulls their hip bones out of joint a bit from what I understand. That's why I've never tried a wombie or similar products. I just do a normal HBOTB swaddle and then pull it apart at the bottom until I know DS's legs are loose and relaxed naturally.

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  • I use the Miracle Blanket (google it). It's basically a dummy-proof version of the "escape proof swaddle". I've also tried the woombie and I like that too.

    Unlike what pp said - the woombie does not force their hips together or straight. It's very stretchy material and allows them to relax their legs normally.


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  • Try a sleep sack. They also make sleep slack clothes, a "sleep bag".
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  • We use the Woombie.. It's the only one that keeps my LO swaddled and she sleeps better that way.
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  • Have you tried other swaddle brands?  We use the Halo swaddles, and are very happy with them.  Or as others have suggested, she might be ready to be done swaddling (the signs to stop are when LO can roll over or is breaking loose).  At which point, I agree with the suggestions to try a sleepsack.  I remember being very apprehensive of loosing my awesome sleeper when DS2 started breaking loose, but he surprised me with adjusting to a sleepsack really well.  Fingers crossed DS3 adjusts just as easily! 
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