The Battle of the Swaddle


On one side, we have the concerned parents who have a little one who needs to be swaddled for a good night’s sleep. They have decided that since the little one wakes himself up when he moves his arms that swaddling is the best choice. These parents also would like to eventually have a night where they don’t have to wake up with the little one.

On the other side, we have the little one who is the next Houdini. He can manage to get his arms out of the swaddle in .5 seconds and then proceeds to chew on his hand. Problem being, said chewing wakes him up and he starts talking and playing at crazy hours in the night.

So begins the Battle of the Swaddle.

We knew this day would come. The day when we would need to have C sleep without being swaddled. We dreaded it. We faced it with fear and trepidation. How do you teach a baby who has been cozily wrapped up to sleep with their arms free?

The realization that we could do it came when I was staying with my parents last week. Mom and I went to Target to pick some things up after I put C to bed. He promptly started crying as we walked out the door, but Dad said that he could handle it. Cool. Off we go. A little while later, we get a call from Dad with C crying in the background.

Time to head home.

Of course, we get there and C is passed out. It was bound to happen. But to my surprise, he wasn’t swaddled… and he was SLEEPING! *insert awe here* Dad did it! He did what we were afraid to do. So I had him explain what he did so I could try a repeat performance.

Mind you, the unswaddling only lasted till about 11 that night because he wouldn’t go back to sleep. But we had a starting point.

From then on, we put him down unswaddled and he puts himself to sleep [another shock and awe moment here]! Eventually at some point through the night, we swaddle him again. Usually when he’s so worked up that he won’t go back to sleep without it.

BUT THEN. The parents make a move [well J does, but those are details… ;c)]. We have also discovered this week that he doesn’t need to be eating during the night. So. We have to make an effort to get him to go back to sleep in the middle of the night. So the night before last, J makes that effort to get him back to sleep in the wee hours. But he does it without the swaddle!! So when I went in to get him at 7 yesterday, I was quite surprised to see him unswaddled. But that means…

We did it!!! We beat the swaddle!

We did it again last night. An entire night without swaddling!

Sure, he wakes up a few times through the night. But he did that before. And all we have to do it put the soother in his mouth and roll him back onto his side and he usually goes back to sleep.


[You might note that he is still swaddled for naps. But he doesn’t struggle as much against it. Once the nights are going well, then we’ll move the battle to the daytime. Until then, he stays swaddled for my sanity.]

Do a little happy dance for us!


2 responses »

  1. Congrats!!! That is great that C is doing so many new cool things and probably doesn’t even realize it!

  2. We were swaddlers as well. We did it when he first was born and then we stopped. For some reason we started again (I think b/c he was constantly waking up) and then were afraid to stop! He kept on getting un “swaddled” so finally I tried it one night and it worked fairly well!

    For some reason they are just amazing!

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