How to wean a baby from swaddling?


Swaddling babies from birth allows you to create the ideal conditions for his sleep. When his movements are limited, he sleeps more calmly, he is not frightened by the waving of his hands and does not touch himself. As they grow, the need for parting with diapers becomes obvious, but the baby quickly gets used to swaddling. His absence can adversely affect the quality of sleep, but without it in any way, because sooner or later, the wrapping will have to be completely abandoned.


Today swaddling is carried out in two ways: traditional tight and free. The first type is nothing but immobilization of the upper and lower limbs. Depending on the size of the diaper, you may need from one to two. When a baby is wrapped with two diapers, his neck is closed, arms and legs are stretched. Therefore, with all the desire during sleep, the fear of stirring and waving of the hands of an infant is excluded.

With free swaddling, the situation depends on how well the child is wrapped. In contrast to the tight way of wrapping the child’s legs are not stretched. They are in a weak bag, folded from the diaper. This method of swaddling increasingly used recently, proving its superiority in comparison with the tight method.

However, in this case is not so simple. Despite the fact that in this case the baby can breathe more comfortably, it is not so limited in movement, he often quickly cope with such a wrapping. Therefore, his hands often look out of the diaper, and his legs crush a sleeping bag folded from it. Each mother chooses the way she wraps the baby. It will depend on him how quickly the baby adapts to sleep without diapers.


Today, swaddling is often condemned, it is considered one of the bad habits that moms consciously implant to their babies, and then re-enter them into a stressful state, accustomed to new conditions of sleep. Young mothers are often confused, because the opinions of doctors today are contradictory. However, if we consider the issue from the standpoint of the baby’s gaze, the situation will speak about the benefits of swaddling. To understand this, you should pay attention to a few nuances.

Being in the womb, the child is restricted in movement. Diaper creates similar conditions and gives a sense of security. His arms and legs will not cause fright, he will not wake up from what dramatically touches himself. In addition, the diaper additionally warms the baby, which relaxes before bedtime. This helps relieve tension, so the baby can fall asleep faster.

It is impossible not to take into account the fact that a child in a diaper will not turn over in his sleep and will not be able to suffocate, having accidentally buried his nose in the surface on which he sleeps. The dressed baby sleeps soundly, while maintaining a normal temperature.

Swaddling is necessary especially in cases where babies have congenital dysplasia or incomplete development of the articular elements of the lower extremities.

The optimal age for failure

There are no clear recommendations indicating the specific age of the baby, at which you need to gradually abandon the wrapping. This is due to the peculiarities of the adaptation of a particular infant to the world, growth and development. It is impossible to do without swaddling at all, because, besides the fact that he cannot calmly fall asleep, his peace will be disturbed. Irritability can become permanent, the child will be under stress.

Rarely, what kind of doctor will advise you to give up diapers within 1.5-2 months after the birth of a baby. Especially it is necessary for hyperactive kids who do not give rest to themselves. However, if the mother initially swaddled the baby tight, over time, you have to change the approach to swaddling and weaken it, because every day the baby needs to move more. Stiffness may cause impaired development of the skeletal system and joints.

Usually, children stop shivering by the end of the fourth month of their lives. Therefore, some experts believe that this period is considered the most favorable for weaning babies from swaddling. However, there is another opinion, which says: to gradually wean a baby from a diaper from five months. At the same time, it is necessary to look at how calmly the baby sleeps in a wrapped up form, what is his condition during the day when he is dressed in loose clothing and does not have diapers.

It is necessary to remove diapers from everyday life as the baby more or less learns to control its arms and legs. You can not keep it in diapers all the time, because it will hinder its development, in which the baby for a long time examines the hands, and then the legs. To swaddle a baby at this age is necessary periodically so that he can rest and sleep. For this reason, some mothers try not to swaddle the babies completely, but only by closing the legs.

How to wean from the diaper?

It is impossible to sharply stop wrapping the baby, because it will be a new stress for him. You can not count on the fact that without swaddling, he will yell and stop, falling asleep on his own. The nervous system will suffer from such weaning, and in addition, an umbilical hernia may appear. The children's brain does enough hard work, processing the information received in a dream.

It is important that the organization and configuration of neural networks and all brain systems are not accompanied by stress. If you dramatically stop wrapping your baby in a diaper, it can negatively affect mental, motor and speech development. The age of weaning is chosen when the baby is fully adapted to the new conditions of life after being in mother's belly.

As soon as the brake mechanisms of the nervous system are formed, the frequency of the baby’s wraps should be reduced. To teach a baby to sleep without diapers, without disturbing his sleep, you should take note of a few simple recommendations.

If the mother initially wraps the child tightly so that he is accustomed to sleeping swaddled, you need to gradually loosen the fabric. Weakening will allow to move to a free swaddle, in which the baby will be in diapers, but not so limited in movement.

When nothing comes out, and the baby does not want to fall asleep without tight swaddling, it is worth resorting to tricks. He is wrapped in a diaper, and after he falls asleep, it is weakened. This should be done carefully, so as not to wake the child. It is possible to begin to weaken the wrapping from 4 or 5 months, so that by 6 he will become accustomed to the freedom of movement. At the same time it is worth paying more attention to the so-called charging.

It is important to help the baby learn to manage their limbs, which will reduce their random startle in a dream. In no case should the child be kept swaddled at all times, as this damages the functioning of his body systems. He needs not only diapers, but also massages, exercises, movements of hands, legs, head turns. Today it will not be difficult to choose a few exercises that will help in the development of the baby. You can consult with a pediatrician, who will tell you exactly what and how to do.

Such exercises and massages are necessary for every child, as well as outdoor festivities. Over time, the baby will sleep less, no need to wrap it unnecessarily. For daytime sleep in the fourth to fifth month of life, ordinary sliders, shirts and vests are quite common.

If the child is accustomed to sleep in diapers and during the day, it is necessary to gradually replace daytime sleep in diapers with sleep in clothes.

In the future, to teach the baby to sleep without swaddling will be easy. After the stage of transition from tight swaddling to free, the legs can be wrapped up at night, and quite weakly. You can wear so-called scratches or cloth gloves on your hands to prevent accidental scratching of your face. If at this stage it is difficult for the child to fall asleep, it would be good to use a blanket or a light blanket. While falling asleep, you can slightly wrap the baby, and when the dream goes into a strong phase, unfold the blanket (blanket) and just cover your child.

Other methods include falling asleep on the hands. It is believed that it will be easier and easier for a child to get used to sleeping in clothes. However, this method has its drawbacks: the baby will very quickly get used to falling asleep on his hands. This will entail a new problem, since it is necessary to wean him not only to sleep without diapers, but also independently, without requiring any motion sickness on her hands.

For weaning babies from diapers, you can purchase a special sleeping bag. He can replace free swaddling for some time. Someone helps special devices or so-called cradles-cocoons of unusual shape, but their purchase will be expensive. The use of them is still controversial to this day, although the demand for such products is high.

Some mothers indulge in various tricks to wean their children from swaddling. For example, they relax kids before bedtime bathing. As a rule, after such procedures with soothing herbsrecommended by the pediatrician, babies calm down and relax. After bathing, it is enough to feed them and put them to bed. When mom is near, the baby falls asleep calmly.

What else to consider?

Initially, before weaning a baby from a diaper, it is worth normalizing his sleep. It is important to walk with him daily with the exception of bad weather. From lack of oxygen and the sun, it can become restless and whiny. In addition, you need to deal with the baby - despite the fact that he was born only recently, he needs not only dressing up and sleeping.

Maternity is a great work, the physical and mental state of the baby depends on the parental attention.

If the mother is close, the child will feel secure, and therefore calm. This will make it easier to adapt to sleep without diapers. There can be no increase in voice, much less a cry. Despite the fact that the child is small, he intuitively perceives "abnormal" intonation.

Tips from experienced moms and psychologists

Recommendations of experienced mothers and professional psychologists will be helpful in weaning the baby from swaddling. For example, experts recommend before bedtime to relieve tension through massage. This can be both a light stroking and relaxing massage movements. As a rule, this method is effective and allows you to reduce the number of trembling of the limbs during sleep.

It is important to monitor the positive dynamics and daily protect the child from daytime stressful situations. This does not mean that you need to take the hands of a child with every manifestation of his voice. However, it is worth distinguishing when he just gets acquainted with his voice, and when he cries, for example, because of bloating or colic. If the baby is calm, his sleep will be calm. And this already suggests that mom will have more chances to loosen diapers or to remove them altogether in the near future.

It is important to constantly air the nursery. It is better to do this while the mother is walking with the baby or when he is not in the room. The stale air negatively affects the quality of sleep, as well as the wrong temperature conditions, as well as humidity. You can not overheat the room: 22 degrees is enough for normal sleep.

There should be no drying diapers, baby clothes and other clothes in the nursery. It is necessary to monitor the noise level. However, this does not mean that there should be perfect silence in the room, because over time it will be difficult for the child to fall asleep in different conditions.In other words, weaning the baby from the diaper covers much more moments than the diaper alone. In order for this process to proceed with the least stress for the crumbs, you need to consider all aspects.

It is not necessary to replace the diaper swing cot, because it can also become a habit. If the baby falls asleep badly without swaddling, you need to think about the reason. Often the negative factors of the day can lead to this.

When he is full, calm and love, the adaptation passes quickly. You can turn on soft relaxing music, buy special night-lights with different effects, so that they distract the attention of the kid and relax him. Others cost special glowing stickers.

Dr. Komarovsky will talk about swaddling a child in the next video.

Information provided for reference purposes. Do not self-medicate. At the first symptoms of the disease, consult a doctor.