Skip to main content


Q: My daughter is 15 weeks old. My husband and I stopped swaddling her at about four weeks, but when we moved her out of her bassinet to her crib at eight weeks, we realized that she still needed to be swaddled to sleep. Without it, she doesn't stay asleep because she flails her arms and pulls her hair. I'm using a velcro swaddler so she doesn't kick it off, so it's safe. But, how long is it okay to swaddle her? Am I doing any harm to her development by continuing to swaddle? She has plenty of tummy time during the day and can already hold her head up well and roll over from her tummy to her back, but my mom keeps insisting that my daughter needs to figure out how to sleep without the swaddle.

A: Dr. Harvey Karp recommends swaddling as it mimics “the snugness of the womb” and limits the Moro reflex (startle reflux).   He recommends swaddling w/ flexion in the legs and abduction of the hips for safe development. 

Swaddling is safe until they roll from back to front - that can be as early as 4 months and some are later, but most are rolling by 6 months.

How to transition out of the swaddle

As she is progressing in age, look to transition out of the swaddle - either by leaving one arm out and then once she handles this well, swaddle just the torso and legs.  You may also use a sleep sack (sew the arms closed up to start with and then one by one leave an arm out).  There is also a product called a "magic sleep suit" which can be used up to 9 months of age safely for those babies who need that input from swaddling.

Tell your mom she has plenty of time to learn how to sleep without a swaddle.  Right now your focus is on getting her to sleep well, develop those self-soothing skills and learning the skill of independent sleep!  Congratulations on your lil one! 

Written By: Michelle S. Donaghy 


Popular posts from this blog

Nap transitions from 3 naps to 2 naps

Around 7 to 9 months most babies drop their 3rd cat nap and transition from three to two naps. The sign for this change may come in many different cues from your baby.  Some baby's will continue to take the 3rd nap but it will last only 10-30 minutes and then it will stop completely.  Other's will take the 3rd nap some days but not consistency.  The last group will suddenly one day refuse the 3rd nap altogether. When any of the above happens consistently for more than 3 or 4 days, it's time to drop that nap and begin transitioning baby's schedule from a 3 nap routine to a two nap schedule.   This can be a little bit of a bumpy road and most babies go through a yucky phase where three naps is too much but two naps is not enough.  You may need to be patient and some days you will need to try for that 3rd nap in the car, stroller or arms if that's what will get even just a little catnap and help baby make it to bedtime before she is running on fumes eg: over tired! 

Spring Forward - Top 10 tips for you and your family

     In the US on Sunday, March 14th we “spring forward”! Be sure and turn your clocks forward 1 hour, before bed on Saturday night.  I always think that losing sleep is a bummer, even if it's just 1 hour!   If you have kids this change may help you sleep later.  Here's how - If you/your child(ren) typically wake at 6am, then they will likely wake 7 AM on the new clock ... if 6 AM was their usual wake up time.  If you like this change then YAY!  This is a great fix for an early riser.  See more tips below.   Grown-ups and teens may have difficulty with this change as most go to bed too late as it is and to properly adjust to this time change we should go to bed earlier and on Monday we have to get up an hour earlier too.   Here are 10 tips to help with the transition: 1. Do nothing to fix early rising If you/your child(ren) typically wake at 6am, then they will likely wake 7am.  If you like this change then YAY!  This is a great fix for an early riser. Keep meals, naps, and

Sleep and doTERRA Essential Oils for Children

As some of you may know I love doTERRA essential oils and I recently achieved a huge goal that I set for myself and achieved the rank of Silver. I  fell in love with doTERRA just over 4 years ago when I discovered the powerful ways in which doTERRA essential oils could support my desire to take charge of my family's health in a more natural way.   It was a logical transition to then share my love of doTERRA with my clients. When tired families find me, sleep is usually their number one concern.  When the topic of essential oils and sleep is discussed, I always point out that essential oils can help the body and mind relax but they do not replace a child learning independent sleeping skills.  Most children over the age of 6 months are ready and able to learn the skill of independent sleep. If your new to doTERRA and essential oils maybe you have concerns about the safety of essential oils for children, how to use them and which oils are best for aiding in a most res