Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Advice request

I'm probably opening a can of worms that I shouldn't be, but I'm looking for some advice from you veteran mommies out there.

Carter will NOT go to sleep unless he's either swaddled or being held by someone (or sometimes he'll fall asleep in the carseat or swing). Happiest Baby on the Block says that swaddling soothes them for 3 months or more after their born, but I feel like he's relying on it as a crutch and would like for him to sleep with his arms free. I want to be able to put him down and have him sleep like a normal person!

For now I'm trying to swaddle him with just one arm free and see how that goes and then eventually get to both arms being free. So far, he's not happy about it.

Any other things I should try?

EDITED TO ADD: It's not just about getting him to fall asleep...it's about KEEPING him asleep. He wakes himself up by flailing his arms and then it starts all over.

23 comments:

Tiffany said...

I have no advice as I still rock my 6 mo old to sleep but I'm interested to see what everyone else says.

He's growing so much!

Holly Everton said...

Amy,

I honesty believe in swaddling soo much I still swaddle Timothy but just his arms and with a blanket not one of those swaddle things we had one of those but he kept getting free. But I had his swing in my room for sometime because its the only way I was able to keep him asleep he just did not want to sleep still and really liked to sleep in my arms. Its comes with time keep swaddling him its not a crutch have you ever seen the show Knocked Up they had a show about swaddling it was funny. Now I rock timothy to sleep then I put him in his bed but he really like having his blanket close by him. He gets out of his swaddle. Another thing I do is you know that music box that comes with a playpen when you get it I always play it and it will play for 20 mins and that helps him to having the music.

Its what ever works with Carter you do what you can to make it work b/c when he is a little older its like having a security blanket.

Hope this helps some.

Holly

Erika said...

I wouldn't worry about the swaddle at all! He's still VERY young and I know I swaddled my kids for as long as possible - basically until they could get out (and then I got bigger blankets). Don't worry - swaddling is still perfectly normal (and okay) at this point! I have a friend who swaddled until a year without problems afterward. And maybe he'll just like to be tucked in nice and tight as a little kid - no harm in that. :)

Holly said...

I agree with Erika Am... he's still so young! At some point he will let you know when he doesn't want to be swaddled anymore, and when that happens, you can sleep well knowing that this is something he is OK with. He will, in time, sleep like a "normal person"!!

Two Lines On a Stick said...

I agree with the other comments, it is FINE to keep swaddling him if that's what works. To me, motherhood has become less of "the ideal" and more of "whatever works for us." Bailey slept swaddled- tight- and couldn't sleep whatsoever without it for more than ten minutes. Suddenly around 3 months, she started screaming when I tried to wrap her and didn't need the swaddle anymore. She had the most flailing arms until that point, and then it stopped and she could sleep on her own. I didn't have to wean her from swaddling, she just outgrew it on her own.

Topaz said...

Keep swaddling!

Carter is still very young. Although he is gaining more control over his limbs he still has a long way to go before he has enough control so that he won't wake himself up. Think of it as if someone would shake your arms in your sleep, it would definitely wake you up. Carter just can't control his arms yet. It takes a long time for the brain to figure out the wiring of everything. He'll get there soon enough :-)

steph said...

I wish I could help you there. Brandon my older one was up 24/7 . I tried every thing.

Poppy said...

My granddaughter is 5 months and she still sleeps much better if she is swaddled. I think she feels more secure that way than she does when she is loose (for lack of a better word) If she falls asleep without being swaddled she won't sleep longer than 20-45 minutes...guaranteed. Grace also sleeps like a log if she is left in her car seat (say she falls asleep in the car)again I think that is because with the straps hooked and a blanket tucked in around her she feels secure. Same thing with the swing. In every situation she is sort of cocooned and to her that seems to make her feel safe and secure.

I'd let Carter call the shots as to when he wants to be swaddle free :)

MollyDoll said...

Keep swaddling! He'll grow out of it on his own. In the meantime, do whatever he needs to sleep well!

Nadine said...

Ditto everyone else. Keep swaddling Carter if it is what works. I swaddled my son for a very long time. He grew out of it in his own time. I have also heard great things about the Miracle Blanket. I have friends who swear by those for their own kids. Good luck.

Our family is complete said...

As a second time mom I can say swaddle him as long as he wants to be. My first son (who is also named Carter) was swaddled till he was over 6 mo old. We had to go to the fabric store and get a yard of fabric because he outgrew his other swaddle. I use to worry about it and think gosh he is never going to want to ever stop wanting to be swaddled, but he is 2 1/2 now and I can assure he is not swaddled anymore. Some babies just prefer that feeling of being secure. We had tried everything with him on trying to get him to not want to be swaddled anymore and nothing worked. It wasn't till one morning I went in to get him and both his arms were out and he was fast alseep. We then knew that he was ready to break the swaddle. Plus they are still adjusting to the morrow reflex and they still have no control over their arms.

We are dealing with this right now with our new son Peyton which I think is a few days older or younger then your son. He hates to be swaddled, but we can't keep his arms free because he just keeps waking himself up. We too have tried the one arm out, but it hasn't been working. So for right now we are just going to keep him swaddled up.

You are doing the right thing though with weaning with leaving one arm out at a time, but some babies aren't ready when the books say they should be. If it helps him sleep at night I would just stick with it. Unfortunately my DS still gets up every 3 hours regardless.

Amy

MB said...

I agree! He will bust out of the swaddle when he is ready.

Michelle said...

I swaddled my first until she was almost 5 months old. She started rolling onto her belly to sleep and that is when we stopped with the swaddling. If he likes it you are fine to keep doing it. He will eventually outgrow that startle reflex that wakes him up.

My second... well, he hated the swaddle. He's been a belly sleeper (BAD mommy, I know, but hey, we all needed the sleep ~ not that it has helped in the long run).

You're doing great! It really sucks when they still need a swaddle but they're too big for all the blankets!

Steph said...

Gosh, are you sorry you asked for advice? Looks like it just came rolling in!!!
I swaddled my daughter until I couldn't find a blanket big enough (seriously, she was about a year old). She is absolutely fine, and still a great sleeper!
My son (14 1/2 months) loved to be swaddled too, but he outgrew it at about 7 months. I used the Swaddler blanket with him, and eventually he just "busted out", and it was happening every morning.
Both of the kids still sleep with blankets, for security I suppose, but that's fine with me.
Might as well get used to the little man calling the shots...as I said, my daughter is 5 1/2, and STILL calling the shots! Wouldn't trade it though! :)

I'm Not Skippy said...

I have no advice, but we're going through the same thing with our 10-week-old. Happiest Baby on the Block also says that any "crutch" won't harm the kid 'till after 6-months. The motto in our house is "if the baby's not crying, we've doing the right thing." For now swaddling is the only thing that will keep him asleep, so we're doing it. The startle reflex should go away soon enough.

I've also decided I'm going to swaddle him until he's 18.

That's years not months.

Kelly said...

I agree that it's fine to keep swaddling him. None of my boys liked being swaddled so I don't know much about it, but he's still really young and it sounds like he'll let you know when he doesn't need it anymore. White noise has helped all of my boys stay asleep. Thomas was addicted to the vibrating of the bouncy seat. Lucas sleeps really good in the bouncy seat too but w/o the vibrating. He slept in it at night until around 4mo and we didn't have any problems transitioning to lying on his back. So like others said, do what works for you and Carter and you'll both be happy :)

Marla said...

My advice is along the same lines of what Molly said, do what works and he'll grow out of it when he's ready. ;)

Beautifully Unique said...

I have no advice but it sounds like everyone else has given you good tips.
Sister is 7 months old and hasn't been swaddled since she was about 6 weeks but I do have to rock her to sleep every night.
I can't just go put her in the bed and let her put herself to sleep.

I know, bad mommy, oh well, it works for us. :)

Oh, The Joys said...

We kept The Mayor swaddled for 4-5 months. Eventually it was he who wanted his arms free. He let US know when he no longer needed it for comfort.

Amy W said...

You don't want sleep advice from me...

Anonymous said...

I agree with Molly and Marla.

I swaddled Harry until he grew out of it (about 4.5 months), meaning when he could free himself. By the time he outgrew it, sleeping without being swaddled did not cause any sleeping issues for him.

Nicole B.

Amber said...

I realize I'm late chiming in, but here's my 2 cents. My DS hated being swaddled from about a week old onwards. He could wiggle his way out of anything. The jerk reflex would always wake him up. My solution was to co-sleep, but I realize that doesn't work for everyone. He stopped the jerking thing eventually and was in his crib putting himself to sleep around 3 1/2 months. Carter is too young to be worried about him having a crutch to get him to sleep. If swaddling is working, then swaddle away!

Steph said...

One of Gabe's therapists said they can be swaddled for up to 5 months actually. Go get some light flannel and sew the edges of a 46" x 46" piece. That should get you through as he gets bigger. Also, use the Happiest baby method of up down up down. It holds tighter. If you want to email me, I'll walk ya through it.

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