From swaddle to sleep bag – when and how

Mar 12, 2021 | Key Sleep Tips, Sleepwear

Swaddling can be very helpful for newborns to help calm their Moro reflex (often referred to as the “startle reflex” – you know, the one that causes your baby to hit himself in the face and wake up very annoyed? Yeah, that one.). Swaddling is not a sleep prop, but something that can really help some babies to sleep well during those first few months when those limbs are flying all over the place! However, many parents wonder when to transition from the swaddle. Do this if:

Baby is consistently breaking out of the swaddle on their own (the swaddle not really working towards its goal at that point anyway!

Baby is rolling

If you feel babe will be ok with it, you could simply transition straight to a sleep sack once baby is ready to be done with the swaddle. If you feel like the transition may be a tricky one, you can instead do it a bit more gradually by:

  1. Swaddling with one arm in and one arm out for a few nights/a week

2. Swaddling then with both arms out and just the body wrapped for a few nights/a week.

3. Then moving to a sleep bag.

Don’t worry, parents! Yes, it’s a big transition for some babies, but usually children adjust quite quickly and you won’t have more than a few “off” nights while your babe adjusts.

Remember, not all babes even like to be swaddled, and it is possible to start right from the newborn stage with a sleep bag if your little one doesn’t seem to be a big fan of the burrito-style wrap! If your babe is a swaddle-lover, check out The Ollie World swaddle, a great option! And, when your babe is ready for a sleep bag, among my very favourite brands are Ry & Pen and Louloulollipop – check out our Must Haves page for more info!

Erin Junker is a Professional Infant & Toddler Sleep Consultant, and owner of The Happy Sleep Company, working closely with tired parents to help them help their little ones get the healthy, restful sleep they need. Follow The Happy Sleep Company on Instagram and Facebook – let’s get your family the healthy, happy sleep you deserve!

Disclaimer: I only provide reviews and recommendations for products when I feel they are of great quality. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I am a member of several affiliate marketing programs and, as such, I do receive a commission for purchases made through some product links on this website.

The advice provided by The Happy Sleep Company is not a substitute for medical advice. The advice on this website is provided solely for informational purposes in connection with common early childhood sleep issues that are wholly unrelated to medical conditions. Always seek the advice of your doctor or another qualified health practitioner with questions regarding medical conditions or the health or welfare of your child. 


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