Un-swaddling Cold Turkey-Style

The first thing they teach new mama's (and papa's) in the hospital is how to swaddle. I distinctly remember the nurse telling me "they only like to be swaddled for a very short amount of time." If she only knew! My daughter is 4.5 months old and she's JUST starting to sleep without being swaddled. 

No, I haven't been wrapping a receiving blanket around her all this time. She's been in what some would say is equivalent to a straightjacket. We've been using the halo sleep sack and another velcro swaddler to keep her tight. She first started using it to prevent her flailing arms from hitting her in the face and waking her up. But then she got to the point where she couldn't sleep without it.  She'd wake up at night if her swaddle came undone. (Which was happening a lot because she was getting WAY too big for it).  For more than a month now I've finally tried taking some advice and started working to get her out of the swaddle when she sleeps. I started slowly, leaving one arm out when she would nap. I'd always completely bundle her up for night time sleeping though. Then she started rolling over from her stomach to her back and I knew what was next. She's working on rolling from her back to her stomach. You should see her in the crib, my "little burrito" looks like she's trying to get off the plate! She squirms around so much I was afraid she'd flip onto her stomach and then get stuck there because her arms were wrapped up in her swaddle.  So one day last week I told my husband "we're going cold turkey." No more swaddle. At all. Period. End of story. I figured last week was a good one to start since my husband was off work and he could afford to be awakened at night by a crying baby who couldn't sleep because she wasn't swaddled. 

So we started on Friday and we were both prepared for the worse. The first nap without the swaddle only lasted 45 minute. She usually sleeps 1.5 to 2 hours. The second nap was the same thing and the third was even short. We were in for a long night. I put her to bed around 8...checked on her before I went to bed around 10 (shocked she hadn't woken up before then, but sure it was because she was so tired from such short naps) and woke up frantic at 3. I hadn't heard from my burrito. Why hadn't she woken me up??  I rushed in to check on her. There she was..arms spread eagle sleeping like an angel. This had to be fluke! How could she sleep so easily without her straightjacket? I was shocked. But at 7 am she woke up as happy as could be. The next day it was the same thing, except the naps got a little longer. She was getting used to sleeping without her swaddle. I never thought it would be that easy, but am sure glad it was. 

Now, if only taking the binky away will be that painless! Let's hope. 

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