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Babies should be unswaddled once they show signs of rolling, or if they turn 6 months old, whichever occurs first. This is due to the fact that it is unsafe if they are swaddled when rolling, and if swaddling is continued to be used past 6 months it is much more difficult for a baby to get used to not being swaddled. There are two ways to stop swaddling:

  • Gradual approach: if your baby is not yet rolling, you can take out one arm at a time. You would unswaddle one arm on the first day for his first nap, then the next day for two naps, the third day for all day naps. Then the fourth day for the naps and first part of the night, then the fifth day for all sleep. Then follow the same process for the second arm until the swaddle is no longer used.
  • Abrupt approach: If your baby learns to roll consistently very quickly, then they need to be unswaddled quickly so that they are safe. It will be a rough couple of days, however they will learn how to fall asleep without it. Stay consistent with your settling approach and it will pass more quickly.

 

It may take several days to a week for your baby to learn to fall asleep without a swaddle. The most important thing is to stay consistent in your chosen settling method, and he will learn more quickly what is expected of him.

If you are having difficulty with this process, please feel free to book in for a free 15min chat and I can guide you through the process.

There are several sleep regressions over the course of a child’s life. They are as follows:

  • 4-6 month
  • 9 month
  • 12 month
  • 18 month
  • 24 months

The 4-6 month regression (commonly called the 4 month sleep regression) is actually the full maturation of the circadian rhythm. This causes night time sleep cycles to come into effect, which are 40-50mins in length, which may then cause frequent night waking. The best strategies to overcoming this regression quickly is to ensure that; your baby is not overtired as this makes them more difficult to settle, that they are having good day naps, and that you are using your chosen settling technique consistently and confidently. You can choose to add in a night feed or two if your baby was previously sleeping through or waking only once. Once they have learned how to link their sleep cycles, their night sleep will improve again.

The other regressions are caused by separation anxiety which comes in and out in predictable waves throughout early childhood, as well as cognitive leaps. You baby may need more emotional assistance for sleep during the regressions, however, it is important to stick to your chosen settling technique. If your baby realises that you are changing your behaviour they may think that you are anxious, and this will make them feel more anxiety, which will then fuel the regression and cause it to continue for a long time. If you are consistent with your approach, then the wave will pass, and your baby will go back to their previous sleeping patterns.

Regressions typically last 2-6 weeks, so if it continues past this there may be something else fuelling it. If this happens, please feel free to book in for a free 15min chat and I can guide you through this process.

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