Can’t live with it; can’t live without it.

I feel kind of bad, blogging for help about our sleep issues when I know others are having some MAJOR sleep problems, but BB’s having a real hard time transitioning from swaddle to sleep sack and we could really use some IVP expertise.

His love affair with the swaddle is fading fast, but he’s far from falling head over heels for any replacement.

Previously, we’d swaddle him, he’d calm straight down, sometimes even dropping off whilst we were still wrapping him, most times lying peacefully with his head facing the wall until he drifted off minutes later. No crying, no problems, a good, solid 8-10 hours sleep (barring any dodie-replacements), a feed, then another couple of hours before getting up. Lucky us, hey? We kept that one quiet, for fear of hate mail!

These days, he’ll mostly still happily submit to being swaddled and will usually still drop off ok, but he’ll wake after an hour or two and bust right out of his swaddle and thrash around for a bit, crying until I soothe him or feed him, re-wrap him and off he drifts again. Rinse and repeat all night long. Apart from the whole awake half the night thing, it’s also been stressing us that he’s in the cot with blankets – the swaddles we have are muslin (thanks again, Michelle and Jen!); brilliant but not warm enough on their own for our chilly Autumn nights. When he’s immobilised, it’s not a concern, but once he  frees his arms and starts rolling over, it’s a worry, even if we should be past worrying about blankets now he’s bigger, I don’t know.

We’ve tried him in his gro-bag with limited success. If we put him down in it, he doesn’t settle well and will chatter and scoot around his cot for ages, eventually losing his dodie over the side and crying. If we go with the swaddle first off, then, when he busts his swaddle, switching him over to the gro-bag, we have the same unsettled cycle starting up.

On occasion now though, he’s starting to resist being swaddled at all, which leads us to think we’d better address this properly, before we’re well and truly screwed.  We’ve started using the gro-bag more consistently for day time naps, in the hope it’ll get him used to it, but all that seems to have done is cock up his napping, reducing it from two hours to 30-40 mins and resulting in a grumpy, tired boy.

So, what to do? Go cold-turkey with the gro-bag and ditch the swaddle, put up with crap sleep for I don’t know how long in the hope he gets it eventually? Look into more serious swaddling techniques to make sure he just can’t bust out? Invest in an alternative type of swaddle/sack? Just put him down in a fleece babygrow (footed sleeper/blanket sleeper)? What kind of temperature should we be aiming at keeping the room at for any of these options? (It’s currently around 16-18C but can dip lower if it’s a cold night).

Help? We feel oddly lost on this one.

vee xxx

PS: jay will blog more about BLW tomorrow –  in the meantime, she wants me to point out that the wholegrain mustard sarnie also had cheese in it. Just so you know!


5 responses to this post.

  1. My assvice is to ditch everything and let him get used to sleeping without any constraints. Even if he’s on his belly. Even if it takes a few days for him to get used to it. When Miles began sleeping unswaddled, he naturally started sleeping on his side and belly (from 4ish months) and got the best sleep (though we are lucky to have a VERY good sleeper). At BB’s age, there really is no worry that he’ll suffocate since they have adequate neck/head control and can roll. Room temperature should probably be the temperature you find comfortable. If it’s a little cool, you can put him in fleece. Good luck!


  2. no advice, but best of luck. We struggle with temperature but our babe is older. He would never accept a swaddle now. I remember that when he was your b’s age, we just swaddled him underarms and down…like a sack.


  3. Coming back to say that I think I misread your worry about suffocation…you’re not worried about him on his belly, but because of the blankets. In that case, can you find warmer sleepers to put him in? Then you wouldn’t need anything else…grobag or blanket.


  4. Posted by gypsygrrl on November 19, 2009 at 3:12 am

    my non-mommy vote is to get him some fleece sleepers!!!


  5. Well, we cheat swaddle our babies. This means when we put them down (in a vest underneath a fleecy sleep sack), we have a doubled up blanket (knitted, holes in it to calm my fear of suffocation!!) we put over each baby. Then we use our hands to tightly tuck the blanket underneath each baby’s sides. My mother taught us the trick of leaving the feet free, as our little boy kicks his way out of anything. In this way, both babies are warm, comforted, and less likely to go all crazy and flailing.

    Hope this helps!


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