Swaddling is one of the most popular and safest ways to put your baby to sleep (assuming you follow the guidelines on swaddling).
Besides the quality and safe sleep time for the baby, swaddling also reduces the parent’s worries and allows them to rest.
However, some babies do not like being swaddled. Besides, you can’t swaddle your babies forever. So, if you want to know how to put your baby to sleep without swaddling or transition them from swaddling, this article is for you.
In this article, you will find practical steps to guide you on putting your baby to sleep safely without swaddling and alternative sleep options that you can consider using instead of swaddling.
Are you ready? Let’s delve into it, then.
Ways to put your newborn to sleep without swaddling; a list of alternatives to swaddling
Each child is unique, i.e., what works for your baby may not work for mine. It is expedient to watch and examine which options suit your child.
Identifying this will make it easier for you to learn how to train your newborn baby to sleep a swaddle-free sleep.
Nonetheless, below you have a list of several sleeping options that your baby could find appealing, which might help him get through this transition from swaddling.
When most parents want their children to sleep without a swaddle or loose blankets, they use a swaddling strap. These are simple wraps that look like a strap and cover your child’s chest.
A swaddle strap keeps your child in the swaddle sensation while gradually weaning them off the habit of being enveloped in a swaddle. It’s something you can easily find online. Get a swaddling strap if you want your child to sleep without a swaddle.
To do so, first, remove the swaddle and let your child sleep into the strap. Once your child begins to sleep with a swaddling strap, gradually remove the strap and let your child sleep independently.
You’ll have to repeat this for a few days until your child starts sleeping soundly without a swaddle. So, get your hands on a swaddling strap, train your child to sleep with it, and you’ll be able to ditch the swaddling for good.
Please follow the instructions supplied with the swaddle strap carefully when using it on your baby.
Some sleep straps are recognized by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute as HIP-HEALTHY. Always check before ordering.
Another way to put an infant to sleep instead of covering them in a swaddling blanket is to put them in a sleep suit.
A sleepsuit, also known as a wearable blanket, keeps your baby warm while providing the comfort that your infant requires while napping.
The wearable blanket allows the infant to move their legs and arms freely. Some sleepsuits are constructed with a light-weighted pad that mimics a hand resting on the baby’s chest.
So, it provides security to an unswaddled infant, and it aids in the management of the Moro reflex. The Moro or ‘startle’ reflex is an involuntary action in newborns in which your infant throws their head back, screams, and extends their arms and legs with their fingers outstretched before drawing their arms and legs back in.
However, if your infant has a fever, avoid using sleepsuits.
A sleep sack is another method to put your baby to sleep without a swaddle. I have used sleeping suits on both of my kids.
It’s more like a wearable blanket that can be wrapped like a swaddle but enables the baby’s hands and arms to be exposed. The child’s legs, torso, and feet are all tied at the same time.
Furthermore, unlike swaddled babies, sleep sacks allow moms to change their babies’ diapers through the zipper front rapidly.
As a parent, you can begin to use sleep sacks for newborns and babies from the time their child begins rolling over until they reach toddlerhood.
You don’t need an extra blanket to cover your infant when using the sleep sack.
Studies have shown that sleep sacks can reduce the risk of SIDS.
Helpful tips to make your baby sleep without a swaddle
Getting your baby to sleep without swaddling may not be very easy. However, the tips below will help you to get your newborn asleep without swaddling.
Pacifiers are a safe product to use when transitioning from swaddling. It relaxes your infant and lowers the chance of sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS in babies.
When a baby exerts effort in sucking a pacifier, he expends energy, causing him to fall asleep sooner and for a longer time. A string should not be linked to the pacifier to ensure the child’s safety since this might pose a strangulation risk to the infant if left unattended.
Getting rid of the pacifier is a challenge! I used these pacifier alternatives for my first son when he gave his up.
Playing relaxing music around your child is one of the best ways to help them sleep without a swaddle. Children may not understand the lyrics, but they feel the music’s soothing power.
So, choose some wonderful and peaceful music to play around your child. After that, reduce the lighting in the room and let your child enjoy the music. This way, it will be easier for your child to sleep without a swaddle.
You might also want to consider a night light projector for your baby to help them sleep.
If you’re transitioning from swaddling, however, you should remember that your child may feel uncomfortable without a swaddle in the beginning.
So, your child may wake up throughout the night feeling uneasy. Thus, you should be prepared for it when trying to use an alternative instead of swaddling your baby.
Massage your baby
Massaging a child is an ancient practice for assisting a child in relaxing and sleeping well. A regular massage helps the child relax their muscles and stretch their body. This relaxation tends to make them fall asleep quickly.
However, before giving your child a massage, consult with your doctor about the oil you want to use. It happens infrequently, but some children are allergic to certain types of oil. So, before giving your child a massage, ask your doctor.
Give your baby a full feed
If you choose to breastfeed your baby, they will want to snack. This should be avoided for various reasons, but since we’re talking about sleeping, snacking is a good nap’s biggest enemy.
Snacking occurs when a baby feeds for less than 15 minutes. When a baby sleeps through a feed and does not get enough milk, they will wake up early to snack again, thus interrupting their sleep.
If your baby falls asleep during a feeding, wake them up. Use a cold towel to massage their feet, strip them nude, whatever it takes.
Newborns require a lot of food to sleep comfortably, and if they don’t get enough milk during the day, you can be certain they’ll wake up a few times more at night to snack.
So, give your baby a full feed if you want your baby to sleep for longer.
Regulate the room temperature
You may overlook it when getting your child out of the swaddle, but the room temperature is critical. The ambient temperature was sufficient when your child was in the swaddle since the wrap kept them warm.
However, removing the swaddle may make them feel cold, which may explain why they are so uncomfortable while sleeping without a swaddle.
Thus, if your children cannot sleep without the swaddle, consider increasing the room temperature slightly, and you might help your child enjoy a wonderful nap.
Swaddling may have been very helpful for you and your baby at the start, but you can’t swaddle forever.
So, when swaddling, you should be aware of your newborn’s movements to know when to swap.
When swaddled babies move onto something else, it can be a challenge!
Giving up swaddles may not be easy for both of you, but you should know that teaching your kid to sleep independently is essential.
Following the tips highlighted above according to your child’s preferences will help make the transition go more smoothly.
I hope you understand how to train your baby to sleep without a swaddle.