When we brought our daughter home from the hospital we thought we’d mastered the swaddle (two layers needed for optimal results) but we could never get our daughter as tightly wrapped as the nurses at the hospital! She always seemed to wiggle out eventually. Then my husband’s coworkers gifted us swaddle sacks and our lives were changed forever!
A newborn baby’s nervous system is still developing and without external sensory input from the mother’s womb or a swaddle their limbs tend to wander around in space. They also have a reflex called the Moro reflex that causes crying and the appearance of distress. A tight wrap in a swaddle sack keeps baby feeling safe and secure.
Our daughter slept in a bassinet/crib at the foot of our bed for the majority of the first year of her life. We do not believe in co-sleeping because of SIDS.
When my daughter started to consistently take both of her arms out of the swaddle sack we transitioned her to a swaddle sack that contains the arms but allowed them to move. The ends of the sleeves could be folded over like mittens or open like a long sleeved shirt.
Once we noticed she was able to roll over we transitioned her to a sleep sack with a “tank top” so that her arms were completely free. Please note I’m intentionally omitting ages because every baby is different.
Even though my daughter slept in a bassinet at night, she would sleep in her crib for naps and I was deliberate in creating a safe and happy environment. Bedtime has always included reading a few books and playing. We were fortunate to receive several mobiles and it turned out that the one with the most colors, motion, and music was her favorite.
What is your favorite baby sleep hack?