As a new parent, you might feel some stress when you realize your baby hates the swaddle. Most things you read will say your newborn won’t sleep without it! But the good news is that’s not entirely true.
In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know about when your baby hates the swaddle. Keep reading to see our best tips, plus frequently asked questions!
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Why does my baby hate the swaddle?
Once you notice that your baby hates the swaddle, it’s crucial to know why this is happening. Here are the most common reasons why your baby hates the swaddle:
It’s Too Loose or Too Tight
If your baby’s swaddle is too loose, they may still be able to startle awake. On the other hand, if your baby’s swaddle is too tight, it might just be uncomfortable for them.
Both of these scenarios can lead to your baby hating the swaddle. But thankfully, you can make minor adjustments to help your baby enjoy using a swaddle!
Not The Right Kind of Swaddle For Them
Another possible reason your baby hates the swaddle is that it’s not the right kind of swaddle for them.
For example, after the first couple of weeks at home with our baby, he suddenly hated his traditional swaddle and was consistently breaking out of it.
But, once we tried this velcro swaddle instead, he was just fine! He simply needed a more secure option that wasn’t so easy to push apart.
**If you’re looking for different swaddle options, keep reading below!
What To Do If Baby Hates the Swaddle
Ensure the Swaddle Fits Properly
As I mentioned above, ensuring your baby’s swaddle fits them properly is crucial. If it’s too tight or too loose, your baby will not feel as secure as they should.
If your baby consistently breaks out of their swaddle, that’s a good indicator that their swaddle is too loose. Tightening the swaddle just a bit can work wonders. If you suspect that the swaddle is too tight, work on loosening it up slightly.
Another thing to consider is if their swaddle is the right size. Some swaddles come in multiple sizes, like 0-3 months or 3-6 months, so you’ll want to rule out that the size is not an issue.
Make Sure the Swaddle Isn’t Too High Up
When wrapping your baby’s swaddle, keep it no higher than their shoulders. If the swaddle is wrapped too close to your baby’s face, it can cause them to become fussy.
When your baby moves and feels the swaddle brush their jaw, they might confuse it for your touch and think it’s time for a feeding. Or, they might not like the feeling of the fabric against their skin as they move their head.
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Try a Different Kind Of Swaddle
As I mentioned above, making a change in the type of swaddle you’re using can make all the difference in the world. Here are the top four alternatives to using a traditional swaddle:
1. Velcro Closure
A velcro swaddle takes all of the fuss out of wrapping a swaddle. If you struggle to wrap a secure swaddle, these velcro ones could be perfect for you and your baby!
2. Baby Merlins’ Magic Sleep Suit
If your child is around 3-months-old or older, the Baby merlins’ Magic sleepsuit might be the right fit!
This transitional swaddle gives your baby the secure feeling of being swaddled while still having their arms and hands free. Using a transitional swaddle helps your baby adjust to the feeling of sleeping without a swaddle, but they still get a little help with suppressing their startle reflex.
3. Swaddle Designs
If you like the idea of the Baby Merlins’ Magic Sleep Suit, but your baby is younger than 3-months, the Swaddle Designs transitional swaddle is another fantastic option.
This transitional swaddle allows your baby’s arms to be up, which is beneficial as they learn to roll from their back to their belly. Because your baby’s arms wouldn’t be at their sides, they can better push themselves back up after rolling.
Another significant aspect of the Swaddle Designs swaddle is that you can open the mitten cuffs if your baby likes to chew or suck on their fingers.
Giving them the ability to self-soothe with their hands and fingers can help them calm back down on their own if they startle awake.
4. Zipadee-Zip Slumber Sack
Lastly, the Zipadee-Zip Slumber Sack is another terrific option if your baby is around 3-months or older.
The unique shape of the Zipadee-Zip Slumber Sack is excellent if your little one likes to kick and roll over. Your baby gets the secure feeling of a swaddle while still being able to move however they need to.
Plus, it has a zipper closure to make diaper changes a breeze.
Try a Different Wrapping Style
If you are using a traditional swaddle blanket and want to make it work for your baby, you might just need to try a different way of wrapping it.
For example, if your baby is fussy when swaddled, they might want the ability to use their arm. Swaddling your baby with one arm out is a great place to start!
To swaddle with one arm out, you simply wrap the swaddle as you would usually, but you’ll lift one of their arms up before you finish securing the swaddle.
Ensure Baby Isn’t Overtired
Nothing is ever easy when your baby is overtired. If your baby becomes overtired, they will fight sleep in general, making it harder for you to soothe them with a swaddle on.
To prevent your baby from becoming overtired, remind yourself of the signs of an overtired baby. In this article, you’ll find all the signs, plus what to do if your baby is already in the overtired stage!
Dress Baby Appropriately
Another commonly overlooked reason your baby hates the swaddle is that they are too warm or cold.
Depending on the type of swaddle you use and the climate you live in, you’ll need to assess how many layers your baby needs.
For example, your baby won’t need to wear a fleece sleeper or pants and long sleeves under their swaddle if it’s summertime. Depending on how hot it is in your home, just a diaper or a onesie could be acceptable under the swaddle.
Is it ok to not swaddle a newborn?
As long as you’re following safe sleep practices and put your newborn down to sleep on their back, they don’t have to be swaddled!
If your baby’s startle reflex doesn’t bother them and they aren’t waking at every slight disturbance, don’t stress about getting a swaddle to work.
Do all babies fight the swaddle?
There is a pretty good chance that most babies will fight the swaddle at some point. Whether it’s because they are overtired or because they aren’t enjoying the feeling of being swaddled any longer, it’s a very common occurrence.
How To Stop Swaddling Your Baby
If you still don’t see any improvements after trying all of the options listed above, try to stop using the swaddle!
When starting to transition your baby away from using a swaddle, having multiple options in mind can be beneficial. Check out this post for everything you need to know about dropping the swaddle.
I hope these tips and tricks for when your baby hates the swaddle bring you the help you need! Also, try to remember that your baby’s sleep will improve. Soon, you’ll think back to this time, and you’ll be surprised at how far your baby’s sleep has come!
Before you go, check out these related articles:
- The Ultimate List Of Diaper Bag Essentials
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- Easy and Beneficial Activities for 3-Month-Olds
- Newborn Essentials Every New Parent Needs!
- How To Create The Best Bedtime Routine For Your Baby
What are your favorite tips for when baby hates the swaddle? I would love to know in the comments below!