trouble with flailing arms and doesn't stay in swaddle..

Dawn - posted on 10/25/2011 ( 58 moms have responded )

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My 2 week old can ALREADY break her arms free of the swaddle, will get SO MAD and wake herself up fighting to free her arms from the swaddle. She also flails her arms wildly when out of the swaddle and wakes herself up. We are using the HALO swaddle me but every 10 minutes or so she wakes herself back up when trying to fall alseep. Thoughts? Ideas?

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[deleted account]

Why does everyone keep suggesting ways to keep her in a swaddle? If the baby doesn't want to swaddle, why buy all kinds of fancy contraptions to MAKE her? Just wondering.

Karen - posted on 11/07/2011

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They do have blankets designed exactly for little people like this - my daughter was the same way but these ones have velcro and are made for swaddling - they are soft and warm and can do wonders...walmart is the cheapest place but if you want to spend a bit more try Toys R Us or Babies R Us - my daughter couldn't get free of those and basically would tire herself out trying (bonus)...

Melody - posted on 10/26/2011

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there are new reports out saying that the only thing to be in a crib is" the baby". That means no blanket, bumpers, toys or anything!. this is to help prevent SIDS. For warmth the Drs say to layer the babies clothes. Also for the babies safety they should be in moms room,but in babies own bed- not in bed with mom- so as they can be touched and felt often.

Denikka - posted on 10/25/2011

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If she doesn't like being confined (sounds like she doesn't) then I would suggest to just stop swaddling her. Not all babies like it. Some prefer freedom to move around.
If you're worried about her getting cold, then I would go with Claire's suggestion and just dress her in a onsie at night.

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Eric - posted on 11/27/2013

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Jaidah is 1 month and 3 wks old. I noticed that she flails while she's awake and when held. I have not seen this while she is sleeping although she does fight her sleep until the end and when she is laid down she awakens and will not go back to sleep. After holding and walking around with her she will go back to sleep only to awaken after 5 mins. If laid down. Flailing is my biggest concern. It scares me.

Rhiannon - posted on 11/07/2011

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I have a similar problem. She is just over tired and might now like the swaddle anymore. I know mine doesn't. My daughter likes the very soft fuzzy blankets. She rubs her face and chin on it. I guess it comforts her. You might want to try it?

Rhiannon - posted on 11/07/2011

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I have a similar problem. She is just over tired and might now like the swaddle anymore. I know mine doesn't. My daughter likes the very soft fuzzy blankets. She rubs her face and chin on it. I guess it comforts her. You might want to try it?

Merry - posted on 11/02/2011

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OH.MY.GOSH.
I finally got to see the video and holy crap. I couldn't do that to my baby. It's totally an unnatural position. Idk any human who would want to be stuck with their arms ar their sides all night.
When I swaddled my babies they had their arms bent up on their chests so their hands were just under their chins.

Magaly - posted on 11/02/2011

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At two days old my son was breaking free of the swaddle! So we just let him be, he looked so peaceful sleeping with his arms over his head. And then we discovered sleep sacks.... I fell in love!! They are wonderful at keeping the baby warm and free to flail about!

Barbara - posted on 11/01/2011

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and yes maybe she doesn't like it as long as she is warm enough it is fine not to swaddle her.

Genevieve - posted on 11/01/2011

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leave her arms out, or use a sleep bag, some kids just don't like it and it doesn't have to be. My son from birth never wanted his arms in I fought and fought until I said screw it your hands stays out and then he was peaceful!

Amanda - posted on 11/01/2011

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That video is insane. have never seen anyone do that before.Babies should not be swaddled that tightly. Ever. Some babies just like to have their arms out from being so cramped in the womb.

Amanda - posted on 11/01/2011

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You can try putting her in a gro-bag. At this point they don't like to be swaddled anymore.Also just try doing a sleeper and a blanket on top she might love that and dose right off. You can also try soothing sounds or a night light.

Miriam - posted on 10/30/2011

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Hmph.. Haven't we mums learned yet that there are sooo many ways of doing things and these answers are great when people share their personal experiences, but I just don't understand how some people have a great need to use capitals and share their view as if it's the 'only one' in the world. Some babies like swaddling, some don't. I wouldn't say it's not recommended, since we do it in the hospital for all babies..

Merry - posted on 10/30/2011

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Omg I've NEVER heard of anyone swaddling babies with their arms at their sides!
Holy crap that sounds inhumane!
In the womb they would never be in that position why would that make sense?

Swaddling is NOT a recommended thing. It's 'fine' if your baby likes it but they're better off not.

Merry - posted on 10/30/2011

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Swaddling is related to worse breast feeding and slower weight gain as well as higher SIDS. Yes it makes them sleep longer but they need to nurse frequently and they shoukdnt sleep such long periods or they risk SIDS.
Sorry, haven't read previous responses yet :)

Michele - posted on 10/29/2011

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My son didn't like to be swaddled either. I would just wrap him from the chest down and leave his arms out.

[deleted account]

3 of my 4 babies didn't like to be swaddled. I wouldn't worry about it if I were you. It's funny how babies can start expressing their likes and dislikes at such an early stage. My youngest is turning one next week and all he wants to eat is baby cereal, my others loved the baby food. Don't stress yourself out, your baby will be just fine without being swaddled, if she doesn't like it she just doesn't like it.

Adrienne - posted on 10/28/2011

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Just adding my 2 cents. My son HATED being swaddled from literally day 1. I just went with long sleeved sleep gowns that had the mittens built in so he couldn't scratch himself. That being said, he hated the mittens after about 3 weeks, lol. He still only rarely wants to be covered while he sleeps and then only lightly and he's 4 now.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/28/2011

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That video makes me cringe. I would prefer my baby comfortably could escape a swaddle rather than feel like it was in a straight jacket. PASS!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/28/2011

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Just get one of the sleep sacks, and put her in that. I swaddle both my kids for about 1 week and was having the same problem as you. They just wanted to spread out. Some kids LOVE to be swaddled, and some don't.

Mindy - posted on 10/28/2011

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I tried this with my son when he was born too. He was going to have none of it! He was the boss since he had the best set of lungs at 2am!! I just stocked up on onsie drawstring pajamas. That is all he wanted to wear. Anything else made him a very unhappy baby. I say stop making your baby miserable and yourself too. Just because a doctor or a couple books said it's best for your baby...doesn't make it so. A good mother follows her own heart because she knows her child best. If you feel your baby is happier by trying something else...never be afraid to try. We mommy's aren't perfect. We all live and learn. Good luck with your little one. Hope you're both happy and able to rest easy soon!!

Leah - posted on 10/28/2011

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I would use the Halo sleeveless swaddler. Keeps her warm and cozy but leaves her arms out. I'd also put those little mittens on her so that she doesn't wake herself up by scratching her face!

Kristina - posted on 10/28/2011

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Don't swaddle the arms and put little gloves on her so her fingers aren't so cold.

Debbie - posted on 10/28/2011

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Don't swaddle? My daughter, now almost 17 months wouldn't take a swaddle from about 2 weeks too. She much preferred to curl her arms under her. (She also slept on her side and still does most nights) Try to put her down once without a swaddle at all and see what happens. Barring that, I would maybe try a different swaddler. Good luck! (and congrats on the baby, it's going to be awesome!)

Sharilyn - posted on 10/27/2011

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I used the Aden + Anais swaddle blankets. Wrap baby up with arms at their sides and wrap tight. These blankets are stretchy and breathable so they are considered safe. They are quite large and can be tucked under baby so the baby doesn't wiggle out of them. I love them!! http://www.adenandanais.com/

Jennifer - posted on 10/27/2011

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Buy the love me up swaddle its a zip up one that let's their arms stay up ( their natural position) or the miracle wrap as it is escape proof. Trust me I've tried them all.

Sharlene - posted on 10/27/2011

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Hi Im from Australia .we call what you's guys call a swaddle a wrap over here. LMFAO

Lyne - posted on 10/27/2011

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my daughter was the same. I think she started around 10 days old to wake herself up trying to get out of the swaddle. We ditched the swaddle and put her in the cot so that when she would move her arms she wouldn't hit the sides. In the bassinet she kept hitting the sides with her hands when she flung her arms and this would wake her up also. She was happy as pie and slept well ever since we moved to the cot and sleeping bag at 14 days old. I thought maybe some kids just don't like it even though its suppose to remind them of the womb.

Maggie - posted on 10/27/2011

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Make sure her arms are straight down to her side when you swaddle. If they are bent, it makes it easier to break free. Good luck!

Miriam - posted on 10/27/2011

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Hey, not sure if anyone suggested yet but try buying a woombie (e.g. on ebay) or a similar suit that keeps her all swaddled and cuddled. But if she doesnt like to be swaddled (like my son) then just let her have arms free and wrap her lower body. Hope that helps! x

Katie - posted on 10/27/2011

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My little girl actually broke out of her swaddle while she was still in the hospital at about 2 days old. We quickly realized she HATED to be swaddled. From then on out we just swaddled her from the chest down (with arms out). She was so happy and we quit swaddling her completely at about 3 weeks old. She started sleeping through the night right after that. In my opinion, if she doesn't like it and she is waking herself up because of it. Don't do it! I think she'll be a lot happier. I know my little girl was. :) Hope this helps.

Ellen - posted on 10/27/2011

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I think all the advice to stop swaddling is right on. I never bothered with my second, and she learned to sleep just fine w/o it! She was also a January baby, so for the first month or 2, because she was sleeping right next to me in a co-sleeper (like a bassinet), she wore a long-sleeved fleecy pair of pajamas with a cotton onesie underneath, and a fleece or wool sleep sack.

[deleted account]

I forgot to mention earlier that if you want to make sure your baby is warm and she/he won't take a swaddle, use a sleep sack. You put them in a onesie underneath (either footed or not) and then you zip them in. It's like a long shirt that zips around their whole body. They're warm, arms and legs free to move about, not a suffocating risk (unless you use one that's too big) and voila! Problem solved for the "DON'T SWADDLE ME" baby lol

Lisa - posted on 10/27/2011

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All my kids got their arms out. I was told by the nurse for my firstborn to wrap an extra cloth around his arms. I tried it but when I went into his room and found that extra cloth over his face after he got his arms out again I stopped swaddling and went to sleeping bags instead. Also, be aware that some of the swaddling sleeping bags can contribute to clicky hips as they can hold their legs straight down instead of letting then bend out to the sides.

[deleted account]

A baby doesn't HAVE to be swaddled. My son NEVER liked a swaddle. I have pictures of him in the hospital, less than a day old, broken out of the swaddle. Arms above his head and feet straight out. Only thing swaddled was his middle. Don't force her to stay wrapped. Just make sure she's warm enough and that's good enough. One of the reasons we try and swaddle babies is because they've been so tightly bound for so long inside of our bodies. Some babies need that tightness to help them adjust for awhile after they're born. But some babies don't need it at all. Some babies (like mine) just want to streeeeetch....and that's ok. To this day, my 4 year old son still sleeps with his arms above his head and his feet out of the blankets. No matter how many times I cover him up. Keep her warm and snuggle with her. That's all she needs as far as comfort goes at this point :) Good luck and congrats on the baby girl Momma :)

Natalie - posted on 10/27/2011

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Afriend put me onto these baby sleeping bags/wraps and they worked wonders for me. They are snug fitting but not too tight so arms have little movement but they never become 'untucked' so check them out. Hope you can find some near you.They are called- Love Me 'Baby Wrap Me Up'. www.productreview.com.au/p/love-me-baby-wrap-me-up.html

[deleted account]

My daughter did the same thing. So I just went to the sleeper pouches. She would only stay swaddled when being held. She learned to turn from her back to her tummy first, since then she's turned herself to be on her tummy with her knees and arms tucked under her. I think for mine it was so much the swaddle as it was being on her back.

Laura - posted on 10/27/2011

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Katie does have sensory processing disorder but strangely enough she's not overly sensitive, she's under sensitive. That being said, she can be in a completely sound sleep and if I gently put a sheet over her she will immediately kick herself out of it.

[deleted account]

That's so funny Laura, my daughter is just the same! At 2 years old I can for the life of me not keep a blanket on her. She says it hurts her feet...

Laura - posted on 10/27/2011

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Katelyn hated to be swaddled so I just stopped doing it. To this day she can't stand covers. I can't put a blanket or even a sheet over her. Some kids are just like that. There's no rule that says you have to swaddle your baby. If it's interfering with her sleep I would definitely try not doing it. If it's cold, just make sure she has on warm pj's with feet and she should be just fine.

[deleted account]

I never swaddled my daughter. She didn't seem to like it and I wasn't comfortable with any blanket being around her. We used sleeping-bags for warmth.

Heather - posted on 10/27/2011

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So buy one of those swaddler things. If she sleeps longer NOT swaddled, then try that. My son loved to be swaddled, and my daughter hated it. She LOVED to stretch out. From day one when I tried to swaddle her, she would scream and wiggle out of it. As soon as I started laying her down without swaddling her, she slept great! She knew that I wasn't going to wrap her up so tightly.

Keep laying her down without swaddling her, and let her get used to it. She will soon start sleeping, even if her arms move around, without waking herself up.

Erika - posted on 10/27/2011

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There are other swaddles out there that also have velcro. The swaddles by Summer baby are a lot harder for babies to undo.

Christy - posted on 10/27/2011

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You are gonna have to do a swaddle she can't get out of. My husband was the master at that. Look online for advice or instructions. And trust me, there are swaddling methods they can't get out of !! These were with baby blankets, btw.

Sherri - posted on 10/27/2011

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I never swaddled my babies and found they were happier that way. I just loosely covered them with a blanket in their own cribs.

Lisa - posted on 10/27/2011

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Instead of the Halo, have you tried swaddling her in a blanket? The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD by Dr.Karp demonstrates how to swaddle your baby pretty snugly and effectively. You could probably rent it from your library. Good luck! Get some sleep!

Belinda - posted on 10/27/2011

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Is the wrap you use stretchy? I found swaddling my babies in a wrap that held firm but had some give in the fabric worked better. Swaddling is not about keeping the baby warm it is about making them feel secure, they have been confined inside all that time and they dont have the control of their movements. That struggling does not mean she wants to have her arms free, its just that she is not comfortable.

Krista - posted on 10/26/2011

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I would try a few different things. How firmly are you swaddling her? Some babies prefer a really firm swaddle, and if it's too loose, will start complaining and flailing. Or, like the others have suggested, she might just not like having her arms swaddled at all. You might need to experiment with different options to see what will work.

Tara - posted on 10/26/2011

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I agree with Jocelyn - either stop swaddling her arms down or swaddle her with her arms out. Some babies just hate it.

My oldest daughter HATED being swaddled, would fuss and cry and wriggle to get out of it, so I just put her in long-sleeved sleepers and she slept beautifully.

My youngest loved being swaddled when she was very small, but once she hit about 6 months she hated it so again, I just put her in a long-sleeved sleeper and she slept great.

Some babies just don't like being swaddled at all. You can find some nice long-sleeved sleepers or you could look for the little all-in-one blanket sleepers if you are worried about her getting cold.

Both my girls only flung their arms about when they were cold - if the were warm they slept great out of the swaddle and didn't wake themselves up.

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