Swaddling 24 week old at bedtime but continues to escape, HELP!

Allison - posted on 11/13/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )

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My 24 week old starts out swaddled at bed time and slept through the night 8 hours but she has outgrown her swaddle sack and doesn't fit in the next size up yet so by early morning she has escaped and wakes herself up because her arms are free. She sleeps fine with her arms free during nap times but sleeps in chairs, swings, and in playards. I have tried to swaddle hands free to start but she has woken herself up in the middle of the night and i have to give her a pacifier to sooth her and takes several tries because she pulls it out. Anyone else have this problem with swaddle sacks not fitting right? Does anyone have a suggestion for this sort of problem. I would love to get my 8 hours back!!

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Kyra - posted on 11/15/2012

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Ahh the art of a good swaddle....there's nothing like it. Did the nurses teach you how to swaddle before you left the hospital (if you had her at one)?

I have 3 children of my own. The first, I was just like you. She would break free from her swaddle and eventually we all had to adjust to her getting comfortable being free. When I had my first son, he needed to be swaddled constantly therefore we had to master this art, and fast. Swaddling blankets are no good and I've never had any luck with them. The key to a good swaddle is a good blanket. To test if a blanket is suitable for swaddling, I would stretch it left to right, then up and down, and then diagonally. You want a lot of give both side to side and up and down, that way you can really get them in good. I believe we had the best luck with thermal blankets (of waffle style depending on how it's labeled) and even the fleece dollar store blankets while they were still tiny. It's important to have just as much slack on the bottom of the blanket as the sides.

I have received a lot of, "wow, thats a good swaddle" and "hmm, that's different" lol so here's how I do it. Essentially it goes; left to right, right to left, bottom to top and tucked.



1. Lay the blanket down like a horizontal rectangle. Or if it's square don't worry about the orientation.

2. Lay the baby down in the middle of the blanket with the top of the blanket meeting the middle of the back of the neck but not quite on their head.

3. Take the baby's hands and hold them together and down to their belly. Sometimes you can also lay your arm (gently) across them so their arms are by their sides.

4. Grab the left side of the blanket and pull it towards the right. As you do this, roll the baby gently to their right side, pull the blanket over the baby so it comes to at least the middle of their back, and roll the baby back to their back. This way the blanket it tucked under the baby. Remember to pull taught, not too tight, but enough that doing this will allow you to release your hands from holding down the baby's arms.

5.) Grab the right side of the blanket and pull it towards the left. Again, coax the baby on their left side to access their back to get that blanket tucked in just right. Now you have the arms in place.

6.) After the top half of the baby is wrapped, you need to tackle the legs. Wrapping the arms should leave you with a good amount of blanket on the bottom, like a mermaid tail. Spread this out slightly to access the baby's feet.

7.) Gently push the baby's feet up so their knees bend. Be sure to check toes to prevent any cramps or uncomfortable placement.

8.) Take the bottom of the blanket and pull it up. Most of the time I was able to pull this part up so far it would reach their chin and even up to their head in which case I had to fold it over to just meet the chest.

9.) Once you have pulled the bottom portion up, tuck the left side of the blanket under the baby, then tuck the right side under the baby. They should be unable to kick the blanket down since it is also tucked under them while laying on their back.

10. ) Scoop the baby up and hush them because chances are they were crying the whole time you did this.

* Once all wrapped, the blanket should feel firm but not too tight. It will take some practice for sure but man, they are secure. My husband nicknamed our son 'bean' because he loved to be swaddled like this.

I hope you could understand this. Good luck!

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