[Parentsgroup-list] swaddling

Candice M. Etson etson at fas.harvard.edu
Fri Jul 25 13:37:58 EDT 2008

Hi, Maryann.

If you are only swaddling him at sleep times, why is that a problem? As I recall
the idea is that once they start developing their motor skills, it becomes
important for them to have time to "practice". As long as he has plenty of
opportunity for this, I'm not sure why it is important to stop swaddling him
for bedtime if it helps him get to sleep.

Remember that all these recommendations are based on averages, and that the
distribution can be quite broad. If I were you, I'd take the cues from what
YOUR baby seems to need.

To offer an anectdote, my first child really loved being swaddled and held
closely, and really didn't like "tummy time" - she'd rather sit in my lap to
play. She also had a hard time falling asleep without some kind of physical
contact. She loved being carried in a sling, and would happily stay in one for
hours, and when she was older would ask to be carried rather than ride in a
stroller or walk.

My second child is the opposite. She only liked being swaddled for a few weeks
and seemed to be on a mission to kick the blankets off when she was swaddled.
She did not like being in a carrier for too long, and would kick and arch her
back to try and get out. She also really enjoyed being put on the floor to
play, and now, at two and a half, doesn't really like to be carried. She'd
rather walk or run herself.

Hope that is helpful.

mom of Helen, age 10 and Justine, age 2.5
Candice M. Etson
Biophysics Program
Harvard University

van Oijen Laboratory
Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
Harvard Medical School
240 Longwood Ave, SGM 209
Boston, MA 02115

etson at fas.harvard.edu
tel: 617-432-5480

Quoting Maryann Shenoda <mshenoda at fas.harvard.edu>:

> Dear all,
> My husband and I have been swaddling our three month old son since he
> was born, but we've heard that its best to stop swaddling by three
> months.  We've tried to stop swaddling him and he cannot sleep because
> his arms flail all over the place and he cries most of the night.  Any
> ideas about when to stop swaddling and what to do if your baby can't
> sleep without swaddling?
> thanks,
> Maryann
> ****************************************
> Maryann M. Shenoda
> Ph.D Candidate
> Harvard University
> Department of History
> Robinson Hall
> 35 Quincy Street
> Cambridge, MA 02138
> ****************************************

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