Cake
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    • I’m lucky. I’ll be the first to say it. My second baby is such a dream. He’s happy, content, loves to cuddle and has been sleeping 6-8 hour stretches for the past 3.5 months. But he is swaddled and in that cacoon state he is just as snug as anyone could be. I have a looming problem though coming in the near future because he’s almost rolling over. Once that happens, he has to have free hands in the event he rolls onto his stomach at night. This must have been a delirious sleep deprived stage with my first born because I can’t remember how to survive this transition. Who remembers what to do? Or did everyone else forget as well? Maybe that’s the only reason why we have second, third or fourth kids. No one really remembers.

    • Aww what a cutie. A little amnesia does help the desire to have more kids, I think.

      Our fifth child is 5 months old and every one of our kids has loved being swaddled, so we've definitely gone through that rough patch before. Now for the remembering part...

      As I recall, figuring out why they don't sleep as well when they're not swaddled is key.

      We had one kiddo who was old enough to bust out of a swaddle but would still whack her arms in her face and startle herself awake. For her, a Woombie was amazing. She could still wiggle around in there more than a super tight swaddle but she couldn't get her hands out.

      Our current baby just liked the ritual/routine of being swaddled but ended up sleeping better with her hands up by her face. For her, a sleep sack is great. She gets zipped in and kicks her little legs in there and knows it's sleep time. Plus it keeps her from getting her legs stuck in the crib rails, which would interrupt sleep and frustrate both of us. (The brand isn't important... lots of companies make something similar.)

      Both of those kids ended up preferring to sleep on their stomachs, but they could easily roll off of their stomachs even with the woombie or sleep sack on so I wasn't worried about safety. Hopefully that makes sense?

      Of course there's another option: Quit swaddles cold turkey. We did this with two of our kids who generally slept fine in other settings (car seat, front pack) but liked being swaddled in the crib. They probably spent a week rolling around more and exploring their new freedom but figured it out and started sleeping soundly again before I lost my mind. ;)

      If you're doing the math, that leaves one more baby. He fell into the cold turkey camp but we ended up using the pack n' play for a while because he kept getting his chubby thighs wedged in between the bars of his crib after we stopped swaddling him. He also would inchworm his way backwards into the side and bonk his head. This was unpleasant for all of us but the mesh sides of the portable crib were much better for him!

      I hope there's something in here that's helpful. Obviously it's been a learning curve for us with each baby, but sleep is critical enough to put in the effort to figure it out. Our kids have all been great sleepers at night, by and large, but not without a little detective work on our part. Good luck with that sweet baby!

    • I finished up the third night of no swaddling and it wasn’t as jarring as I was anticipating. He’s been in a bassinet this whole time but after a few bad nights of sleep for him and I, it was finally time to try something new. So I booted him out to his own room in his big boy crib and decided to unswaddle cold turkey. The first night he cried out every half hour from 8-10 but a hand on the chest and a paci popped back into his mouth put him right back down. After that, he only woke up every three hours. That went on for the first two nights and then last night he slept five hours in the first stretch, and then he didn’t wake up for another three hours. I actually woke up rested this morning! I think he was just a goldfish who outgrew his bowl, aka the bassinet.

      I thought having him in another room would make thinks harder physically and emotionally but it’s been the best thing for both of us.

      Even though it hasn’t even been a week, I do think it is off to a good start. Cross your fingers! 😬