Can you stop swaddling cold turkey?
For most, the decision to stop swaddling comes at about 4 to 5 months when baby learns how to roll. With my firstborn, we had a fairly smooth transition from using a muslin swaddle blanket to no swaddling cold turkey. She was 8 weeks old and started getting wriggly and getting one arm out of her swaddle. So we decided to put her in a sleeping bag to see how she goes. She was fussy for a few nights but it worked out in the end. In contrast, stopping swaddling cold turkey did not come as easy with our second baby due to her strong startle reflex.
Now that the days are getting warmer, parents may choose to stop swaddling as it gets too hot for baby to sleep.
Parents' experiences - introduce another sleep association
"With a few heat waves we have had over the last 2 months we have had no choice as it was too hot to wrap so i introduced a bunny to sleep with. I slept with it for a night or two before i gave it to her so it smelled like me then i gave it to her every day nap and at night and just rocked her to sleep and if her hand went near her face i just put the bunny's ears or arms in her hand to keep them occupied. It took a few days but now when it's nap time i just give her the bunny and she immediately buries her face in it and doesn't take long to get to sleep."
"We did the same and my bub kept pulling his hands up to his face, knocking his dummy out as well. It was so frustrating! All I can say is that we persisted and his arm/hand movements have calmed down a little now. The other thing we did was give him a small muslin security blanket at bedtime. Now he sort of holds onto this and it keeps his hands busy, or he knocks out his dummy and sucks on the blanket instead!"
Having a bunny or security blanket next to baby can be controversial, so I will encourage the use of this with safety first in mind! Make sure the items are small, easy to hold and have no beads or choking hazards attached to it.
Think through your baby’s personality before starting the cold turkey no-swaddling approach. Listen to your baby, try it and see how you go. Good luck!