My baby won't sleep unless she is swaddled, but then she fights to get her arms out and wakes herself up. She is 3 months old. Should I still be swaddling her?

Dr. Greene's Answer

Different babies are comforted in different ways. Some like to be swaddled, some feel better free. Some like to be rocked, some are comforted by suckling. Those who enjoy swaddling usually start to outgrow it as their motor skills are developing, often by 3 or 4 months. During the transition, they may have mixed feelings. At first they enjoy being swaddled, and then they struggle to use their hands or feet.

This is usually a good stage for transitioning away from swaddling, perhaps at first by wrapping the body securely, but leaving the arms out. This is unlikely to be a passing preference that she gives up, going back to the way she was before. She is growing up!

October 28, 2008
Published on: January 19, 2003
About the Author
Photo of Alan Greene MD
Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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