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

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is the founder of DrGreene.com (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

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