Baby Hates the Swaddle? Try This
Even after realizing how helpful swaddling can be, at the end of the day, 9 out of 10 mothers will say “my baby hates being swaddled.” How can this be? How can babies protest something so vociferously if it’s meant to help them?
Here’s the secret.
Most babies resist the process of being swaddled, and it won’t work on it’s own to calm your baby down. But once it’s combined with other soothing techniques, it will actually help your baby sleep BETTER than he would have without it- and for longer periods of time, too.
After you swaddle your baby, you need to follow up with a few more steps:
- Hold your baby so that her back rests against your belly. Her face should not be facing you, because your face is a stimulating and emotional sight for her. That won’t induce sleep.
- Add some slight movement- a jiggle, a bounce, a sway. Nothing drastic, but the gentle rocking motions she’s felt for 9 months in the womb will go a long way in calming her down.
- Add some sound. Either turn on a white noise machine or make loud shushing sounds to match the level of her cry.
- Offer a pacifier or your finger for her to suck on.
These 4 steps, when preceded with a swaddle, are pretty much guaranteed to calm any baby down and help her prepare for sleep.
After a few days, this process of swaddling and soothing will become a sleep cue for your baby and she will start to realize that every time she is swaddled, it’s time to sleep. In order to achieve this, make sure you use the swaddle for all sleeping times- nights and naps.
Even if you think your baby hates the swaddle, don’t give up on it! Combine it with the other soothing techniques and give it a couple of weeks. It will truly go a long way toward helping your baby sleep better.