Cold Turkey

This coming weekend, our son will already be six months old.  It sure has flown by as everyone said it would.  For that entire time, he has slept like he was still in the womb – all wrapped up nice and tight. 

My wife and I did the receiving blanket swaddle until his strong legs would kick out of it.  Then, we got one that was for a newborn, but was velcro.  He kickout out of that one too.  We had to resort to one that allowed us to really wrap him up.  As he grew and got bigger, we had to get larger ones of the same durability.

Up until this weekend, he was perfectly comfortable sleeping in his DSS-approved, straight-jacket sleeper.  However, we were running fast into a brick wall.  He is now so big that he has outgrown the swaddle we have for him.  Now, we have a fork in the road to decide on.  We could continue to buy the larger and larger swaddles so that as he grows we can continue to wrap him up and know he will sleep soundly through the night.  Or, we could get him to learn now how to sleep with his arms free.

Side note: He was getting fidgety not being able to move his arms during the night, but it wasn’t enough to wake him up completely.

Therefore, my wife and I decided to cut the swaddle out cold turkey and get him to learn how to fall asleep and, more importantly, put himself BACK to sleep, with his arms free – in a sleep sack.

Night one: Put to bed at 8:00 p.m., as usual.  Wakes up around 9:00 p.m., whimpers and cries for about 10-15 minutes, then falls back asleep (success?).  Wakes up again around 11:30 p.m. – same routine as the 9:00 p.m. wake-up.  Wakes up at 1:30 a.m. – we change diaper and mom feeds, puts back to sleep.  Wakes up briefly at 3:30 a.m., puts himself back to sleep.  Wakes up at 7:00 a.m.  Not too bad.

Day one: Is put down for four naps – maxes out at 30 minutes per nap due to waking himself up and unable to put himself back to sleep.

Night two: Nighttime routine ends with putting him to bed at 8:00 p.m.  He wakes up at 9:30 p.m. to cry for a couple minutes then puts himself back to sleep – whew!  Wakes up at 10:30-11:00 p.m., cries for a good 10-15 minutes, then puts himself back to sleep – double whew!  Mom and dad wake up to mom’s alarm at 5:30 a.m. Success!!  Or are we celebrating too soon?!  We shall see tonight!

That said, we know we have to move on to the next step.  We were comfortable knowing that he was sleeping through the night in the swaddle, but decided to change things up knowing its the right thing to do instead of continually buying the next size up swaddle.  It’ll be tough for a couple day, but then it’ll be the new “normal.”  But then again, isn’t that what raising a child is – a bunch of “firsts” that are tough for a couple days then become okay?

How did you get your child to learn to sleep without a swaddle?  What other cold turkey cut-offs did you go through?