Now I know that parents need only a very short list of things to be ready to bring home baby (see my story about being over-prepared below!). For most babies, diapers, wipes, clothes, and a safe place for sleep are more than sufficient. However, one thing I recommend all families have on hand for their newborn is a swaddling blanket. For lots of reasons, newborns sleep best when they are swaddled. But what should baby sleep in after the swaddle? And on a related note, when should they stop being swaddled?
Preparing for My First Baby
I don’t think I prepared for anything more in my life than I prepared for the birth of my first child. Her due date was in September, and my spouse and I were set to temporarily move to Portland from Manhattan for a summer internship. So to prepare, my mother flew to NYC in May. We spent a solid week shopping almost non-stop. I wanted every possible item ready in my apartment before I left for the summer. That way, if she was born right when we returned, I’d be ready! (She was born 2 weeks after we got back.)
I was a little over-prepared…but the swaddle was one of my most prized purchases!
When To Swaddle and When Not To Swaddle
Most newborns can be safely swaddled until 8 weeks of age. If a baby shows signs of being able to roll over, swaddling should stop immediately. Your pediatrician can give you a better sense of when to stop swaddling your baby.
What Comes After the Swaddle?
Once you have stopped swaddling, baby should sleep in any type of pajamas. Footed sleepers, two piece pajamas, or a even a onesie are perfect. Babies overheat easily, so always err on the side of baby being cooler rather than warmer.
I recommend sleep sacks only when a parent feels they are needed for warmth. Sleeveless sleep sacks, where arms are totally uncovered, are the safest choice. Avoid all sleep sacks that cover your baby’s arms, or prevent the free movement of their limbs.
Thankfully, the transition from a swaddle to sleeping pajamas can be done swiftly. A slow transition is not necessary or advisable.
Have more questions about how to transition out of the swaddle? Post them below! And sign up for my newsletter to receive my top sleep training tips!