Operation Un-swaddle continues…

I started writing about the great unswaddling because it was frustrating, and this is an outlet. But after spending an eternity scouring the internet while I try to get our hands-free boy back to sleep, I now feel like I’m (maybe for the first time on this blog?) supplying a resource.

Here’s the thing: it seems that most peds (ours included) say to swaddle til it stops working, til they break free, or til they roll. Swaddling was *definitely* still working for us, but he rolled. But nobody tells you what to do in that situation! Have all other babies only started rolling concurrently with the end of swaddling “working”?? All the other babies on the internet, it seems, either went cold turkey and surprise! they sleep great! better, even, without that pesky swaddle! OR they’re swaddled til they’re nearly a year old, but never seem to have the vaguely suicidal tendencies that our zunzun seems to be demonstrating as he cranes his face around to mash his nose and mouth into the mattress, as if his gums will pull him over.

Things are not getting monumentally better (yet — ever the optimist?).

Last night and the night before, he got one 2 1/2 hour stretch in there. The night before last, after a lengthy attempt to re-settle him, he came into bed with us. Last night, I got him back down fairly easily, but he only lasted 40 more minutes. We moms are tired, and I confess we haven’t tried to push through into the night.

Last night post-coming into our bed, things were also rocky. His diaper leaked (ugh — the third this week: guess who went up a nighttime diaper size tonight!) and then he lost his mind while I changed his sleeper, diaper, and — yes — just covered the wet spot with receiving blankets. (We’re TIRED!) He didn’t get another significant independent streak in there, instead opting for the all night boob buffet.

Tonight he has so far slept one 30 minute stretch, one 60 minute stretch, and has been back down for about 45 minutes so far. In other words, not a strictly upwards movement. In a fit, I very loosely swaddled his hands down between the 30 and 60 minute stretch, but you can see from those numbers that it was not particularly effective.

Dr. Karp, great swaddling guru, suggests that if your baby starts rolling, that you simply put them to sleep in something you can strap them into place in, like a bouncy seat or swing. But doesn’t that just seem like creating ONE MORE THING you have to get your baby un-used to later?

I fear we have to sleep train to get out of this bind, but we’re going to see my parents this weekend, and to Trinidad in two weeks, so it seems like a real uphill battle there, too…

When he’s asleep during those 2 1/2 hour stretches, he stays on his back with his arms at his sides, as if he were swaddled. Which is interesting because in bed with us, he sleeps on his side. A says that’s because he’s no one’s fool, and in our bed that’s how you access the buffet table. In his bed, the food options are limited to none.

I’ve been combing the archives of those blogs I read with older babies, one at at time, trolling for sleep training stories. If you’ve advice to give, please do.


5 thoughts on “Operation Un-swaddle continues…

  1. I think I may have already said this, but we alternated unswadding one arm at a time and once he seemed used to that we unswaddled both. The process was not without hiccups, but things certainly improved over (a relatively short) time.

  2. I’m sorry to have to say this, but a lot of babies sleep like crap from 4-6 months. Buggie was no exception. We unswaddled her during this time because she already wasn’t sleeping. A lot of people do sleep training during this time because it gets so, so bad. I feel for you guys. I wish I had some magic answer but as you know from my blog, we were pretty miserable for two months. The only good thing I can tell you is that it does indeed get better. Hopefully sooner rather than later!

    • i know you’re right, and that it’s entirely possible that even if we hadn’t started this process, his sleep could have headed right down the crapper. it just seems doubly awful because we had those weeks of reprieve. it’s worse in its own way than just being a shitty sleeper. to have it within reach and then snatched away! i neglected to even mention that he slept a total of 1.5 hours over the course of the day today. so frustrating, and i know his being overtired doesn’t help him settle at night either. anyway, i’m glad things are on the upswing for you guys. i hope we get there soon, too.

  3. just to echo what others have said — we started sleep training Izzy at 4.5-5 months and thus did the one-hand-out swaddle. It was a *rough* 3 weeks but she finally got the hang of the “bag” versus the swaddle. She has never been a great sleeper though so I dont know if we ever knew how good it could have been — and we certainly shouldnt give advice 🙂

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