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Swaddling with arms up
One-week-old


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#1 runnybabbit

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:34 PM

So my baby is one week old, and he seems to really fight being swaddled. If he's not completely and utterly milk drunk and passed out after a feed, he grunts and whimpers as he seemingly struggles to free himself from his swaddle, and then half the time he wakes right up and I feed him back to sleep.

I bought one of those Love to Swaddle Up suits (previously known as Wrap Me Up, I think) and it's the small size for newborns, so I can't get a smaller size. My boy was 3.95 kg at birth, as well, so he's not teeny tiny. I thought he might want his arms up and relatively free, but then today he was waking every 20 minutes in that suit!

So how do you KNOW if you baby really hates being swaddled? Does he maybe like being swaddled with his arms wrapped up but he doesn't think he does? Aaaaaaaaagh. I thought it would be less confusing the second time around. wink.gif

#2 fairymagic

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:40 PM

My DS was my first born and he did not like being swaddled. It took me three weeks to realise this. The time he should have been falling to sleep was spent struggling and squirming to get his arms free of the wraps. Once he got to three weeks and we realised this, we put him into a cot (his arms would have constantly been hitting the sides of his bassinette) and he slept beautifully with his arms either straight out to his side or above his head.

I would give it a go during a day sleep or two. Make sure he has plenty of room in whatever bed he is sleeping in so if he swings his arms around during his sleep, he doesn't hit the side of his bed and wake himself up. YOu could try just wrapping him from under his arms down or perhaps try leaving just one arm out and see what he prefers. Some babies just dont want to be wrapped.

#3 AntiBourgeoisie

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:42 PM

Waking every 20 min is within the spectrum of normal infant behaviour (up to 4-6 months of age). Get a good sling. Let him have his naps in a sling or being held. Some babies just have a greater need to be held than others (in fact, young babies happy to sleep in a cot are the exception).
The Love to Dreams are stellar. I'd persist with it, especially at night time. Only thing they are a bit too narrow around the legs and put the hips in a bad position. When you do it up, leave the bottom half of the zip undone so his knees/hips can flop sideways.  This is really only an issue in the smallest size.

#4 Kay1

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:49 PM

The Love to Dream swaddle was hopeless for my baby. He can't have his hands anywhere near his face or he goes nuts trying to suck on them. And if he does suck on them he goes crazy. He needed and still needs to be wrapped up like a spring roll, arms by his sides or there is no sleep at all.

I'd try a few different ways and see how you go.

#5 runnybabbit

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:50 PM

QUOTE (AntiBourgeoisie @ 07/01/2013, 07:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Waking every 20 min is within the spectrum of normal infant behaviour (up to 4-6 months of age).


It's just that when he is completely milk drunk and doesn't resist the arms-in swaddle, he'll sleep for up to 2.5 hours straight. I know he's very new and will probably change from day to day. I can't figure out what he prefers!

#6 ~MakkaPakka~

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:53 PM

My 7 week old still grunts and tries to pull his arms out all the time as well.  ohmy.gif

I realised how much he likes being wrapped when he was overtired and crying and wasn't wrapped, then when I wrapped him up he instantly went quite and  closed his eyes.  He is that bad that when he goes into his car seat or pram I have to do a sneaky wrap around his arms only or he will throw a tanty because he is not wrapped.

I am only using huge (150cm X 150cm) muslin wraps with DS (he was 4.5kg born so needed huge wraps to try and keep him in) and even then I am still constantly re wrapping him. Mind you I am also using the hudini style wrap with him as well and he still manages to free himself,though it does take him a little while longer to work himself out of it!!

I did buy a peke moe from the trading room, which also has his hands able to move and he kept on waking up all the time (I think it will be better used  when he is transitioning from being wrapped to sleeping unwrapped).  

I was reading that there are some specific wraps you can buy that holds their arms in tight but I have also read some papers that have said a fair amount of the babies are suffering with hip issues because they are clinging too tight around the babies hips.  unsure.gif

One thing I have to add is that DS also likes to sleep with his face covered  ohmy.gif - so I have to watch him or he will get his hands manipulated so the wrap is across his face.  blink.gif

With DS it was obvious to know he liked his wrap as he was sleeping a lot more with it, and also when he gets overtired and cranky he settles down when I wrap him original.gif






#7 Kay1

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:55 PM

AntiBourgeoisie

QUOTE
Get a good sling. Let him have his naps in a sling or being held.


I generally agree with your posts and your take on baby sleep issues and find your posts great to read - however this advice is not always very helpful. I found slings a lifesaver at times but to suggest a mother carry or hold her baby for all naps is not always practical. For example when she is home with other children to take care of, recovering from a c-section and just wants her baby to sleep for long enough to allow her to take a shower. I know that what you say is correct re sleep cycles etc but it can be rather discouraging and depressing to simply be told to hold/carry your baby all the time. Just something to think about.

#8 Kay1

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:58 PM

QUOTE
I am only using huge (150cm X 150cm) muslin wraps with DS (he was 4.5kg born so needed huge wraps to try and keep him in) and even then I am still constantly re wrapping him. Mind you I am also using the hudini style wrap with him as well and he still manages to free himself,though it does take him a little while longer to work himself out of it!

I wrap mine in a flanelette wrap (no stretch) and then put an argo cocoon over the top. Its lightweight but it just holds it all together so it doesn't all come loose when he wriggles or I move him around. Might be worth a try. original.gif

#9 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:58 PM

I think I gave up in the swaddle really early. It made no difference to DS's sleep anyway. I used the Woombie and Love 2 Swaddle Up and they didn't make seem to help him sleep better.

#10 runnybabbit

Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:01 PM

We also don't have air con outside of the bedrooms and it's usually about 32 deg C in the house during the day. I used a Sleepy Wrap a lot with #1 but he was a winter baby and we were in Perth, a summer baby in NQld is a different kettle of fish!

Okay so if he grunts and tries to fight his wrap... but sleeps better with arms wrap than not -- then he likes his arms wrapped but doesn't know it?! biggrin.gif

#11 kay11

Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:11 PM

I used the wrap me ups for my second and they worked really well for him. My first I used to swaddle with her hands up - she liked to hold them near her face and suck on them. She refused the dummy and her 36 week ultrasound to check placenta location showed her hands up near her face in the womb and she seemed a bit happier for it. But she very quickly became a cat napper an day naps were often 20-40 minutes but swaddling any other way didn't help either.

#12 AntiBourgeoisie

Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:45 PM

QUOTE (Kay1 @ 07/01/2013, 09:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
AntiBourgeoisie



I generally agree with your posts and your take on baby sleep issues and find your posts great to read - however this advice is not always very helpful. I found slings a lifesaver at times but to suggest a mother carry or hold her baby for all naps is not always practical. For example when she is home with other children to take care of, recovering from a c-section and just wants her baby to sleep for long enough to allow her to take a shower. I know that what you say is correct re sleep cycles etc but it can be rather discouraging and depressing to simply be told to hold/carry your baby all the time. Just something to think about.



I agree with you that it's challenging.
The only thing more challenging is spending 30 min to try and get a 20 min nap for your baby.

The thing I disagree with is the notion that a baby can be 'trained' at under four months of age by always putting them down drowsy etc. Sure, try and optimize your baby's preferences (arms up/down, etc) but many young babies DO just want to be held, and would rather fight sleep than sleep in a cot/pram/carseat etc.
There is little worse than spending four months trying to get your baby to 'learn' something they are not developmentally ready to learn.
My advice in this group is to get everyone sleep by any means necessary. The only thing more depressing than holding your baby for naps is spending hours patting and shushing in a dark room while other kids watch TV. A sling is much easier than a babe in arms.
Besides, it's almost always easier to have a shower or make dinner while the baby is awake at this age. Generally they are happy enough on a mat or in a bouncer.




#13 Justaduck

Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:53 PM

We used to wrap DD from her underarms down. She HATED being fully confined. We used just muslin squares though & moved her into a Grobag with arms free when she needed it for warmth.

#14 lucky 2

Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:01 PM

Off topic but congratulations runnybabbit, now I know why I haven't seen you around lately, you've been very busy growing and birthing your baby.
I'm very happy for you  original.gif  .

#15 Dylan's Mummy

Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:12 AM

From about 2 days old my bub was always wrapped with his arms out. When we wrapped with his arms in he would work them out anyway and then the wrap would be too loose.

#16 Natttmumm

Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:15 AM

Try no wrap. Not all babies sleep better with it. DD1 didn't DD2 did.



#17 Franni

Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:28 AM

DD is now 2 months and I wrap tightly in a huge muslin wrap with 1 arm up near her face. DD likes to suck on her hand, I found this combo stops her waking and she has started sleeping really well now.

#18 Mum2TwoDSs

Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:15 PM

QUOTE (Kay1 @ 07/01/2013, 09:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The Love to Dream swaddle was hopeless for my baby. He can't have his hands anywhere near his face or he goes nuts trying to suck on them. And if he does suck on them he goes crazy. He needed and still needs to be wrapped up like a spring roll, arms by his sides or there is no sleep at all.

I'd try a few different ways and see how you go.


This is exactly my baby too who is 12 weeks old. The love to dream works for some babies but not mine due to his strong rooting reflex and frustrating himself (even though he wasnt hungry) and he cannot sleep properly. Arms down work best for mine.

Try no wrapping to see how it goes. If he is still waking then it may not be the swaddle.

My DS1 was not sleeping swaddled since back home from hosp and boy, he was a terrible sleeper! DS2 remains swaddled till today (12 weeks) and he sleeps much better and longer. If his arms come out, he would wake up crying and I saw him startling with arms out before and he would cry. So I am definitely on the swaddling side of things. In the beginning it seemed he was protesting the swaddling but we stuck to it. Now he loves it and everytime I swaddle him, he would just quietly allow me too. He has taken swaddling as his sleep cue.

#19 Propaganda

Posted 08 January 2013 - 02:28 PM

Mine did not like being swaddled, so after a few days of life, I stopped trying to do it, and she slept well.

She too liked to sleep with her arms up, and really hated the restriction of swaddling.

#20 Mum2TwoDSs

Posted 08 January 2013 - 03:18 PM

Runny rabbit, I just want to add that babies at that doesn't know they have arms. I only realised this after observing DS2. And at 12 weeks, he is beginning to discover his hands.

#21 Daisy Goat

Posted 08 January 2013 - 03:40 PM

QUOTE (broncosbabe @ 07/01/2013, 08:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We used to wrap DD from her underarms down. She HATED being fully confined. We used just muslin squares though & moved her into a Grobag with arms free when she needed it for warmth.


This was my two. Even the SCN nurses at hospital conceded that they just didn't like it and realised that as soon as their arms were released they calmed and went to sleep.
Their  reasoning was that they are twins because as soon as their arms were released they held each others hands.
I just think they didn't like it. They still sleep with their arms up either side of their head six years later as I do

#22 Mum2TwoDSs

Posted 08 January 2013 - 04:11 PM

Have you heard of sleepy wings? Apparently it's pretty good for arms down or up and reduces startling too. I am going to try it out as a friend used it with success. I also read good reviews on it. Google it if you are interested.

The peke moe looks good too.

There are just so many fanciful products out there now. It's a matter of finding the right one for our bubs.

#23 Mum2TwoDSs

Posted 08 January 2013 - 04:11 PM

Double post

Edited by Mum2TwoDSs, 08 January 2013 - 04:12 PM.


#24 niggles goes feral

Posted 08 January 2013 - 04:54 PM

Mine liked a very very thin muslin wrap with an angel wrap technique. They can still feel their face through the muslin and even chew on their fingers if they like. And the angel wrap allows you to adjust the amount of freedom they can have to move their arms. You can also adjust the wrap as they change over time by changing the amount you overlap or how far you pull the arms in as you wrap them.

You can google the technique and practise a bit but basically you place baby in the middle of a large rectangle with the top third folded over. Their neck should be across the top. Pop their arms up under the fold and then bring each side in and secure under their body. You can give them more or less freedom depending on how tightly you pull the wrap across and how much material you fold over initially. It's my favourite technique by far as they can flop their arms out or bring their hands in to their face.

#25 Rach_V

Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:20 PM

Sleepy wings are fantastic, I use them for DS who hated being wrapped and would wake up trying to escape. As per PP, you can use them arms up or arms down (I ordered them from their website, there don't seem to be a lot of baby shops stocking them yet).




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