Absolutely desperate- Nights and swaddling

Ok i'm after any advice from you girls about what to do with my 11 week old LO.

Bit of background first- he's always been a real wriggler and doesn't switch off easily (gets overtired easily/ isn't the sort of baby that has ever fallen asleep in your arms etc). At about 3 weeks old we discovered swaddling and it worked so well. Since that time he woke twice a night for 3 weeks and then since then only once a night doing a long 8 hour stretch and then a shorter 4 hour one. We've even had some success getting him napping in the day (again if he was swaddled).

So last week he started discovering his hands and is fascinated by then and can often get some fingers into his mouth which soothes him quite well but lack of control over his limbs means that he often finds his hands flailing around and I think he gets frustrated he can't suck his fingers.

Well for the last 3 nights or so he's now been resisting the swaddling, seemingly desperate to get his hands free amd this is where i've now found myself and am desperate. So the key things are- he CANNOT sleep without being swaddled, he flails around, scratches his faces and gets himself more and more wound up. So leaving his arms out is not an option. The alternative though is to continue swaddling- problem is he'll now just lie there for hours trying to get free. I should also mention that we use a dummy so he has something to soothe the need to suck but since the discovery of his hands he is no longer satisfied with it. He'll usuallly drop off after a couple of hours (maybe more quickly for his first sleep of the night)but will wake again much more quickly after maybe 2 hours when he has struggled out of his swaddle in the night. When I try to get him back to sleep by re-swaddling he will fight it for even longer and it breaks my heart lying there listening to him getting wound up and frustrated. He's not usually crying when he's doing this just flailing and wriggling around.

I just don't know what the solution is- does anyone else have a really wriggly baby that doesn't switch off? I've been reading online and some people with this issue seem to have resorted to lying the baby on its stomach to sleep so limbs are no longer an issue. I really don't want to go down this route though because of the link to cot death.

Sorry for the long post but I'm at the end of my tether and need some advice xx


  • Hi Hun, Jennifer is 12 weeks old now and a similar baby to your LO, she would often wake herself up as her startle reflex is so strong. Swaddling worked for us until she was about 8 weeks, then we started using a sleeping bag - she seemed to like to be able to move her legs but the sleeping bag meant she couldnt flail them about too much. We also discovered that putting her in scratch mits to sleep meant less disturbance. You could also try a half swaddle - swaddle her as normal but leave 1 or both arms free so he can still comfort himself? Lastly is he in a moses basket or cot? J is still in her moses but friends who have graduated to a cot have said their fidgity babies are much more settled with more space around them. Hope this helps.

  • Hi hun, I can't really offer any advice but my lo is 6 weeks and full of cold. He will not sleep on his back at the moment so we have a very firm cushion in his Moses basket which is the full width of it and leaves a bit of room at the foot of the Moses basket. We lay him on his tummy on the cushion with his legs over the edge. He sleeps for 8 hours then 4 hours. I'm sure I will be crucified and judged and moaned at by others but he just cannot sleep on his back with him being full of cold.

    Sorry I can't be more help.

    Sam, Harrison & Daniel

  • Hi

    Tyler is now 13 months old, but until he was 7 months old he was swaddled using a miracle blanket. In the end he ditched it himself when he started to roll. What I used to do with him, is swaddle him to go to sleep, but loosely. So, if he wanted to break out he could. I also used to do one armed swaddling when he was starting to resist the swaddle. Now he is in a sleeping bag as he still likes the restriction of his legs Many times when he woke at night (which he still does image ) he was completely out of it, but the loose swaddled helped for us. Also never used to swaddle around the tops of his arms in case he broke out and it went over his face.

    Hope this helps.


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