The Swaddle to Sleep Bag Transition

The Swaddle to Sleep Bag Transition

Today we are talking swaddling – when your baby may be ready to move on to a sleep bag and how to make that transition!

The goal of swaddling your baby is to calm their Moro Reflex, which is also called the startle reflex. Your baby experiences this reflex in response to a sound, and throws back his or her head, extends out his or her arms and legs, cries, then pulls their arms and legs back in – a major sleep disruptor! Swaddling your baby helps to soothe that reflex, keeping your baby asleep longer.

While every baby is different, around 3 months, your baby will show signs that it might be time to transition out of the swaddle! (The AAP recommends making this transition at 3 months, but if you have questions always consult your doctor!)

The following signs can indicate your baby is ready to make the transition:

  • Increase in activity or taking arms out mid-sleep
  • Growing too strong or mobile to stay swaddled all night
  • Fighting being swaddled and trying to take one (or both!) arms out
  • Starting to roll-over, as a result of increased arm and neck strength 
  • Starting to wake up in the middle night after previously being a sound sleeper
  • Decreased Moro reflex

Once you and baby are ready to stop swaddling, our swaddle bags help with making that transition before fully moving into a sleep bag. The following steps using our swaddle bag during naps and nighttime sleep are an easy way to transition baby without going cold turkey and risky an abrupt transition that could cause more hurt than help!

  1. Swaddle w 1 arm in, one arm out – this is accomplished by using the velcro swaddle around baby’s body with one arm in, and then unzipping at the shoulder to leave one arm exposed. 
  1. Swaddle w 2 arms out - this is accomplished by using the velcro swaddle around baby’s body only and unzipping at both shoulders to leave both arms exposed.
  1. Introduce the sleep bag – and get a good stretch of sleep!


Image shows our Bears Swaddle Bag with both arms out!