Swaddling a newborn can be an excellent tool as it mimics the feeling of confinement that they experienced in the womb and it can be very comforting to a lot of newborns. Most Mum’s are taught how to swaddle whilst in hospital. Common questions is – will my baby get overheated from a swaddle?
I would just encourage you to keep an eye on it and if your baby is sweaty under the swaddle, then perhaps you are wrapping him too tightly or they have too much on under the swaddle.
But it can be very helpful for a newborn in getting them calm as it also helps with the startle reflex where they throw their arms out uncontrollably, which can wake a sleeping newborn.
However, it can become a prop if baby gets used to the idea that they need to be tightly wrapped every time they sleep as when they kick free, they may wake up and need your help to come back in and re-wrap them. It becomes a love-hate relationship at a certain age where your baby thinks he needs a swaddle but he doesn’t like being as restricted any more.
A good rule of thumb around the swaddle is, by the third month, start working your way out of it ie leaving an arm out at a nap time, then both arms out, then try for no swaddle at a particular time.
If you do feel your baby is depending on the swaddle to sleep the only thing you can do is to loose the swaddle cold turkey.
There will be no successful way to wean out of the swaddle because now it has become such a prop and a habit that anything less than being tightly wrapped up in their normal swaddle is going to be a cause of concern for the baby. There are many good alternatives such as Gro Bags for when baby has outgrown the swaddle.