Are Transitional Swaddles Safe?

Transitional Swaddle Safety FAQs

Newborns are extremely sensitive as they are going through plenty of change. When it comes to transitioning out of the swaddle, a transition swaddle will be your best friend. Transition swaddles are designed to create a sense of calm while keeping your baby safe. So, what is the best transitional swaddle? Read on to find out.

Are transitional swaddles safe?

The need for a transition swaddle will likely occur around 2-3 months or once your baby begins to show signs of rolling over. Transition swaddles allow for the baby to have their arms out, thus making it safer for the baby to reposition during sleep. When used properly, sized properly, and worn as recommended, transition swaddles are a safe and effective way to transition baby to arms our sleep. 

How are transition swaddles different than regular swaddles?

A regular swaddle snugly wraps your baby's arms in order to restrict movement and provide a sense of security. Many infants love the comfort of being completely swaddled since it mimics a womblike environment. However, around the age of 2-3 months (once your little one starts showing signs of rolling over), it’s time to begin to transition them out of being fully swaddled.

Transition swaddles help your baby adjust to sleeping with their arms out, and eventually sleeping on their own with a sleep sack or a blanket. Transition swaddles don’t restrain the arms, although some do have weighted sleeves to help provide comfort without restricting mobility. They typically come in sizes ranging from 3-12 months, at which point your little one should be ready for the next stage of safe sleep.

How do you ensure a baby is safe while sleeping?

New parents have so much to learn when they bring their child home from the hospital, and one of the most important areas of concern is safe sleep. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a risk that primarily affects infants between the age of 1 and 4 months old.

While the causes of SIDS remain somewhat of a mystery, there are several things parents can do to help ensure their baby is safe while sleeping.

The current guidelines for safe sleep include:

  • Always place your baby to sleep on their back, rather than their stomach or side
  • Take steps to prevent overheating during sleep - such as dressing in few layers and using a fan
  • Never let your baby sleep with loose blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, or bumper pads
  • Ensure a firm sleep surface - such as a firm crib mattress with a fitted sheet
  • Make sure your baby has a smoke-free environment

Swaddles, transitional swaddles, and sleep sacks can all help your baby get a good night’s sleep without the need for extra blankets that can become a safety hazard.

Can a baby overheat in a transition swaddle?

The AAP recommends that all parents should keep an eye out for signs that their baby is too hot such as "sweating, damp hair, flushed cheeks, heat rash, and rapid breathing." To prevent overheating, dress your baby in light layers, consider incorporating the use of a fan, and select a transition swaddle made from lightweight, breathable material. Dreamland’s Transition Swaddle features lightweight and breathable materials making it safe for year-round use. The 1.0 TOG is perfect for both warm and cool climates.

Is a transitional swaddle safe for rolling?

The AAP and other experts recommend that parents wean from traditional newborn swaddling when their baby starts to roll, which can happen as early as 2-3 months old.

A transitional swaddle is a safe option for rolling babies when used properly. This means that both arms should be free without any restriction during the night. Some swaddles offer parents the option to swaddle their baby with or without their arms covered, or to let their baby sleep with 1 arm out. But, if your baby is already rolling over, it’s safer to skip these options and use a method of swaddling that does not restrict your child’s arms.

This could include a transition swaddle with sleeves (like our patent-pending Dream Weighted Transition Swaddle) or even a sleep sack.

Dream Weighted Transition Swaddle

Dream Weighted Transition Swaddle

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When should you use a transitional swaddle?

You should use a transitional swaddle once your baby begins to outgrow their newborn swaddle. This typically occurs around the age of 2-3 months once your little one can roll over. If you suspect that your baby may have a hard time going to sleep without being swaddled, this is where transitional swaddles can help. Transitional swaddles provide all of the warmth, comfort, and security of a newborn swaddle without restricting the arms. This leaves your baby free to roll over and safely move about during the night. Many parents use transitional swaddles as a stepping stone between being fully swaddled and eventually using a sleep sack or blanket. Your baby may use a transitional swaddle for several months or only for a few weeks.

Strategies for weaning your baby off their newborn swaddle include:

  • Use a transition swaddle at night, and a full swaddle during naptime
  • Alternate nights between a full swaddle and a transition swaddle
  • Start with leaving just 1 arm out then graduating to both arms out
  • Use a transition swaddle with weighted sleeves to provide extra comfort
  • Start off the night with a full swaddle and freeing the arms during the night
  • Begin the night with arms out and swaddling the arms after the first wakeup

This weaning period can last anywhere from a few nights to a few weeks, so hang in there! Your baby is growing and developing rapidly, so even if they aren’t ready for the next stage of safe sleep now, they will be soon. Establishing a soothing, consistent bedtime routine should help too. Keep in mind that if your baby is already rolling over during the night, you may want to consider using a “cold turkey” approach to ensure the safest possible sleep environment.

Why do parents trust Dreamland Baby products?

All Dreamland Baby products have been developed with safety in mind and with the full collaboration of pediatricians, NICU nurses, Certified Sleep consultants, and Pediatric Pulmonologists. Our swaddles, sleep sacks, and blankets all feature premium materials and CoverCalm® Technology. Created by a fellow mom, Dreamland understands the stress a parent experiences when putting their baby to sleep. You would do anything in your power to keep your baby safe, we get it. With safety at the forefront of every Dreamland product, parents can rest assured that their child will sleep soundly and safely with any of the Dreamland Baby line of swaddles, sleep sacks, and blankets.

Dream Weighted Sleep Swaddle, 0-6 months