Sleep Consultant, Amanda Bude from Groovy Babies, shares her inside tips about when to stop wrapping twins and triplets.
There is nothing like the joy of bringing your bubs home! Those newborn snuggles, squishy little thighs and cute little button noses make us multiple families feel blessed as we have 2 or more to adore! All can be great until they start to cry and become unsettled.
Just imagine for months your bubbas have been cocooned tight inside their womb cot, nestled against you and each other. It’s dark, floaty and very very noisy inside and becoming earth side can bring an abrupt end to that safety and security!
From birth wrapping my twins was a god send and a number 1 useful tool for settling and keeping babies safe when sleeping in the first 5-6 months of life.
Wrapping also reduces crying time and promotes sleep by lessening the frequency of spontaneous arousals or the moro reflex or startle reflex. This normally disappears by the time a bub is 4-5 months of age, but I have seen it occur longer especially in the case of premature babies or multiples.
The trick to wrapping is to make sure that whatever wrap you use it allows little legs to be wrapped loosely so that they can bend at the hips with knees apart.
For instructions on wrapping, you can visit Raising Childrens Network
Which swaddle is best for Twins and Triplets?
Now there are of course many types of swaddle transition sleep products. Choice of a swaddle can be determined by the size and weight and development of your bubs. Also some bubs do better in 1 swaddle. Many a times I have kept one twin in a muslin wrap and transitioned the other into an arms up swaddle!
If you do use a muslin, check the material it is made from. Quality organic materials are best. Some swaddles are to stretchy and won’t give your baby that feeling of “womb”. Most are 100cmx100cm in width and diameter, but 120cm x 120cm is a great size. There are also the zip swaddles. These can consist of arms in/ down and up positions!
I tend to keep arms by sides until at least 3.5kg or 8 weeks. Sometimes even longer if the startle reflex (moro) is still keeping them unsettled with hands near the face. They can include swaddles with pop ups, that you undo at the armpits, like the Ergo, then there are the zip off arms like the LTD 50/50. You can get the transition from birth like the Halo Sack. OR then can have the all in one sleep sacks like the Zippadee Zip Sleep Sack, sleepy hugs or Sleepy Wings! So no matter what product you choose to implement be mindful of the tog/ temperature of the product and plenty of time with your bubba rolling to practice his or her new found skill!
When to stop wrapping twins and triplets?
Your babies start rolling:
SIDS recommends when your baby is rolling from their back to their tummy and their back again during supervised play.
This is when being wrapped can prevent a baby from rolling from their tummy during sleep, back onto their back again.
With multiples this is the time to split into their own sleep spaces.
Startle Reflex has disappeared
Now with most babies the moro reflex has disappeared by 6 months of age. With twins or triplets this can happen even as late as 8 months depending on their corrected age.
Transitioning from swaddle to sleeping bag for some babies can require up to a week of lots of support, patience and reassurance to help your baby get through this new phase and learn how to fall asleep without his or her arms being restrained. I always recommend introduction of a comforter of some type before transitioning and Give your baby a few days of practice rolling in the new sleeping bag, not at sleep time, so the baby can begin to experiment with their new found freedom in and out of their sleep space.
How to stop wrapping Twins and Triplets
Begin the transition by swaddling with one arm in and one arm out for three days. And then both arms out for three days. Swaddling with one arm out allows the baby to use one arm to lift his face and head from the mattress if he does roll. Often I suggest with transition during the bedtime sleep to begin with. Once the baby has night sleeps sorted then to begin with the day sleeps. Prevention of over tiredness being the key.
It is absolutely fine to adopt a “what ever needs” approach to settle for a few days such as patting, stroking or rocking your baby’s body back and forward with your hand (in the cot) for a few days to help them adjust to the lack of swaddling. Aim to be to reduce the touch and wean off this assistance, once your babies begins to settle easier, so that these do not become new assisted sleep associations. It is best to use methods of settling in the cot rather than picking up and swinging and rocking to sleep as it is usually easier to gradually withdraw and wean off from in-cot settling methods.
Remember that each bub is individual so don’t be in a hurry to unwrap unnecessarily!
Amanda Bude from Groovy Babies is a qualified Baby and Child Sleep Specialist
Having had 3 children in under 2 years herself – including a set of twins – Amanda knows exactly what you’re going through. There’s nothing she haven’t helped her clients overcome before and she promises you, you’re not alone!
Amanda has 20+ years of experience, combined with extensive training in a wide range of pre & postnatal specialties. This means you can be sure you will find the right answer to your situation, the first time.
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