Six month old baby keeping waking when arms are out or dummy falls out

by An.

Hi my six month old baby slept all nite from 8pm til 6am from she was 4 weeks old. This was due to her feeding every 2 hours during the day. When she hit 5 1/2 mths she will fall fast asleep for about 15 mins when she is wrapped tightly with 2 blankets, then she manages 2 loosen her arms and drops out her dummy and I have to continue tucking her in and putting her dummy in for the next 2 hours.

She couldn't be hungry cause she is taking 3 spoon feeds and snacks during the day as well as bottles and she has no signs of distress due to teething.

Any ideas on how to keep her arms tucked in, I've tried sleeping bag the lot and nothing worked.


Heidi's Answer: Hi, Unfortunately it is almost impossible and even disadvised to force swaddle a baby who manages to loosen herself. Especially at this age, going on 6 months, she is becoming much stronger and mobile (not to mention developing a stronger will ... ;) ) so that is a battle you will probably loose.

One thing you can try is to use a simple sheet, and tuck your daughter in with 'the classical way' - so the sheet wraps around her and tightly tucked in under both sides of the mattress and at the feet end. Be extra careful to make sure she cannot slide under it: have her feet nearly touch the foot end of the bed, so she cannot slide down there. But still, there's a very good chance she will wriggle herself loose ...

It would be best to help teach her to sleep without the swaddling. It's something she will need to do sooner or later anyway, and this is an age where it is usually learnt rather easily.

A truly well-fitting wearable blanket still is the best alternative. It does not restrict her arms, but does give a snug tucked feeling that is a good second. Work with the gentle self soothing method I describe, or read No-Tears Self Soothing for extended guidance. The fact that she has been able to sleep that well so far, is a good hint that she can and will soon be able to learn to sleep like this too.

For the dummy, you will find useful tips (two options) in this recent post: My 4 month old has started waking up every hour.

And finally, do double-check for teething signs, many babies only show very few and easily missed signs of teething.

Good luck!

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