The swaddle, it's a blessing and a curse. Nola has been swaddled for sleep since she was born. When we brought her home from the hospital we swaddled her that night and she has slept great as a result (aside from the lovely 3 week growth spurt that lasted...well about 3 weeks!). The swaddle has been great at getting her calmed down as well thanks mostly in part to Dr. Harvey Karp's The Happiest Baby on the Block (I may make a separate post to discuss how well the 5 S's worked for us during Nola's first 3 months!). Recently, though, I decided it was time to start transitioning out of being swaddled at night. She's about 4 1/2 months old and she's pretty much grown out of the swaddle blankets that we have, so rather than buying new ones that we wouldn't use for long I decided that was a good reason to start.
I was dreading it, I didn't want to lose the precious 8-10 hours of straight sleep that she was giving me. We started last Friday night with swaddling one arm out. To my surprise, she slept great! I knew there was no turning back. I did this for a few nights and the other night when she kept trying to get the other arm out I knew it was time to go for both arms out. Last night we went for it and overall, it went better than I expected. She went to sleep around 10:30 and had some trouble when I first laid her down, but after she got herself to sleep I didn't hear a peep out of her until about 5:15am. Once again, she had some trouble getting herself back to sleep so I decided to pick her up and help her, I got a few more hours out of her before she was ready to nurse.
I'm pretty excited and surprised at how relatively easy it's been to transition her out of the swaddle. I think once she figures out what to do with her arms and hands while she sleeps we'll be good to go! Next challenge...getting her to sleep in her crib at night! (She sleeps in the Pack N Play in our room right now).