The SNOO bassinet has been highly reviewed for its effectiveness in getting babies to sleep faster and longer. The SNOO bassinet comes with a SNOO swaddle which can be clipped on the sides to hold the baby in place as the SNOO sways and also to prevent the baby from rolling over.
However, some babies do not like being swaddled and this brings us to the question of the day, Can you use SNOO without swaddle?
If your baby does not like being swaddled, undo the snaps on the sides to free the baby’s arms. Some babies hate the SNOO bassinet not because it is not effective but because they hate being swaddled.
Therefore allow them to sleep with their arms out for a better night’s sleep. Also, remember to snap the sack into the bassinet for maximum security.
Can you use SNOO Without Swaddle?
Most new parents are taught that swaddling is the only way to get babies to sleep better and longer. This belief is reinforced when the most famous bassinet comes with a swaddle.
However, some babies do not like being swaddled no matter the technique or type of swaddle. If you force swaddling on such babies, they will get agitated every time you put them in the SNOO bassinet and you will be left complaining that it does not work.
The SNOO swaddle is recommended because it keeps the baby warm, relaxed and prevents them from waking themselves during the startle reflex. However, as already stated, the practice does not work for some babies because they want to touch their face or suck fingers in sleep.
To allow such a baby to enjoy the other features of the SNOO bassinet, it is advisable to let their arms free by undoing the snaps of the sides. Also, ensure that the swaddle is not very tight on the legs and hip area.
As the babies grow older and learn how to roll over, swaddling becomes dangerous. Some babies start to roll over at 2 months while others stretch it to 4 months. Therefore, if your baby has outgrown swaddling free them for development purposes.
See also Why Baby Moves to Side of Bassinet
How To Get Baby to Sleep Without a Swaddle
Now that your baby does not like being swaddled or has outgrown swaddling, you should come up with alternative methods to play the role of swaddling in getting the baby to sleep as discussed below:
Wearable blankets or sleep suits
Wearable blankets and sleep suits free the arms and the legs of the baby, therefore, they are great alternatives for older babies who want freedom of movement. Other than providing freedom of movement, sleep sacks reduce swaddling hazards for babies who are already rolling over. In case the baby rolls over to the tummy, they will be able to use their hands and shoulders and roll back to safety.
What’s more, both options are warm and make it possible for the baby to sleep without a blanket as it is recommended at that age. If you did not know, you should never cover the baby with a blanket until they are 12 months old to prevent suffocation.
Note that, babies can sleep in sleep sacks or sleep suits from newborn age to about 12 months. Therefore, if swaddling is not working for the baby for whatever reason, keep them warm and give them a peaceful night using any of the two.
Use the SNOO motion to soothe the baby
The SNOO bassinet can be set to different levels of rocking motion which is very effective in soothing the baby. For effectiveness, place the baby in the bassinet and try all the options to see which one works for your baby. Some babies love slow rocking while others roll with the vigorous rock and it is important to understand where your baby falls.
According to research, rocking the baby stimulates their natural sleep rhythms. These rhythms settle the brain and allow it to drift into sleep. With a calm mind, the baby can fall asleep faster even without a swaddle.
Skin to skin contact
Swaddling gives the baby a feeling of being held and snuggled which can be easily and even better achieved through the skin to skin contact. Skin to skin is a natural way for parents to bond with their newborns and it has been said to help babies sleep better and longer.
According to baby sleep consultants, skin-to-skin reduces the stress levels in babies and makes them feel more secure. What’s more, during the contact, the baby gets very comfortable because they can hear sounds they were used to when in the womb. A stress-free and comfortable baby is bound to sleep better and longer.
Introduce baby massage
Massaging the baby before putting them down to sleep is another way to make them calm and relaxed. Parents who have tried baby massage say that the babies drown to sleep before the massage is complete.
By creating a massage routine, the baby will associate it with sleep time which will help them to fall asleep without fussing and crying. For safety purposes, use fragrance-free and edible massage oil in case the baby gets to consume it.
See also How Many Snoo Sacks Do You Need
Create a consistent nighttime routine
A nighttime routine is one of the best things a parent can gift themselves and the baby. However, consistency is key for the baby to learn how to sleep on their own. Note that, the sleep routine is unique to the baby, therefore you might have to try a few options before settling for what your baby loves.
Once it is registered in their brains that a series of activities lead to sleep, the baby instinctively relaxes and calms down for a goodnight’s sleep. The good news is, the asleep routine works with or without a swaddle, therefore, if your baby hates the wrapping, they will still benefit from a sleep routine.
Why Babies Need Swaddling Alternatives
You have all the options above to choose from if your little one hates being swaddled. While it might bother you that your baby is not getting the best because they are not being swaddled, the swaddling alternatives are important for the baby for various reasons discussed below:
Allows for hip development
While swaddling carries numerous benefits, it restricts body movement, and babies swaddled for long might develop hip dysplasia. For the natural development of the hips, the legs should bend up and out freely from a young age. Improper swaddling or use of wrong swaddling materials restrict this movement. Therefore, when swaddling the baby do not tighten the hips and legs area and most importantly use alternative soothing methods if the baby does not seem comfortable in the swaddle.
Reduces the risk of SIDS
Swaddles can be fatal if the fabric loosens and tangles your baby. This is highly possible if the baby is trying to break loose from the swaddle. Therefore, if your baby hates swaddling or is at the active stage, free them from the swaddles for safety.
Pediatrics recommend that babies should be swaddled until they start showing signs of rolling over on their own and this happens around 4 months or 2 months for some babies.
Some babies hate swaddling
Babies are individuals with likings and some babies do not like the idea of being wrapped. If your baby tries to free their arms, tries to kick the garment on the legs loses, or cries consistently during and after being swaddled, they probably are not comfortable in the swaddle.
Therefore, honor their wish and you will be surprised that they sleep better and longer in the wearable sacks or sleep suits.
FAQ on Can you use SNOO Without Swaddle?
Can You use the SNOO Without the Sack?
Yes, you can lay your baby in the SNOO without the sack, however, the SNOO will not sway or make soothing sounds. The SNOO is designed that it can only sway when the sack has clapped in place for safety measures.
Therefore, if your baby sleeps better with sway and sounds on, they must be placed in the sack and clipped. If your baby hates being swaddled, put them in the sack but with arms out to enjoy the soothing of the SNOO.
Can You use SNOO with Arms Out?
Yes, the SNOO sack has an arms hole where you can free the arms and let the baby sleep with the arms out. This works for active babies who want to touch their faces or suck a thumb during sleep.
Can You use SNOO for Newborns?
The SNOO has to be reviewed as the safest bassinet for newborns. The SNOO sack ensures that the babies cannot break loose from the swaddle doing away with suffocation risks. Also, the SNOO is designed with womb-like movements and sounds to calm the baby.
What Happens if My baby Hates being Swaddled?
If the baby hates being swaddled, undo the snaps on the arms area and let them sleep arms free. Also, stop swaddling and switch to swaddling alternatives like wearable sacks, sleep suits, massage, or bedtime routine. These alternatives can get your baby to drift to sleep peacefully.