How to Transition Out of the DockaTot , RockNPlay , or Swaddle.
How do I know its time?
So around the four-month mark, is when we start to know that the moro-startle reflex diminishes and developmentally wise it is time for our little ones to be transitioned out of the swaddle / DockaTot / rocknplay and start to learn how to self-settle.
The other thing is if your baby has started to roll, due to safety reasons we need to get them out of anything that is not a flat surface or the swaddle, as this prohibits their arms getting out, as we need to prevent them from suffocation. Remember swings, DockATots, RockNPlays were all designed for supervised sleep only. They should never be used in a crib or while sleeping for naps or nighttime when you are not in the room fully awake.
How do I make it Happen?
Transitioning out of something that has been your miracle fix to getting your little one to sleep can be a scary place.
For transitioning out of the swaddle, I recommend doing one arm out. Just to allow your little one to feel it this way. So that they can self-soothe more comfortably and they are able to suck on their fingers, thumb, hand, etc. Don’t get me wrong the first night will be your toughest. The most important thing is to be consistent. Try not to revert to feeding every hour to comfort them. After three days, get both arms out, and this is when I would recommend transitioning them into a sleep sack. If you still find your little one’s arms are getting cold or they are flailing around. I would recommend the zipadeezip, as this is great because their arms are covered up still, but they have the freedom to roll to their side/tummy, and it is safe for them to sleep the entire night in.
If you have survived the newborn stage by using the Dockatot, RocknPlay, or a baby swing and you know that your baby is near to outgrow it or they have started showing developmental signs, by moving or rolling around, then it is time to transition your little one to the crib. The reality of the situation is there is no “magic transition.” Just start by putting your little one in their crib, build up a good nighttime routine, and combine that with your sleep coaching method of choice (if you are not sure what this is contact us here at A to Z Sleep Solutions), and within a couple of days your little one will have adjusted, and you will get your great sleeper back again. It’s really important for our little one’s development, for them to have that freedom of rolling/moving around so that they can find their comfortable spot and assist them with their self-soothing.
Always remember that cry it out is not the only option. If you would love some support and encouragement during this transition, please reach out for help. As sometimes having someone that has a fresh perspective and has the experience of helping support many other moms in your same place, can help it all come together much more naturally for you. Take a look at our A to Z Sleep Solutions Services and let me know how we can help you.