Hey guys! I know this blog post has been a long time coming, as Alice is 10 months now, and we’ve been in the clear for a few months relying on the ollie swaddle and Dock A Tot for sleep. We transitioned Alice at around 6 months old, where V was closer to 8 months. I think as a first-time mom, I was slow to make changes, as I felt once we just got comfortable in a stage, it was time for a transition. I was trying to figure it all out and at the same time, trying to enjoy the ride. With Alice, I felt more comfortable and eager to get through some of the stages as I wanted her to be less dependent on products and self soothe.
So, how did we make the transition out of the two products? I’d say time, patience, and maybe a little luck. I turned to Cara of Taking Cara Babies blog post to learn the best way to go about it, knowing that it can be a process and sometimes weeks to get comfortable with even one arm being out of the swaddle. Knowing that was comforting and allowed me to be more go with the flow if she ended up having issues going to sleep or waking up at night. I want to provide you with the best resources that I can, all the while sharing my personal experience. The transition out of the Dock A Tot was by luck as Alice was at the time sick and sweating in her sleep. I felt she was uncomfortable and needed her own space so one day during nap time I decided to take the dock a tot out cold turkey. She did amazing and I never went back. It just felt right and maybe it was because she wasn’t feeling well or perhaps she just no longer needed the extra cushion for comfort. She then turned into a side/stomach sleeper and has never slept better. This one was easy for us, but if you are struggling and want more information, check out Cara’s blog post on transitioning out of the Dock A Tot.
As for the swaddle, it was a longer process for us. Cara gave a few options on how to go about it on her blog post… cut cold turkey, start with one arm out of the swaddle, or do a partial night if your baby has not yet rolled over. We decided to start with one arm out of the swaddle and go slow. We kept using the ollie swaddle as we normally would, snuggled tightly, yet leaving one arm out. “This gives your baby a chance to adjust slowly, but she/he will still be safe if he/she rolls onto his/her tummy. Do this for 1-4 weeks; then, when your baby is adjusting well with one arm unrestrained, allow both arms free,” Cara explained. We had nights that went well, partial nights, and soon… she just got it. When we finally took both arms out of the swaddle, we snuggled her torso for a few nights and then quickly jumped to the transition sleep sack.
I was recommended to try the Zen Sack by Nested Bean by my friend’s husband who recently went through the transition. I felt, if a husband is super passionate about recommending a product than I better give it a whirl. The Zen Sack was also recommended by Cara in her blog so I knew it was a trusted product. The Zen Sack and Nested Bean products in general, promote the cuddle effect for infant sleep. Medical experts believe that what helps put your baby to sleep best is your soothing touch. This has been proven to reduce anxiety, improve sleep, relieve pain, promote bonding, improve responsiveness, lower blood pressure, boost immunity, stabilize heart rate, and trigger growth hormones. Alice, who would sometimes fight naps and bedtime, felt calm when my husband would gently put his hand on her chest and sway her back and forth. Based off this alone, I knew the Zen Sack would be a great fit for us. The Zen Sack echoes the parents reassuring touch on baby’s chest, so your baby feels secure and comforted, like your embrace. If your baby is a tummy sleeper and can roll independently, you can have your baby wear the sack reversed, having the bean lay gently on his/her back to soothe.
Like any transition, it can take a few nights to adjust to the change, yet we have absolutely loved using this product. When Alice sees the sack, she knows it is time for nap/bedtime and I think it really helps the sleep process. The sack is super soft, cozy, has an all around two-way zipper for easy diaper changes, and adjustable “grow with me” snaps so your baby can be in the sack longer. Alice is still in this sleep sack and I don’t see her growing out of it any time soon. I can tell she really sleeps comfortable and feels secure wearing the sack. I highly recommend trying this product as a transition out of your swaddle. We also have a pacifier and included a little lovey to sleep with that she plays and snuggles with in her crib.
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