Sunday, July 26, 2009
Some babies don't need to be swaddled. Those that do? Need straitjackets.
A newborn of just a handful of days old probably can't wrestle itself out of one of those postage-stamp-sized receiving blankets, if you can do a good job of wrapping it close and tucking it well (the baby burrito is quite an art, I have learned). However, as the days pass by and those fists get moodier and jerking, startled arm movements wake your baby again and again, you need something bigger or better. Maybe you scored an oversized blanket or two. Great! But those curious little fingers still manage to work their way out by the end of naptime. Some babies are fine if that happens; some, like my daughter, won't sleep for more than 30 consecutive minutes if they happen to be startled awake or are able to move their arms. For awhile I would do a double-receiving blanket swaddle... the first one I used solely to pin her arms down in, and the second one was to keep the first one in place. I heard rumours of a "miracle" swaddling blanket, and I needed to know more.
If you have a light sleeper, this blanket truly is the miracle it claims to be. Now that we are told to always put babies to sleep on their backs, poor sleepers are common; they don't feel secure with their arms free in open air. This blanket has it all: 100% cotton; inner arm flaps that tuck under baby's back to secure them in place; a footbag; and an overwrap that goes around the baby twice to prevent loosening and provide a snug, custom cocoon fit (one size fits all). I used this blanket for every nap and nighttime from the time my daughter was about 3 months old (would have used it sooner, if I had it earlier) until 5 or 6 months. She always really fought sleep, so having her swaddled was a HUGE help in getting her to settle down and give in. I used to panic when it was in the laundry... it couldn't dry fast enough!
One warning I will give: don't wrap the baby's arms in the flaps and outer wrap without using the footbag. I did this once and when I checked on her through the night, she had been able to shimmy the blanket up much closer to her face, almost up over her mouth. The footbag keeps it from travelling up to an unsafe area on your baby.
During my second pregnancy, I sorted through all my bins of baby items and lovingly brought the blanket out and washed it, ready for round 2. My second child? A fabulous sleeper with no need for swaddling. Go figure.
Available here in several lovely colours. Watch the little video to see how it works!