swaddle up

November 7, 2012

[just in case you need a break from election-related content, here’s a huggies post for you tonight!]

you know, swaddle . . . like saddle?

saddle up?  swaddle up?  right?
okay fine, you can humor me with a pity laugh.  but as the huggies/blogher series comes to a close [this is post #23 of 27!], i’ve got to dig deep.  today, we will be discussing the swaddle:
we haven’t wrapped a tightly in a blanket for some time, but the topic is a welcome one.  mostly because i greatly enjoyed going back through these pictures of little tiny a, but also because i’d like to remember what i did – for next time!
introducing:  the swaddle hierarchy.  listed in order of . . .well, constrictiveness.  [and therefore effectiveness.  in the 4th trimester, it turns out that babies just want to pretend they are still in the uterus.  to me, it would feel terrifyingly claustrophobic, but to newborns it’s basically a warm cotton hug.]
on our swaddle power scale [0 being draped in tissue paper; 10 being rolled up burrito-style in a fleecy boa constrictor]
plain ol’ blanket [see above] = 2.  great for that very first week of life when sleep is pretty much the baby’s default setting.  not so great after that . . .
velcro style [example — the popular swaddle me] = 5.  cozy, but not for houdinis-in-training.
“i may be little, but i WILL dismantle this contraption.”

tight zip-up [example — the woombie] = 7.  probably effective, but i HATED that it looked so . . . squeeze-y.  i think this photo documents the only time a wore this.
the wrap-around miracle [example — the aptly named miracle blanket] = 9.5.  with its long separate wraps for each arm and pocket for the feet, these amazing pieces of fabrics were responsible for almost every decent nap a has ever taken.
unfortunately, even things this good must come to an end . . .

 ~ 10 weeks
~ 3 months
all’s well that ends well
i hope you enjoyed that little trip down memory lane, as well as my unofficial rating system.  i’ll end with a few words on weaning from the swaddle.
for some reason, i had a lot of angst surrounding this issue.  i worried that annabel would be so dependent on the tight squeeze that she’d never sleep again once we left the contraptions above behind. however, what i failed to consider is that as she became too powerful to be contained in a piece of cloth, she was developing other skills at the same time — such as the ability to self-soothe, and to find a comfortable position.
by the time a. was out of the ‘4th trimester’ she was simply ready to be free.  and it was really easy to switch* — i think we had maybe one or two bad nights before she did just as well in the sleep sack as she did in the swaddles**.  so if you have a young baby and currently have this concern, try not to stress too much.
fellow swaddle veterans:  anything to add?  favorite swaddle contraption?  disagree with my rating system?  as always, feel free to chime in below.
* of note, we had a much harder time getting her out of the rock ‘n’ play sleeper and into the crib.  but that’s a story for another post!  and it still wasn’t as terrible as i feared it would be.
** for nighttime sleep.  it’s very sad, but the fleeting days of the ~2 hr naps seem to be LONG over.
Check out the Huggies Mommy Answers Facebook app and find more posts from bloggers sharing their experiences of motherhood on the Huggies page on BlogHer.com.

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