2013 has been a year of trial and error so far. I have not thought about babies since my seven-year old was born. Once she was potty trained, I looked forward and never once looked back. Well, now that A is here, I am learning as I go. To all of those that told me my “baby skills” will come back, you are officially liars.
All jokes aside, I’ve been in a fog since day one, mainly because I live on little to no sleep. You see, my 3 month old LOVES to fight sleep. She is a champion and would get a gold medal if the Olympics ever turned it into a sport. Her record for fighting her bedtime still holds at 4 hours straight. We, at one point, thought she had colic but the doctor eased our mind and told us she is stubborn and thinks she will miss something important if she sleeps. Obviously, this was a relief, but at the same time my husband and I still weren’t getting any sleep at night. We tried rocking chairs (we ended up getting one for every room), swings (we have 2 of those as well), warm baths, noise machines, walking around the house with her strapped into a baby carrier, mobiles, the stroller, bouncy chairs, car rides, and everything in between. I cried more during the first 2 months of her life than I did my entire pregnancy. All I wanted was some delicious and peaceful sleep.
My prayers were answered about three weeks ago. After a tearful conversation with my mother, I got a text from her to call my cousin E. My cousin E told me everything will be just fine and proceeded to tell me about double swaddling. She too recently had a baby and the double swaddle technique had given her household some quiet at night. I admit, I was sassy and told her I knew how to swaddle and that crud did not work. She told me to check my email. What I found was like hitting the lottery. What I had failed to realize was that my swaddle was missing an extremely crucial step. I will now share this secret with you. Hopefully you can begin to get a little rest.
Steps to Double Swaddling a Baby
Materials: 2 large blankets (swaddling blanket works best) or 1 large blanket and a sleep sack or footy pajamas with a zipper
Step 1: Lay out a blanket in the form of a diamond and fold down a corner. (I use Aden & Anais blankets because that is what was recommended to me. They are large and perfect for swaddling.)
Step 2: Lay baby on the top center of the blanket with the shoulders just below the folded corner of the blanket.
Step 3: Take one side of the blanket and tuck it over the baby’s arm and under her body. Repeat the same technique on the other arm.
Step 4: Take the folded part of the blanket and bring it up in between your baby’s legs and up to her chest.
Let’s take a quick moment to brush up on our baby education. There was an article published in 2008 by the New York Times titled “The Right Way to Swaddle.” This article brought awareness to parents about the effects of swaddling on the developing hips of a baby. This is why the fabric should go between the legs and not around.
Step 5: If you swaddle like I do, you may have one side longer than the other. Take the short side or a corner and tuck it underneath your baby. Take the long side or the other corner and do the same.
Step 6: Next, you can either use another blanket to swaddle the baby in the regular way or you can use a sleep sack or footy pajamas with a zipper.
My daughter A is hot-natured, so when I double swaddle I always strip her down to a fresh and clean diaper so she doesn’t sweat too much and I put her in a light footy pajama or wrap the sleep sack band around her to keep her snug (as shown in the pictures). Customize the swaddle to best fit the comfort of your baby.
Has double swaddling worked for you? What other techniques do you recommend?
P.S. No arms or legs were harmed during the mummification of my darling little girl. Even though it looks like she is crying, she is actually laughing and enjoying herself.