I have always swaddled my babies, right from the get go of my nanny career, and I am doing so with my own now. All of them have responded to being wrapped so I am going with what I know and my baby seconds it. As she wet through her swaddle blanket the other night and I popped it in the laundry, I bed-bagged/sleepsuit her. You know the zip up duvets with arm holes basically and boy she did not appreciate the freedom. I highly advocate these for later on, a god send for bigger baby’s and toddlers who like to strip ! They give peace of mind at bed time when you zip them in and they are warm all night no blankets fuss etc
Both my partner and I were at a loss as to her usually calm demeanour deteriorating in to unsettled, crying , wriggling and just general unhappiness at bed time. Yes she is three weeks old and there is no routine as such and I would not recommend to any parent to even attempt one at this early stage , but there was a unspoken pattern emerging with her feeding and sleeping habits we were ‘encouraging’ to go forward. We had two tough nights where she was fed as normal and was popped in to bed around 10 then we spent the next two to three hours pacing the halls and rooms, trying different positions to burp her, we thought wind, re-feed her, growth spurt school of thinking, and generally try anything to get her happy. Until light bulb moment I grabbed a large muslin on the suggestion of my partner and we wrapped her up. Instant sleep and for a full 5 hours and then a fed, re wrapped and another 5 hours !! So I’m going back to wrap. Im sorry to studies and professionals /midwives health visitors that have told me swaddling is bad, a happy sleeping child wins out . This is of course a personal choice backed my own experiences and you the reader must do what you feel is right and what works uniquely for you and your baby.
So if you wish to go down this route , here is my findings. I use a swaddle cloth , its thin so they don’t get too hot, it folds in to a triangle , I place head and shoulders above the fold, so as to leave them free, I used to wrap arms in , but I’m meeting the midwife half way and allowing arm movement. I then fold her in one side at a time and pop into cot, then one thinner but warm blanket over the top, tucked in high at the foot of the bed as even at 3 weeks she is very capable of kicking up and off her blanket. She likes to be nestled in tight and on her side, so I have a little pillow wedged on her tummy to stop her rolling forward, yes even this early stage they can roll ! I find she likes to be wrapped into her travel bassinet and in the front pack too. Im using a sling as it holds her tight to me and I am hands free. My frame is too small for general front packs of which there are many good ones but they don’t work for me. The sling affords me different positions for her even to the point I can feed her in it ! Very handy for those squeamish people around who can’t handle a breast feeding mother, yes in this day and age there are still those that think breasts are for advertising not feeding . And some of them are woman themselves, don’t get me started , thats a whole other blog.
Anyway there are many good tutorials and even a book called baby origami if you want to master the art of wrapping. The sling itself comes with a how to picture guide. And I advise have a go first before putting baby in, you don’t want them slipping out and they can be very impatient little people when your wrapping swathes of cloth around you and not sure how it goes. Trust me when you get the hang of it, draping yourself becomes second nature and you can assemble yourself and bubs in a minute or so and be ready to go. It is an art and wonderful to achieve, plus wonderful to have them back to skin to skin almost and hold them close to you.
So I will leave the bed bag in the drawer for now and listen to my child. For this mothering thing she is teaching me as much as I teach her.
Baby 1 – Mum 0