This post is one I’ve been wanting to write for over four weeks now!
Before my 18 month old was born, a friend lent me a book, The Happiest Baby on the Block, that detailed the benefits of swaddling. I liked what he had to say about a baby feeling more cozy and secure when swaddled, but when the baby was born, I just couldn’t seem to successfully swaddle him and keep him swaddled – an arm always seemed to be poking up a minute after I wrapped him. So after trying a number of times and not having any success, I gave it up.
Fast forward 17 months. The day after this baby was born, a friend gave me a swaddling blanket, and it has been fantastic! I really marvel at what a difference it makes when the baby is swaddled and when he isn’t. He sleeps much longer, and cries much less. Three nights ago, the swaddler went into the wash. I was waiting for it to be washed, and didn’t use it for the first night. The baby was awake at least six times that night. The next night, I still didn’t see the swaddler in the clean clothes basket, so again, I couldn’t use it. The same thing – he slept fitfully and woke up a number of times. Yesterday afternoon, I mentioned to one of my girls that I really needed the swaddler, and she told me it had been put away in his drawer with his clean clothes two days before! Anyway, last night was sooo wonderful – he slept all night with just one early morning feeding. This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen a noticeable difference when he’s swaddled properly.
We’ve swaddled him at times during the day when he was crying, and he stopped right away. I told my husband that seeing the difference makes me wonder what our other babies would have been like if swaddled, since I would classify this baby (when swaddled :)) as calm and easy going. I’ve had my share of very challenging babies!
So is the magic in the special blanket? No, I don’t think so. But I do think that it makes it much easier to do, especially since most baby blankets aren’t the right size or material to use as swaddlers. My 7 yod prefers to swaddle him with a regular baby blanket, and she’s much better at wrapping him than I am! But for me, the swaddler has been a lifesaver.