December 3rd, 2010

planet

swaddleholic

pretty sure we've got the baby addicted to swaddling, in a bad way.

Happiest Baby on the Block said two things about swaddling. First, you can't do it too tight! As long as you're just using a plain old blanket, pack that kid for shipping! Okay. Second, around 3-4 months your child will arrive at an age where she doesn't need to be swaddled to sleep anymore.

Using the first bit of advice, I think we ruined the second bit of advice.

Marc is very good at swaddling. In fact he once told me that he enjoyed wrapping the baby up so much he would happily take a job at some kind of baby-wrapping factory. We joked about opening a drive-thru place at a busy intersection, where people would put their screaming newborns into window #1, and on the other side receive their same baby back... burped, changed, swaddled and calm. We'd call it "burba-de-baby", sort of like that italian restaurant except not.

Anyway he can get Josie into a straightjacket in a matter of seconds, and that's how she goes to sleep for both naps and nighttime. The unfortunate thing is that if she does get an arm free, usually due to someone with less upper-body strength swaddling her, she wakes up. She's kind of startled by her own hands. She's nearly six months old now and shows no signs of sleeping without being swaddled, and believe me we've tried. Even if we co-sleep, if she wriggles a hand out sometime during the night I can usually nurse her back to sleep but she'll be awake ten minutes later, flailing around like we've tossed her into the outreaches of space.

This week she's cutting a new tooth which always brings on sleeping adventures. We noticed it Sunday night, a white spot on her top gum, and by yesterday I could feel it. Last night I caught marc swaddling her with two blankets, one on top of the other, so she couldn't get out. To his credit, we were having a Bad Night. It was 2am, she'd already been awake at midnight at 1:30 and we'd fed her then. She wasn't staying asleep no matter what we did. After he double-swaddled her she slept until 6. So I can't say he did a bad thing!

I'm just wondering if we're going to have to do this forever. We're worried about her rolling herself over onto her face and not being able to roll back, because she can't use her arms. We're annoyed when she comes out of the swaddle and then won't sleep. So we need to wean her off it somehow, but it's difficult, because we also want some sleep.