On Swaddling Your Baby

I just loved swaddling. Oh, swaddling. Huck loved it too. From the very first, I had him bundled up good and tight in whatever blanket I could find. It helped soothe him when he was fussy, helped him sleep longer, kept him from scratching his face while he slept (is there anything sadder than a scratched baby face?), and made him look like my very own little burrito snack.

Experts agree that swaddling your baby is one of the best, most gentle ways of transitioning your little one from womb to earth, and I have a few tips on how to keep your swaddle tight and happy and (let’s be honest, this one is most important) cute. After the jump.

The key to a good swaddle is having lots of swaddlers on hand. You can never have too many. I didn’t get much use out of the swaddle products sold in stores made from fleece and velcro. They were too warm, or sized incorrectly, and were just too much of a complication. We liked to wrap up in whatever square or triangle shaped fabric we could find. The best is lightweight cotton or–even better–flannel, and you can have it cut to size at your local fabric store. Simply pick out your favorite fabric and take it to the cutting counter. Request a square at least 36 inches, though I’ve found that 42 inches is best. You can double or even triple up on a swaddle if it’s cold out, one swaddle followed by two swaddle followed by even a third. Especially helpful if your baby happens to be a swaddle escape artist. ;)

We swaddled at bedtime until Huck was nearly nine months old. He just loved it, so I was hesitant to stop. It was a crucial part of our bedtime ritual: bath, diaper, book, song, swaddle, nursing, OUT. As Huck got older and we started to swaddle with one arm out, then two… we even swaddled with two arms and a leg out, before swaddling just his midsection, and then when he was big enough, just tucking his blanket around his torso before kissing him on his forehead and turning out the lights. (These days Huck prefers to sleep without a blanket, or pants for that matter, while splayed out in the shape of a starfish.)

Sometimes I think back on the days of the swaddle and feel lonesome for them. Those were good days. There is just nothing better in this world than a freshly bathed baby, swaddled up like a perfectly pink little present, is there?

Do you love to swaddle? Tell me all about it!

You can read more of Natalie's silly ideas at her blog, Nat The Fat Rat, and on Twitter.

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