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August 22, 2011

At 2 1/2, Are My Girls Too Big to Swaddle???

I was a big proponent of swaddling from Day 1. I could really sense the girls felt much more comfortable and secure when they were snug as a couple of little bugs in their blankets.

Although I considered myself a pretty proficient swaddle-maker, by eight weeks or so, the girls were able to wiggle out of even the most securely blanketed cocoon. And as soon as they’d startle themselves with a movement, they were awake.

I remembered a friend had suggested using a swaddle blanket with Velcro closures…like a little straight jacket, she’d said. Before the girls were born, that sounded like a perfectly horrific description…but desperate for more than two hours of sleep at a time, I found myself being much less horrified by the thought.

We finally invested in a couple of Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe blankets. It may have been a coincidence, but after using them for less than two weeks, the girls started sleeping through the night. [Cue the singing of angels!!!]

When I need to relax myself, I have a very peaceful scene I focus on in my mind. On an infant level, I equate the stillness encouraged by a swaddle blanket to that discipline. Based on our (miraculous?) experience, I have given swaddle blankets as part of almost every baby gift in the past two years.

I don’t know if I’m giving too much weight to the blankets we used, but I credit them with helping our girls achieve nighttime sleep…and with setting them up to be really good sleepers for a long time to come.

Fast-forward a couple of years, and I’ve found myself longing for the miraculous effects of our swaddle blankets. The girls still sleep very well at night (KNOCK softly ON WOOD), but we’ve had our share of naptime struggles as of late. I know the girls are tired, but one of them – in particular – seems to have trouble settling down to fall asleep.

Is she too big to swaddle??? I mean, if she would just hold still for three minutes, I know she’d be out like a light!

Since I don’t think they make swaddle blankets in size XXXL (short of an actual straight jacket, which would likely be considered child abuse, at least in some states), I finally invested in a white noise machine.

I am hoping the sound of falling rain will give Baby Numero Uno something to focus on and clear her mind…instead of winding herself up with the recitation of every nursery rhyme she’s heard in the course of the day, followed by a rousing chorus of songs and animal noises.

I’m linking up again this week with Julia at Pontifications of a Twin Mom, citing the swaddle blankets one of this mama’s true loves. And I can only hope that the sound machine will hold some of the same magic, such that I might link it up one day, too. Pleeeeeeeeeease???

13 comments:

Miss Megan said...

Ooh, I hope the noise machine works for you! It works like a charm for us =). And we are still swaddling. . .at 10 months old. They can get out of it of course, but just like you, we only need the two minutes (some days 30 seconds) of non-movement for the babies to drift right off to la-la land. Good luck!

Julia said...

This made me giggle. We were HUGE proponents of the swaddles as well.

Yesterday when the girls were fighting their nap (they got that second wind you've warned me about :))I was thinking about how nice it was when the good ole swaddle would settle them right down.

Hope that white noise machine is the magic "swaddle" for your babe :) Keep me posted on that!

Charlene said...

I was a huge fan of swaddling too. One thing that always helped me was just making a bunch of noise when my babies were sleeping, so they would get used to it and could sleep through anything. It's worked, all these years later, they can still pretty much sleep through anything. I hope the white noise machine works for you!

Andrea said...

This made me giggle too! Mine loved being swaddled too! I probably swaddled a lot longer than some. Like you said it helped then sleep sounder and longer! I remember in the last couple of weeks I just swaddled their torso. I left their legs and feet free. Great post and so very true!

Marcia (123 blog) said...

My kids hated being swaddled :) - this could be why we had sleep issues til 10 months?

hope your white noise machine works, Mandy, so you can do your virtual crafting on THursday!

(couldn't resist throwing that in!)

Eric, Marilyn, and Elliott said...

I hope the noise machine pays off. Elliott has listened to the exact same music every single night of his life (even vacations, hospitalizations, etc.) so he just hears the music and automatically starts winding down. And it kind of drowns out a lot of other noise.

When talking to new moms, I always say that the swaddle blanket is one of the few things that is absolutely necessary! Elliott loved his so much that I composed an "Ode to Kiddopotamus" (see blog archives)! :)

Trish said...

I loved to swaddle too! That and Baby Einstein good night music was what got mine to sleep! I actually had an acquaintance talk about using weighted blankets with her toddler twins...I know absolutely nothing about them but she swore by them? And also said that helped keep the blanket on them at night...might be worth looking up!

championm2000 said...

I can vividly remember my husband and I curled up in the bed watching "The Happiest Baby of the Block," desperate for anything. That's when we learned to swaddle and shush. Oh, sweet sleep!

Barbara Manatee said...

We swore by the SwaddleMe blankets, too!! My boys are both great sleepers now and while Sarah sleeps through the night, too, the girl has some sleep issues. I'd love to swaddle her up - I'm certain it would help her tremendously!!

Olusola said...

After 3months, there was no swaddle my girls could not unsaddle from and wrap around their heads. Good luck with the sound machine. I've been using a phone app

Holly Ann said...

Oh, I hope that noise machine works for her! I know nap time was really a struggle for us when the twins were between 2 1/2 and 3 1/2. We finally gave up naps for them altogether this summer and it's actually been much more peaceful around here because of it.

reanbean said...

I really hope your sound machine has been working (can't believe I'm this far behind- again!). We use a sound machine at naptime only, but even still we've had some nap issues within the last 6 months. I've come to believe (after conversations with other moms) that nap issues are often phases just like some of the other unpleasant phases that we deal with from time to time.

One mom friend said her 3 year old was skipping naps 4-5 times a week, and everyone was telling her that she should just let her give up the nap. But her daughter was always cranky in the afternoon, and my friend knew that giving it up was just not the answer. So, she kept the nap routine going for weeks, and then one day, just like a switch had been flicked, her daughter started napping again.

We had similar nap issues last spring, and I was convinced that I was going to be losing naptime for good. I even signed my guys up for an afternoon gymnastics class for the fall, as I was so convinced that they wouldn't be napping at al by then. But not more than a week or two later, they were back to napping as usual (I did move the nap back from 1 to 2pm).

So, now I just have to figure out what to do about that PM gymnastics class. :o)

Twinside Out said...

I think I would be lost without our sound machine. We used to use the Halo sleep sacks (they have a swaddling option), but we outgrew them and I kept forgetting to buy new ones. So the sound machine has become our go-to sleep cue. Hope it works for you!