Healthful Mondays: Number 1

Due to feeling slightly under-the-weather with all this sun, then rain, then sunny weather, I’ve decided to dedicate Mondays to a new endeavor – Healthful Mondays.

What does that mean? I’m not really sure to be honest with you. All I know is that I want to FEEL healthy, I want my baby to BE healthy, and there are tons of ways to accomplish this. Some paths toward health I am familiar with, and others I am not.

So, each Monday, I am going to share something that has helped me keep my sanity, lose weight, or has contributed to the wonderful over-all development of my babe. I’m going to try new things (which I usually have an aversion to) and share the results with you. Some of things may be successful, and others may be very entertaining. You’ll just have to check in with me on Mondays to find out.

This week, sleep has been on my mind, and for all you new mommies out there, sleep might be something of a foreign thing. Hey, it’s not just newborns keeping us awake at night – older kids go through tricky phases, too. But, what got me, and the baby, through the first couple months of nights, somewhat sanely, was swaddling!

The most frustrating aspect of the whole swaddling affair is the actual swaddling itself!  If you’re going to attempt to swaddle with a blanket, it is a true art. Practice on a baby-doll before attempting swaddling your squirming baby the first time. Practice LOTS!  Here are the basic steps to swaddle your little one:

– Lay your blanket out on a flat surface in the shape of a diamond.

– Fold down three or four inches of the top edge of the blanket.

– Place your baby on the blanket so that her head is overlapping the top edge that you just turned down.

– Tuck your baby’s right arm into the flap made by the folded down edge of the blanket and the right corner of the blanket. Pull that corner across her body, tucking it behind the opposite side of his back.  You can tuck as tight or as loose as your baby likes.

– Bring the bottom corner of the blanket up and tuck it inside the blanket near her chest.

– Tuck your baby’s left arm into the flap made by the folded down edge of the blanket and the left corner of the blanket. Pull that corner across her body, tucking it behind the blanket on his back.

– Place baby in basinet or crib and hope the whole thing stays together!

Check out these great pictures to help swaddle from Bambino Land.  They also have wonderful swaddling products!

I’ll be honest. While recovering in the hospital, I observed the nurses deftly swaddling up my daughter into a super-happiness sleep bundle. Through my drugged state, I knew there was no way I was ever going to get it just right. So, once we got home, I whipped out the newborn swaddle that was given to me at my baby shower. It was made of super soft material with a wonderful zipper, along with velcro side straps, to quickly and easily wrap baby up – and unwrap and re-wrap during those middle-of-the-night-super-dark feedings.

At first my husband didn’t like that I whisked our daughter away at the appointed hour at night to restrict her in a tight swaddle, but each and every night she calmed down, made a couple of complaints, and fell fast asleep.  Many times for 4-6 hours of sleep at a stretch!

Most pediatricians say that after a couple of months baby will be ready to sleep un-swaddled.  My pediatrician said that when she can pull apart the swaddle, then it is time to try sleeping without it.  Most babies get to that point around 2-3 months of age.  You definitely need to stop swaddling baby by the time it can roll over.  Not a great idea to have your burrito baby roll over in the night and not have its arms free to right itself again.  Trust your instincts and when your wee one seems to fight the swaddle instead of enjoy it; the time has come to move on.

So, if you are planning on swaddling, practice, practice, practice. Or, invest in a slick zipper and velcro swaddle. It might save your sanity – seriously.