As a parent, we all know how difficult the transition from birth to 6 months can be…sleepless nights, confusion, just not knowing…..feeling overwhelmed, trouble feeding baby, Colic issues and of course—the wonderful hormonal shifts that make us laugh, cry and scream all at the same time.
Most parents are taught about the comfort and benefits that are achieved from Swaddling, which has been practiced for hundreds of years. What we don’t know from the get-go is what a pain in the butt it can be. Wrapping baby. Rewrapping baby. Wrapping baby. Rewrapping baby….and so on. On and on and on it goes, all night long. My little Bella was a strong baby, with a strong startle reflex and a hunger like you would not believe. She came 5 weeks early – looking for food as soon as she made eye contact with me, the “mommy cow.” She wanted to sleep at night, and boy did Stash and I want that too…but due to her super startle paired with mighty-mouse strength, she unraveled herself within 15 minutes…ALL NIGHT LONG. After unraveling herself, her Rooting reflex initiated and she then brought her swaddle wrap right up over her face and mouth, trying to eat it. Time and time again, I found her red and sweaty with the swaddle wrap up and over her face. Scary….Not good for the air flow to say the least. I tried every baby swaddle available, every name brand in every major store…and nothing worked for her. What frustration….
Even as a seasoned parent, there are still new issues arising, as every baby is so unique. We needed to keep our daughter Bella safe and comfortable. Getting up every 2 hours during the night can be draining for not only mom, but everyone in the house – both emotionally and physically. Every bit of help is a gift and a savior! As a RN and mother, I sought after different products that would work for the baby and myself on a few different levels. First, to swaddle the baby for her safety and comfort, to both prevent her from scratching herself and also prevent startle reflex. It needed to be comfortable and to stay put! Velcro almost always detaches as baby stretches during the night, and blankets unravel and may overheat baby, or end up over the baby’s face contributing to SIDS. I needed something that would stay intact and snug, but at the same time, allow the baby to stretch out if she needed to, where the fabric would then automatically reconform to a snug cocoon-like or peanut shape afterwards. After searching every store and website for a swaddle product that would “stay put”, on went my creative hat. I sewed and sewed until Bella was “contained” with a gentleness. No “arms pinned to the side swaddle”, a stretchy but effective peanut, which was ergonomical to her shoulder, waist and hip curves. It did help that I was an RN with some understanding of body mechanics and essential movement.