Tuesday, August 9, 2011

swaddling

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River randomly sharing his car with Wylder.

Quick question. Do you swaddle your kiddos when they sleep? 


If so .. or if not .. Id love to hear all about it  and all about how they slept as newborns.

(and again, I apologize if this is the most boring post for some of you who probably dont even care to know what a swaddle is!) 

We swaddled River. He loved it. And at times I swear its why he was such a good sleeper. He was in a swaddle forever. Like seriously until he was pretty much 10 months old.  I was fine with that. We had him in one where he could roll over and back just fine.The transition to break him out of the swaddle was easy once he was ready. But all the times we tried when he wasnt ready were HORRIBLE.

And my theory has now become - the less we have to "transition out of" with any of our kids .. the better.

At first Wylder seemed to actually hate being swaddled. (And I was secretly so excited) I knew I could keep swaddling him and eventually he would like it because thats what the books say is comforting to them and to do. But if he could learn to sleep without it & still sleep well then I would pretty much be the happiest mom in the world.  I have plenty of friends who never swaddled their kids .. and actually didnt even know what it was .. so I figured thats what I would try with Wylder.

But it seems like the swaddle might actually end up helping him sleep so I may be resorting back to it after all. At first he slept like a champ but now he is starting to wake up more often during the night and having a harder time staying asleep & being comfortable. I know this is also normal for newborns. (to have good nights & bad nights) but my gut feeling is that we will end up using the swaddle after all. (I tend to just give in during the middle of the night when Im half asleep and ready to go back to bed!)

Anyway, I was just curious to know what all of you (the pros) did with your kids and how you had them sleeping when they were newborns. Did you use a sleep positioner? Did they put themselves to sleep or did you rock them to sleep? Did they prefer sleeping on their tummy or with you? Did they sleep 8 hours in a row from the night you brought them home from the hospital? (okay seriously, dont tell me that if that was your experience! Id rather not know!)

But really it would be interesting to hear what everyone does differently if you're up to sharing!

26 comments:

  1. We swaddled Ethan and he loved it and slept well. But he then started to outgrow it and we had to wean him from it (one arm out for a few nights, then two arms out, etc). I said next baby they'll get the swaddle for two weeks and that's it! But when that time comes... sleep will win. So if it helps the baby sleep- I'm sure I'll use the swaddle again. Good luck!

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  2. It was a ton of hits and misses for us the first few weeks. Some nights he slept great when he was swaddled (we loved that velcro pouch thingy) and then other nights he was squirming around trying to break out of swaddled bondage. I would say, all in all, I did not focus on the swaddle after 5 to 6 weeks of age. No habits were formed and by then his sleeping patterns were extended and more regular. But you know each night it was different...I am sorry, not much help! I know you are doing a wonderful job! Your boys are beautiful!

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  3. I swaddled my son and when he started rolling he was ready to transition. We did so with my daughter but when she started rolling she was not ready and I have not slept since. She is 6 months old. I'm interested in how you did it with River! Please help me! :)

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  4. We swaddled Jake the first 2 months. He hated (punched and kicked until he could get free)it but I'm positive it helped him sleep better. Once we let him cry it out at 2 months I realized he wasn't going to calm down and go to sleep as long as he was in that blanket. So I took it away and he has slept 12 hours each night ever since. I'm in the 'take it away before they get attached to it' camp.

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  5. We did the Swaddle Me the first few weeks, but we wouldn't put his arms in. It made him mad. I guess that's technically not a swaddle, huh? As a first time mom who didn't know any better, I was afraid that if we swaddled him we would end up doing it until he was a teenager. So, we stopped pretty early. He was pretty jumpy, though, and didn't really settle down until 2 months when we let him sleep on his stomach (gasp!). Not helpful, but that was my experience. Unless our next baby just has a really hard time, I don't plan on swaddling long either.

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  6. Our daughter hated being swaddled, so we gave up after a couple weeks. She started sleeping through the night at two months. She is now one year old and is and has been a great sleeper and napper. We never used a bottle to get her to sleep and we don't rock her to sleep. She would get tired, we would put her down awake in her crib and she goes to sleep. We have been pretty lucky! :)However, we are very religious about her schedule...if we take her out, we make sure we are home from wherever we have been by nap time so that she doesn't "catnap" in public places or in the car, which I think has also played a role...she knows and likes her routine.

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  7. Both of mine were swaddled. They loved it and seemed to sleep better as itty bitties. Today,they are fantastic sleepers, and nappers (with the exception of some toddler stall-tactics). I doubt swaddling had anything to do with their long-term sleep habits. Some kids just love sleep, others don't. To help wean from the swaddle, we used the Halo sleep sacks. And they used those until they were pulling up in the crib. Wishing LOTS AND LOTS of sleep for you!

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  8. We swaddled Caleb until he kicked so hard, he kicked out of it. It would end up with them wrapped around his face. Hmmm...not safe? It helped him sleep, but eventually he got along fine without it. He did have this portable, flexible mini-bumper from the hospital that he nested his face into. (With plently of room to breathe.) It seems like most kids need something to calm down...to each his own.

    We put both down drowsy, but not asleep, so they learned to go to sleep on their own. You do have to hear them cry it out, and I cave sometimes...Still, that is the sleeping tip that has been hardest to handle as a Mommy, but has also come with the greatest rewards.

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  9. Hi! You don't know me at all! But...I did learn....by default not to rock my baby to sleep! I currently have a 2 year old that is and always has been a terrible sleeper! Not to say that I didn't love it. I was rocking my sweet boy until he was 2...legs and all! But...when I realized when he woke up in the night...he wanted/needed to be rocked back to sleep, I quickly cut him off! Not fun! So...again with your less crutches motto...try to put your sweet little guy in his crib awake...drowsy...but awake! You'll thank yourself when you have a great sleeper...and you'll be a happier mommy! I've also learned that it's easier said than done...so good luck! :-)

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  10. I was just thinking, how long did it take to get rid of the swaddle? A couple nights or a couple of months? Depending on the answer, it may be worth it to help Wylder sleep even if it means a few tough nights later on.

    I think either way you go, you will be right b/c you are "mother of the year" after all! :)

    We swaddled, but I tended to sabotage my husband's swaddle thinking our son no longer wanted to be swaddled. But he definitely would go to sleep more easily when swaddled.

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  11. I swaddled Henry in a banana leaf. I swaddled Elliot in croissant rolls. It all depends on your baby, I guess.

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  12. We swaddled Avery until about 5 months. She slept so good with it, plus we had her on an inclined sleep positioner. I think it was about 3-4 months when we started leaving her arms out. Honestly getting rid of it wasn't that big of a deal. She did great transitioning from that to just footie pajamas. It was winter when we did. My SIL used the sleep sacks until hers were almost 2! And swears by them. Avery is a really good sleeper to this day though, just has to have her soft blankets with her.

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  13. I have twin girls who are 13 months who have been sleeping through the night since 2 months. I used the woombie sleep sacks. Google search woombie and you can find them. I got the convertible ones so when you are ready you can let one arm out and then then other. We used these for 6 months and I swear they helped. We also did cry it out and we always put the girls to sleep awake. They sleep 10 hours at night and take a 3 and a half hour nap during the day. Good luck!

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  14. Hey! Addy was a horrible sleeper so this time around I am trying to do everything different! With Addy, I nursed her to sleep (do NOT recommend that, but it was the only way to get her to stop crying), we were interviewing for residency all over the country and didn't like the pack n play so she slept in her bouncer with the vibration on all night long (do NOT recommend that), and we did swaddle her and I do think that helped her. I don't remember transitioning out of it so I guess that wasn't a big deal. I did have to order a swaddle blanket that had separate legs though so I could buckle her into the bouncer. With Peyton I have put him down drowsy almost every time. I do rock him sometimes, but I make sure his eyes are open a little bit when he goes in his crib. I also put him in his crib the very first night and he sleeps pretty well in there! He sleeps in a woombie, which is wonderful!! I have to order more because right now I am washing the same one all the time. He sleeps on a sleep positioner that is elevated and on his side because he has a little reflux and the doctor was concerned about him getting choked. He isn't sleeping completely through the night (obviously since it is 3 am and I am up on the computer while nursing), but he does go 4-6 hours in between nursing the first stretch after I put him down, which is his longest for the day. For a 3 week old, that isn't too bad! I don't think you can mess them up with the swaddle, but I do think the nursing and rocking them until they are completely out can be a problem and also getting them used to being bounced and vibrated all night long was an issue with Addy too! Oh and we did use those sleep sacks when Addy moved from the swaddle and those are awesome too! Josh did not like me putting blankets in the crib!

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  15. I swaddled my son for the two days in the hospital, just because the nurses showed me how and he seemed to like it. Then I would do it periodically for the the first 1-2 weeks at home, then stopped. I also agree that I try very hard never to start something with my kids that I have to then remove later with a fight. If it works without, why make a job of it later?

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  16. I did not swaddle my firstborn and would rock her to sleep every night and carefully place her in her crib. She was a horrible sleeper and just started sleeping well this year (when she turned 5!!!) However, my second born I swaddled, did the cry it out method at about 8 weeks and he is the best sleeper. So I definately say do swaddling because it changed our lives. And just remember he is only a few weeks old right now and you will get past this stage.

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  17. Okay so here's my little two sense... Lyla loved swaddling up until she was about 8 months old. She was never the type to pull her hands out of the swaddle until about that age (probably because she used a paci and didn't really need to use her hands). With Adah though, she has been a whole new cup of tea. She has never used a paci since she's been born, and she never liked the swaddle. The first 2 weeks of her life, she would only sleep lying on my chest all night. After that, to be completely honest, she had trouble sleeping from about 2 weeks until about 2 1/2 months old. Most nights she would wake up and be up for an hour or so and we would walk her all around the house to get her to fall back asleep. And sometimes when we thought she was asleep, she would wake up the moment we put her down. However a BIGGGG thing for us, was realizing that Adah prefers to sleep on her tummy. I know the Dr's say it's a no-no, but I find that if a baby isn't swaddled, they are going to eventually wake up from their arms and legs flinging when they fall out of REM sleep. When Adah is on her tummy, her arms and legs are (in a sense) pinned against the bed. Does this make sense? Ha! Here's one other tip that helped Tyler and I get through the newborn troubles... we would NOT look at the clock. Every night, we seemed to be battling the clock and getting frusterated that Adah was staying up for so long and that we were losing precious sleep. As soon as we forgot about the clock, we just dealt with Adah as she was and we never even knew what time we were going to sleep at night....Newborns are tough, girlie. I forgot how hard they were, but let me give you hope in that, it does get easier!! Both Adah and Lyla got SIGNIFICANTLY easier around 3 months old.

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  18. Let me preface this by saying I am by no means an expert, but I have a six month old daughter, so this is still pretty fresh on the brain. They swaddled my daughter in the hospital, but she always managed to sneak her arms out. So, at home we started swaddling with her arms out and that seemed to work fine. However, it didn't seem to make much of a difference to me - some nights we wouldn't swaddle her and she would do fine too. Luckily our daughter has always been a good night time sleeper (not a great napper though), but she has always preferred sleeping on her tummy... so we let her (bad parent, I know). So - I think you should keep trying like you have been doing and go with your gut. The boys are beautiful and you are doing a great job!

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  19. i swaddled - we used the "woombie" and I recommend it.. they cannot get out of it. CANNOT. My little one would cry initially, but it helped him once he went to sleep. damn reflex would always wake him up if not. We stopped swaddling when he rolled. once he was able to sleep on stomach all was good. I worked on sleep routines with him for THREE MONTHS and let me tell you, it paid off. NO CIO had to happen. I watch for his sleepy signs still, 10 mo later and he is a champion sleeper. But it took a lot of work and a lot of scheduling around him, which I swore I'd never do. BUT sleep right now is so important, I figure I can put my needs aside for now. He won't be a baby forever.
    anyhow.

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  20. We swaddled our son until he was active enough to keep escaping. We used Aden + Anais 47" blankets (they seemd to work the best - and they are on sale today on babysteals.com) and then transitioned to their sleep sacks once he was done with the swaddle. The material is breathable and he still likes to snuggle with their blankets when napping. He sleeps more soundly at night in the sack and I couldn't recommend it enough to transition out of the swaddle!

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  21. Swaddle for sure! And then when you have to transition, just turn the monitor off... seriously, that's what it came to for us. And after a week or two Parker adjusted just fine!

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  22. we swaddle...but with hank, the day he turned 4 months i quit. my doc told me it could effect their gross motor skills if you don't quit by then, so i did. and soon after he started rolling and sleeping on his tummy so he was fine. stella loves the swaddle too. her startle reflex is still SO apparent that she needs to be swaddled. but i do let her nap (with me sitting there) on her tummy some too...without the swaddle. she's sleeping pretty good...4-5 hour stretches at night, and she and wylder are only 5 days apart :-)

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  23. I had preemie twins, so they were not "sleeping through the night" until about 7 months (actual age). We swaddled them, arms only - legs free, (in the miracle blanket, if you do it tight enough they can't get out of it, love it!), and they slept in the Nap Nanny (love, love it!!), in their own cribs from Day 1 at home, until they were rolling back to front which was about 6 months or so. My dr. said the same thing about gross motor skills. They transitioned just fine. I was way more worried about how not being swaddled and no nap nanny would affect their sleep. They did fine, other than the initial first couple of nights, we haven't looked back since. But in those early days, yes, I think it helped mine feel way more snug and secure. Oh and we did not rock or coddle them at naps or bedtime, just hug, kiss and lay down (when tired/drowsy) - out of necessity w/ having two infants. I will sway them on my shoulder for a few seconds now and then just lay them down. Also highly recommend the wubbanub pacifier. Some would frown - but when they were tiny, tiny, I would tuck the stuffed animal part of it in between the outer layers of the swaddle blanket so that it wouldn't fall away and off to the side. My girls never really loved the swing. Early on I would let them nap in a bouncy seat, but eventually all naps and night time sleep were strictly in their nap nannys. And I cannot underestimate our sound machine either. Soothing rainfall, we take it with us everywhere if we are traveling and it really helps keep their environment familiar. :) They are now 14 months old and sleep a solid 12 hrs at night and still take 2 naps during the day. Sleep-training was a lot of hard work, but worth it. You are doing great!!

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  24. I swaddled my son the first three months of his life. He was also in the swing most of that time too. ha! But we started putting him in the crib and the second he rolled over on his belly and removed the swaddle and he pretty much did fine with it.

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  25. All I can say is try the Super Swaddle! (how tos on youtube)

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  26. Hey Brooke!

    I am really behind on your blog, but I try to keep up with what's going on with you and your boys on twitter. I was looking through some of the comments about swaddling, and I even googled some of the products that were mentioned by other parents. As a pediatrician-in-training, I like knowing what parents are using and find helpful.

    I want to mention something that I feel is very important to mention. Melissa, who had the preemie twins, mentioned that she used a "Nap Nanny." These were recalled due to entrapment, suffocation, and fall hazards. There was even an infant death reported. These types of sleep devices are not recommended by the American Academy Pediatrics. However, the manufacturer now says that if it is going to be used, it must be used on the floor away from all other objects. http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10309.html

    There is a new campaign called "Safe Sleep" that is more than just "Back to Sleep" - putting babies on their backs to sleep; no pillows/quilts/toys or anything in the crib; supervised tummy time during play. To the parents who put their infants on their tummies to sleep (even when supervised!), they are certainly not bad parents... they are just not properly weighing the risks to that child. As a pediatrician, I'd rather hear about a child who is woken up by her own reflexes than a parent who found her daughter dead in the crib. We all want safe, healthy babies!

    Ok... off my soapbox for now. :)

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