...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Truth: I swaddle my babies. When our first child, Layne, was three months old I was at my wits end. He screamed all day and night. The longest stretch of sleep I’d gotten out of him was three hours. I had no help nearby {besides HH but I was trying to let him stay rested so he could function at work during the day}. I was frustrated and exhausted and looking for a miracle. I found one in the way of swaddling.

The first night I swaddled Layne properly {i.e. snugly in his Miracle Blanket} and used a sound machine in his nursery, he slept eight hours straight. I felt like a new woman the next morning. His stretches of night sleep lengthened week after week until he was sleeping a solid 10-12 hours consistently. I thought “Holy cow. Why didn’t anyone tell me to do this the day he was born?!”

Since then, I’ve been a swaddling fanatic. I tell anyone who will listen to swaddle their babies when/if they have ‘em. The Happiest Baby on the Block is my mama manual. Swaddling mimics the womb, promotes sleep, keeps sharp baby fingernails from wreaking havoc on delicate skin and hinders the Moro reflex.

Even after three kids, I still catch flak about my swaddling methods from some onlookers – family members included. I’ve had people tell me swaddling is claustrophobic, torturous, constrictive, unnecessary, mean, harmful and outdated. I disagree. My boys are now ages 7 and 4 and aren’t claustrophobic. They are perfectly healthy kids, physically and mentally. If anything, there are days I wish I could swaddle them and keep them still again!

I swaddled Layne until he was nine months old. He was an extremely sensitive baby. I swaddled Everett until he was five months old. He was an extremely easy baby. After giving up the swaddle, I moved onto a sleep sack for naps and night time.

Mabrey is almost seven months old and I’m still swaddling her. Albeit with one arm out because she likes it that way. {She’s doing this weird thing now where she squishes her lips inside her mouth so that it looks like she doesn’t have any. Cute and strange at the same time. That’s my girl.}

And I’ll continue to swaddle her as long as it makes her happy. You should see her melt when I start wrapping her up at naptime and bedtime. It’s a cue to let her know sleep is coming. You sleep away ‘lil one. And I will too.

What are your thoughts on swaddling? Ever done it first-hand? Which method or blanket worked best for your baby? How long did you swaddle? Would you do it again?

image: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

104 Comments

28.October.2012

I learned how to swaddle when I was in nursing school and did my newborn nursery rotation. I used it with my own kids and have taught all my friends and family with new babies how to do it. It is an absolute lifesaver and I don’t know any baby that it hasn’t helped. I just use an old fashioned flannel receiving blanket, nothing fancy. Some babies prefer one hand out, others like both tucked in tight. I swaddled my oldest until she was 10 months old and my younger daughter (an EXTREMELY easy baby) until she was 4 months old. I’m also a huge fan of “Happiest Baby on the Block”. Swaddle, stomach, suck, shush and swing are where it’s at!

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28.October.2012

We swaddled! They taught it at the hospital I delivered and we kept him wrapped fairly tight to sleep most nights, especially since he preferred to sleep on his side anyway. I was sold on swaddling after a particularly rough day following 5 vaccinations at once at his 2-month well-baby check-up. He was writhing and crying ALL morning until I wrapped him up super tight in a swaddler blanket with built-in velcro straps. He was instantly happy, cooing, smiling and napped for hours, waking up like a new baby! Now, at a year old, it’s a whole ‘nother story; this kid travels ALL over his crib in his sleep, doing laps around the mattress until he settles down, fetal position on his belly with no blankets and often no pants on. I have to creep in after he’s been asleep for a while and carefully drape a blanket over him, making sure not to cover his hands or he’ll wake up and start the whole process all over again.

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28.October.2012

I swaddled all of my children. Most of them are teenagers now, and I was the odd one out back then. My sisters used to tease me about it too, and only one of my friends also used to wrap her baby. So definitely not as popular as it should be IMO.
In Australia it can be very hot, so I used cheesecloth, which I just hemmed around the edges. I would buy 1.5m of the cheesecloth (which is like a cotton gauze, vey lightweight, but strong) and they would wash well and dry on the clothesline very quickly.
You are right, it is a signal to the baby to sleep, and they do like the firm safe feeling from being swaddled. I think I stopped doing it once they were able to unwrap themselves – there is no time limit, just do what suits you and the baby.

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Finally developed the “secret swaddle” for my everett. He was a swaddle ninja! I was not ready to give it up! :) http://styleberryblog.com/the-secret-swaddle-my-sleep-solution

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28.October.2012

They taught us to swaddle in the hospital. We did it every night till J was about 4 months old and was a total Houdini about it. When we stopped (when I got tired of having to check she hadn’t pulled the blanket over her face), she was fine as she’s an easy going baby who likes sleep, but I totally encourage it for newborns, and credit it as part of what we did to teach her to sleep so well.

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28.October.2012

I didn’t with my 1st born because I thought he didn’t like it. When I was pregnant with my 2nd, I read Happiest Baby on the Block and learned that the initial resistance is normal. I wish I had read that book sooner!! I swaddled my daughter and it worked like a charm. I love the Aden & Anais blankets for newborns and the Summer SwaddleMe wraps for older babies. My daughter was fully wrapped until about 4 months, then I started wrapping her with 1 or both arms out until she was about 6 months.
Whenever I have a friend at their wits end, I refer them to the 5 S’s in HBOTB. That technique is a lifesaver!

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replied on October 29th, 2012

I liked the Aden & Anais blankets too.

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28.October.2012

I’m astonished that anyone *doesn’t* swaddle. This isn’t a parenting judgement, just that it was such a lifesaver for us too. In fact we were taught it in our birth classes, I didn’t actually think of doing it another way. I think I swaddled Bianca (with one arm out too) until she was at least 9-10 months. She just liked to sleep that way, even during the summer.

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28.October.2012

The Miracle Blanket saved our lives! Both our babies loved it and it was so easy to use. I always buy one for friends with new babies. And, I don’t believe in any of these judgements people make about parenting choices-we all do our best and what works for one family may not work for the next. With each baby I remember going through so many days feeling uncertain and insecure-the last thing any of us need is someone telling us we’re bad moms for trying to get sleep etc…keep on loving your three munchkins and everything will be ok.

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Oh, you’ve brought back such sweet memories of those warm, little baby burritos all snug and sleepy! Sniff, sniff. I’ll always remember when the doctor told us “He was a lot more smooshed a few days ago!” Then the whold thing really made sense. It’s so cute how they start to get drowsy as soon as you start to wrap, isn’t it? You can just tell how much they love it.

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Amanda
replied on October 29th, 2012

Awww… baby burritos! We called my daughter “our little burrito” when she was a newborn – she just loved being swaddled the first few months.

And then her little brother loved it until he was almost a year old! Add in the fact that he was super-long for his age, and we were getting pretty desperate to find something big enough to contain him!

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replied on October 29th, 2012

that’s funny, we always called our little ones “chalupas” when they were swaddled, it just seemed so fitting!

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replied on October 29th, 2012

A good friend from Mexico calls swaddled babies “tamales.” :)

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29.October.2012

we swaddled our son from day one. at first we didn’t do it tightly enough and then my husband became a master swaddler and that was his job every night before bed. The happiest baby on the block was a great read for us, too. It helped me think like a baby and understand the world from a newborn’s perspective. I think everyone should think of the newborn – 3 months stage as the “fourth trimester”.

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29.October.2012

I LOVE swaddling and to me anyone who doesn’t do it or support it, hasn’t done the research or hasn’t used the technique (or maybe they had an easy baby). I’m a RN in a NICU and this is how I learned about it. Some of our babies who are out of control on a warmer will settle down just by being wrapped. It provides security and comfort. I don’t have any children yet, but I’m pregnant. I plan on swaddling my child until they can upwrap themselves then will go to a sleep sack. I always teach new parents about this trick and hope it helps them out!

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29.October.2012

I swaddled both of my children too. Like some of the others, I learned how to do it in the hospital after my son was born. Both of my kids loved being swaddled and would almost immediately calm down if they were fussy. I didn’t use any special swaddling cloths… just plain flannel receiving blankets, and after they outgrew those we graduated them into sleep sacks (which I loved!!)

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29.October.2012

Yes, swaddeling!! But I didn’t really do such a good job of it, either time – I couldn’t tell if they really liked it. But interestingly enough, my eldest (8 yo) self-swaddels at night, when he is asleep – rolls around until he is all wrapped up like a burrito!
The HBOTB – LOVED this book!!
Keep up the great blog and parent as you see fit.

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29.October.2012

Swaddling = sanity for us. Some people claim that they didn’t need to to or that their child hated it, but when we compared notes, my kids slept longer, on average. Mine were also sensitive beans, even though neither were colicky and were generally easy babies. It was just so hard for them shut out all the fun stimulus so they could rest their brains. We also read the 90-minute Sleep Plan. Written by a sleep researcher Ph.D type who then became a parent.It wasn’t a how-to, so much as a “this is the sleep-awake cycle for your baby’s brain.” Super helpful.

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29.October.2012

Yes! The swaddle and Happiest Baby on the Block saved our lives! ;-) The sound machine-swing-swaddle combo was the secret to restful sleep, and the arms down swaddle trick was key for keeping our little one in his burrito of happiness. Haha! We swaddled until about 5 months, and then it no longer seemed needed, but man, it sure was a help!

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29.October.2012

Swaddling is the JAM! My daughter was early so she was in the hospital for 2 months, and so I learned from the best. Baby burrito! I love the Aden & Anais muslin swaddlers. Pretty pricey (I think like $40 for a set of 3 or 4) but they worked best for us and they were multipurpose, I used them for a bunch of other stuff.

I say do whatever you have to do to get some sleep. If people have something to say about it, they can come over and rock your baby while you sleep.

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29.October.2012

i swaddled : ) i learned it from my midwives before my first baby was born.
my kids are now 18, 13, and almost 8, but i swaddled them all.
the moro reflex is so pitiful ~ they think they’re falling when they can’t feel some snuggly boundaries {like the womb}.
i never used a name brand swaddler, just stretchy {cotton jersey} receiving blankets.
it made them happy & content as newborns, and i dare say that they have turned out to be happy & content kids.

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29.October.2012

Oh man, I wish someone had told me this when my kids were babies. Three out of four never slept well and I would have tried anything. Two of my daughters are now nursing students and I am going to make sure to tell them about swaddling if they don’t learn in their clinical rotations. If the nurses would have told me to try this with a fussy baby it would have made a huge difference in my sleep deprivation. Thanks for sharing, at least I will know this for future grandbabies!

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29.October.2012

Our daughter loved being swaddled. She was very powerful so by two months we were double swaddling her in a Miracle Blanket and regular swaddling blanket. In her swaddle she could put herself to sleep. Then she learned to roll from back to front and we took her swaddle away. That was about a month ago and she still can’t roll from her front to her back. Since she was able to escape even a double swaddle I felt like we needed to take it away for safety reasons. At first her sleeping was really bad, now she sleeps as long as before, but is still much harder to get to fall asleep. I miss the days when I could just put her down in her crib drowsy and she would fall asleep herself! I’m sure we will get back to there at some point.

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29.October.2012

In our tradition (I’m Chinese Indonesian), swaddling is a common practice, my boy only swaddled for 1 month, as he often kick the blanket away, but he was an easy baby after all, he still kicked blanket away now, haha…. we use cotton / muslim cloth since it is a hot tropical country.

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replied on October 29th, 2012

I loved swaddling both of my girls and they loved it too!

My mother in law, also Chinese Indonesian, HATED that I swaddled!! She would always go behind me and unwrap my oldest. Of course, this is the lady who told me to put my baby to sleep on her tummy so she wouldn’t have a “flat” face from sleeping on her back!

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29.October.2012

Awwww, the one-arm swaddle! My baby girl loved that too. I think we swaddled her until she was at least 6 months old. So sweet.

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29.October.2012

I actually was just checking out the Miracle Blanket today. We swaddled our first [with one arm out] and we loved the SwaddleMe brand for him. He loved being swaddled but he wiggled a lot in the regular receiving blankets and we were constantly redoing our swaddles. Now with our second on the way, special swaddling blankets are a must have! We were also taught how to swaddle at the hospital like many others commented.

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29.October.2012

I did swaddle my son for 3 months. When he outgrew his swaddle-blanket I looked for a bigger size.
I could not find any (I live in Germany), so I asked my midwife and the pediatrician and both said it is not good for babys to swaddle longer than 3 months because of their motoric skills. I stopped and my sweet sleeping baby stopped sleeping and started screaming all night. It was awful.
With the next baby I’m going to swaddle until it is 5 years old. I don’t care. Swaddling is genius!!!!

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29.October.2012

I Definitely swaddle! I’m also debating a new product called the woombie that just got great reviews on ohdeedoh! I currently use a miracle blanket, too, so I don’t really ‘need’ another one, but it looks interesting!

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replied on October 30th, 2012

We bought the Woombie Houdini for my son and we really liked it. It’s made with a less stretchy fabric than most other swaddlers so he wasn’t able to get his arms out and scratch his face.

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29.October.2012

Swaddling = YES!!! My hubby is a pediatrician / master swaddler and teaches all of his newborn patients’ parents how to do it. :) Our 3rd child, a daughter, is almost 6 months old and she sleeps in a swaddle blanket with both arms out now since she likes to roll over and sleep on her tummy. Up until she rolled, she was fully swaddled for sleep since birth and loved it, though she did usually pop one arm out! We use Halo Sleep Sacks after the swaddle blanket stage too. It’s so nice to know the blanket won’t come off and leave her cold or in danger. We swaddled & “sacked” our other 2 children as well – both boys, same ages as yours – and they turned out as normal as can be, lol! ;) Oh, and the swing was a lifesaver for our 2 boys who both had reflux. Magic, I say. Happy sleeping!

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replied on October 29th, 2012

ARMS OUT! Oh my goodness why didn’t I think of that! We have recently stopped swaddling our 4 month girl because she loves to roll her self over the moment I step away. I wouldn’t mind so much but with her horrible reflux I worry that she’ll be laying in a pile of spit of half the night. ugh! Great tip we’ll try that tonight!

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29.October.2012

I was surprised to see the topic of your Honest Monday, as in swaddling was something you had to confess to; here in Australia all maternity hospitals and baby health care nurses teach swaddling, its universal. I suppose some parents choose not to do it once they get home from hospital but most keep doing it. I certainly did. And that means swaddling the whole baby, legs included. I kept my second daughter’s right arm out because she sucked her thumb. The theory (and I think it’s backed up in the literature, although don’t quote me) is that when babies have their arms and legs waving about they feel insecure and have trouble sleeping/ staying asleep. Certainly, while they still have the Moro reflex they need to be swaddled (if you’re swaddling). Nothing like a big Moro mid-sleep to wake them up! I swaddled both mine till about 5-6 months then into a sleeping bag -I like the UK brand Grobag. Once they start rolling over (around 5 months) it’s hard to keep them wrapped. My littlest has just turned 2 (aargh, where did those 2 years go?!) and she is still in her sleeping bag, loves it. It’s all part of the sleep cues. I also tuck her in tightly with just a sheet. Mimics a cuddle.
Enjoy the peace and catch up on some sleep!

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29.October.2012

I have a one week old (doing a 4am nursing session as I type this) and I swaddle him for all his night time sleeps, it’s seriously the best thing ever.

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29.October.2012

I agree 100% with you on the swadding…and Happiest baby on the block. I had such a hard time with my daughter those first couple months. It wasn’t until a pediatrician family member mailed me the HBOTB DVD and miracle blanket that any of us got any relief. Obviously if it calms them and they look forward to it there is no harm in it (and plus it’s been proven to help) so if someone gives you the side eye give them the finger. Ha! Keep doing what you’re doing!

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29.October.2012

I find that the older generations in our families mostly finds swaddling amusing, like it is some kind of modern invention. My husband’s aunt said to us “Are you going to swaddle? Are you going to give birth in the water?” like it was kind of funny :) We swaddled for the first few weeks with our almost three year old but I felt like he didn’t need it because he slept so well. After the reading and research I’ve done I think I will swaddle longer with our next one, who is coming in a few weeks. I might try white noise more too!

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replied on October 29th, 2012

Didn’t they read the story of Jesus-“wrapped in swaddling clothes, laying in a manger”?

Swaddling is ooooold.

:)

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29.October.2012

Yes yes yes! I feel like I could have written this post! I’m a huge fan of swaddling too and swaddled all 3 of my kids until 6 months. Dr. Karp is awesome and I give his book for baby showers. I often hear people say swaddling just “didnt work” for their baby or that their baby got out of the swaddle and my first thought is always that they weren’t doing it the right way or tight enough. (I fully admit all babies are different but I think also that people are scared to swaddle as tight as is needed.). Yay, swaddling!

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29.October.2012

I didn’t realize some people were actively opposed to swaddling. Just this weekend I was at the fabric store looking for some cotton gauze to sew my own swaddle blankets… but I only found black, brown, and ivory.

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29.October.2012

I wish I had known how wonderful it was with my first two!

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29.October.2012

I started using the Miracle Blanket when my first was a few months old, and the hospital blanket wrap up wasn’t doing the trick anymore. My mom’s friend recommended it, and it was, indeed, a MIRACLE! Like you, the first night I used it, my son slept the whole night through, and I woke up hearing angels sing. It’s amazing what the first good night’s sleep in months will do for a girl.

We wrapped that kid for as long as we possibly could and he loved it. My husband was especially good–he calls it a “Baby Burrito.” He pulled so tight on those flaps that little holes started to form at the edges.

My second son wasn’t quite as easy early on, and he didn’t need the swaddle for as long, but we still used it some.

Now, I’m looking forward to using it again with my third, due in March!

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29.October.2012

I don’t have kids yet, but when I was little I used to swaddle my baby dolls. My mom taught me how…so I’m guessing she swaddle me and my siblings when we were babies.

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29.October.2012

I think swaddling sets a great foundation for good sleep. I also used the Miracle Blanket (and in the colder months, layered it with another swaddling blanket over it). I only use swaddling until about 4-5 months and then move on to a sleep sack. I don’t know if it is because my babies have been on the larger side but they don’t seem to need it after 4 or 5 months. I have had people tell me that their baby “hates” be swaddled and I always want to encourage them to give it another chance, especially if they are not sleeping.

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29.October.2012

I would have been in a mental hospital without swaddling! That DD was so sensitive and would react to the moro reflex by freaking out and yelling for 15 minutes…swaddling her was the only way she would get some sleep….All cultures swaddled children!

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29.October.2012

We swaddled our first 2 and now our 3rd. They all love it. Sometimes they think they don’t, but they do. We use Swaddle Designs. They are a bit pricey, but I have now used them for 3 kids and plan to hold onto them until my brother has children. I actually brought our blankets to the hospital this time since our 3rd was already mostly too big for the hospital blankets. I wonder if the closed mouth is the precurser to teeth. Miles was doing that at 4 months and sprung 2 teeth 2 weeks later. Mabrey’s a doll! :)

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29.October.2012

Oh, I swaddled my little one. Never even gave it a thought. She was an easy baby, but I still think swaddling helped a ton. I would definitely recommend it.

your little girl is so cute! takes me all the way back when my little one was tiny, oh, the days. They go by so fast.

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29.October.2012

A friend recommended the Happiest Baby on the Block while I was pregnant and I’m so glad she did! I was not great at swaddling using a blanket like the wonderful nurses at the hospital, so we used the Summer Infant Swaddle Me blankets every night until our baby boy was about 6 months old! His grandparents referred to it as his straight jacket but were amazed by how it worked.

PS – I just recently started following your blog and love it! I love your story on the underdog and I’m currently trying to find the right balance between motherhood and my career. I’m excited to continue to follow your story as I work on finding my path. Thank you for sharing and being so honest!

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29.October.2012

Hey Dana! Where did your new houzz book go- the bling one? I saw a new one and then a couple days later it was gone?

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replied on October 29th, 2012

I am always working on ideabooks to contribute to Houzz. The one you saw is one that is in the works. I forgot to make it ‘private viewing only’ at first. That’s why it was up. I switched it so that only I can see it until it’s complete. {I have to turn them in to editors before they are officially published.} So that’s why you saw it and now you don’t. Sorry for the confusion!

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29.October.2012

No one told me about swaddling with my first daughter and she didn’t sleep through the night until she was over a yr old! Bo wonder I had PPD with her! My second child, I swaddled from the beginning and did it for almost a yr. She slept through the night from about 3 months on. WHY didn’t anyone share this with me with my first!! We also used the swaddle blankets and called them her straight jacket. She still loves to be tucked in really tight and she is 4.5.

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29.October.2012

I wouldn’t have survived without swaddling. My son was a swaddle ninja and got out of every swaddling blanket we tried until we found this method: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5K4VdZxwsu4. It was a lifesaver along with aden + anais blankets. We also love The Happiest Baby on the Block!

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29.October.2012

Our daughter has always been a horrible sleeper, and swaddling was the only thing that helped! I have a question for all you experienced moms out there…my daughter is now 11 months old and always sleeps on her stomach. Any way we can still swaddle her? She only sleeps three hours at a time and wakens easily

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29.October.2012

I swaddled my daughter and she liked it very much. She was an awesome sleeper, though, and I was completely spoiled. When I had my second child, my son, he HATED being swaddled and was a terrible sleeper. I tried everything with him and I don’t think he slept through the night until well over two years old. I could tell when I was still in the hospital after delivering him that he didn’t want to be swaddled because even as a newborn he was strong enough to struggle out of the blanket. The nurses kept coming in and re-swaddling him and he’d get out of it again. I told them that he didn’t like it and they told me that he was too little to like or dislike something. Ha! He came out opinionated and nothing has changed. He is 10 now and an AWESOME sleeper, although he still sleeps in as little as possible. He never even liked pajamas because they are too constrictive. I would buy him cute little pajama sets and find them wadded-up on the floor every morning after he stripped them off during the night. Finally I just gave-up and he sleeps in boxers. So, for me, swaddling worked for one kid and not the other.

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29.October.2012

I swaddled my first until he was about 2 months and could escape my A&A blankets and the SwaddleMe wraps were too small. I’m still swaddling my 3 1/2 month old in the SwaddleMe wraps b/c I bought the larger size when he outgrew the small ones. He has plenty of room to grow into them and I’ll continue to swaddle him with both arms in until he can roll (coming soon I think!) and then I’ll swaddle with arms out.

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I’m a swaddler. I have a 3 week old chilling in her swaddle right now! I love large square blankets for swaddling. I’m a big fan of muslin ones. My first was swaddled until she was about 6 months old and then she was happy in just a sleep sack. I’ll swaddle this little girl as long as she wants, too!

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29.October.2012

Hi! I am a new follower- I found you through YHL. Love your blog. :)

Anyway- I’ve swaddled my 3 and loved it!! They are all great sleepers! We also follow Healthy Sleep, Happy Child- my youngest is 9 months old & has switched to sleep sacks, but we discovered the woombie with her- and oh my! Love that thing. It was also a life saver while she was in the billy blanket for 5 days after birth- kept her warm and the blanket in place.

I also pass on my love for swaddling- everyone needs their rest! :)

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29.October.2012

THank goodness for swaddling. when I was a medical student I begged the labor and delivery nurses to teach me to do it well. That paid off bigtime when I had my own kids. My first stayed swaddled until almost a year and then switched to a sleep sac, my little guy started protesting at about 6 months and then went to the sac. I teach my new-mom and dad patients how to do it on the office now, too.

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29.October.2012

We didn’t swaddle all the time (didn’t need to) but we did when our babies were overstimulated. Worked like a charm.

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29.October.2012

I was taught to swaddle at the hospital but I read your previous post (before Mabrey was born) just at the time I was questioning myself about my son’s need for swaddling, all the people I knew had dropped swaddling at about 6 months but my son was having none of it. He was a happy swaddled nugget until 9 months old, refusing all attempts to ween him off it, reading your experience helped me chill out and not force him to give it up. Then one night he refused to settle down and just looked uncomfortable so I pulled him out of the wrap, he flipped over on his tummy and passed out, never needed the swaddle again. Thank you for the inspiring me to let him do things his way!

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29.October.2012

I’m big on swaddling too. We swaddled our first son until around 7 months. Our second son Ethan, who’s about 6 1/2 months is still swaddled as well although he is starting to squirm out of it without waking, so he might be weaning. With Ethan we have used several different swaddlers. He eventually started working his way out of the all of them, including the miracle blanket, and would wake up hitting himself in the face, so I use the “batwing” swaddle method I found on Youtube. Anyway, swaddle away Dana! Whatever leads to a peaceful night of sleep! If they hated it they wouldn’t sleep so well.

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29.October.2012

We swaddle! I say, “don’t knock it till you try it!” It definitely worked for us and I think we swaddled our little until she was 6 or 7 months old. She was a terrible sleeper and this helped for sure. I was a big fan of the Halo sleep sacks with the detachable swaddles and then after swaddling we used the Aden and Anais sleep sacks. We’ll definitely be doing it for our next bundles of joy!
PS love your blog – found it through YHL.

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29.October.2012

I LOVE swaddling. I have a 15 month old and we swaddled him until around 9 months, and even then he fought it because he loved it so much. I will swaddle any more children I have and am that person that will tell the joys of swaddling to anyone that will listen as well. My friends joke that I am a swaddling ninja and I wear the badge proudly!

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29.October.2012

The Miracle Blanket was just that… a miracle. The first time I put my son in it, he slept for 8 hours. We swaddled til he could get himself out.

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29.October.2012

Oh heck yeah! Swaddling is the best! We had a miracle blanket and a swaddleme given to us – we were team swaddleme in the end because there were just fewer tabs and whatsits to worry about. But man, oh, man, swaddling is great.

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29.October.2012

YES to swaddling! Began doing it at 4 weeks and by 5 weeks my son was sleeping through the night. Between the swaddling and sound machine, he never woke during the night. I stopped swaddling about 7 months. He’s 2 now and still sleeps through the night and loves being tucked in tightly. :)

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29.October.2012

Swaddling was a game changer for us. Once we learned how to do it properly, safely, and very snugly, our little peach was sleeping at least 7 hours straight from 2 months on. We used JJ Cole muslin blankets and we love that they are huge so the swaddle can grow with baby. At one point, I tried the Woombie, which simply frustrated the heck out my daughter! She could wiggler her hands all the way up to her neck, but they were then stuck under her chin.

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29.October.2012

You are preaching my mama story. We are huge proponents of swaddling and love the Happiest Baby on the Block. It was a lifesaver after my first, extremely sensitive baby was born. I believe my exact quote was that I would mouth kiss Harvey Karp if I ever met him in person. We didn’t discover the miracle blanket with my first until he was 8 weeks old. He went from sleeping in 45 -90 minute stretches to sleeping a whole three hours straight the first night. Very rarely do products live up to their billing, but that blanket truly is a miracle. We transitioned the first out of the swaddle around 5 months because he kept flipping over at night. With my second we used the miracle blanket until 5 months and then transitioned him into a Zip-a-dee Zip blanket (http://zipadeezip.com/) That thing was awesome and we used it for like two months. He now sleeps happily in his sleep sack.

I can not imagine not swaddling your kids to sleep. How on the earth do they stay asleep!?! Hip Hip Hurray for the swaddle!

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replied on October 29th, 2012

‘Mouth kiss Harvey Karp’… hilarious!

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29.October.2012

Swaddling worked great with my oldest son. The youngest was Houdini… he did not like it at all. The oldest loved riding in a stroller. The youngest wiggled out of the stroller and as soon as he could walk only wanted to push the stroller. It’s amazing how two people can have the same parents and come out complete opposites. Today they are off from school because of Hurricane Sandy. The oldest is quietly playing a video game in his clean as a pin room. The youngest has pulled every toy out of his closet and is running around with his nerf guns wrecking havoc on the house. I definitely think swaddling should always be tried. As for my experience each baby was different.

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29.October.2012

Dana, Mabrey is so precious, swaddled with her arm out! My granddaughter was the same way, but both arms had to be exposed. Swaddling worked great on all three of my children, and I highly recommend it also. Keep up the good work!

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29.October.2012

I swaddled both of my little ones but I’m almost ashamed to say but I swaddled the first one until a whopping 16 months! I actually had to order larger blankets. This wonderful nurse showed me the art of swaddling before I left the hospital and nobody every told me when to stop…so I didn’t. She seemed to do fine with it and on the random occasion that Grandma watched her (and did not swaddle), she complained of no rest. So, I stuck with what I knew and kept on until she started busting out one arm at a time. I later found out (from a friend who is an occupational therapist) that in order to calm themselves for rest, some children need “swaddling” in the form of a weighted blanket well into toddlerhood. Who knew?! My second baby never liked to be swaddled and would cry and cry until I released her…just when I thought I had things figured out, the second one was completely different. They are still like night and day, just to keep me on my toes I guess.

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Totally swaddled our little one, such a life saver. He loved it!
Our favorite by far (favorite baby item ever in fact and the #1 thing I tell every new parent to get) is the Aden & Anais blankets. Best swaddle blankets and we still use them for our almost three year old in sunny California. Great lightweight blanket to have around for cuddling, blocking the sun, etc.

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29.October.2012

My first experience as a mom was to care for my set of boy/girl twins. They were the greatest gift of my life. The most difficult part was not the pregnancy, the delivery or even going home, but more the caring for a very colicky baby boy. The only way he would sleep was if he were wrapped like a mummy in his swaddle. Just like your little girl, I could feel him relax immediately upon “the wrap”. My swaddle of choice was the SWADDLEME. As he grew, we too, went to the sleep sacks and the one arm out of the swaddle. We had to buy the large SWADDLEME, because he loved it until he was about 10 months old.

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29.October.2012

Pretty much all pediatricians recommend swaddling. It’s called the 4th trimester and babies need to feel like they are still in the womb. The swaddles give them comfort and security. Good for you for ignoring the (uneducated) naysayers!

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29.October.2012

We started swaddling in the hospital and haven’t looked back! It helps Hannah sleep for much longer stretches bc she isn’t startling herself awake, although I think I will start leaving one arm out (she’s been wriggling one hand free so she can suck her hand to soothe herself at night). There’s also nothing cuter than watching her stretch when she comes out of the swaddle . Oh, and thank you for recommending The Happiest Baby on the Block – we started using it after you mentioned it in an earlier post and it has worked so well for us. Thank you!

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29.October.2012

This post is good timing! From the time I was pregnant through the first three months it was all swaddle! swaddle! swaddle! But now that Avery is 3 months old (and starting to roll), I’ve been reading/hearing conflicting things about the pros and cons of swaddling past the “4th trimester”. I’ve been reluctant to transition her to sleep sacks because swaddling works so well for us, so I’m glad to hear that you (and other mamas) are prolonging the process!

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I am a FIRM believer in swaddling! It really was like a miracle when I was introduced to swaddling/sleep machine combo when my girl was about 8 weeks old. I have always required a fair bit of sleep so when the deprivation hit, I was in trouble. My best friend introduced me to Moms On Call… similar to HBOTB but local, Christian moms that are pediatric nurses and mom to a total of 8 kiddos (2 sets of twins!). It was life changing! My baby slept, I slept… everyone got rest at a time when everyone desperately needed rest! After she transitioned from the full swaddle, we still used the sleep sacks! My girl loved being cozy and I loved that she was sleeping 12+ hours every night! Do what works for you. Forget the naysayers. And Miss M is completely precious with her one free arm! :-)

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29.October.2012

I forgot when I replied to a comment above that….when my daughter was 4 (this spring) she started having a really hard time continuing her nap-fighting it everyday and tossing and turning. So one day, I swaddled her in a large throw blanket-really tightly and told her, stay in it for 10 minutes(with a timer) and then she could get out….she fell asleep in 2 minutes! LOVE swaddling!

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29.October.2012

Swaddled all four of my girls! The very sensitive ones and the easy going ones loved the swaddle equally. We used the family bed and swaddling was especially helpful at nap time so that I could slip away after nursing them to sleep and have a few minutes with my arms free! Yay, for sleep for all! Now that they are all teens (or almost) I often wish I could swaddle them up again some days!

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29.October.2012

We swaddled all 3 of our kiddos (Our first until 10months, our second until 8months and our third til 9months). We were also the odd ones among our friends as none of them did it. We used 2 receiving blankets to keep them the most secure. In the winter months we would zip a sleep sack around the swaddle to add an extra layer of warmth. When the kiddos got bigger and outgrew the regular blankets we used flat crib sheets for swaddling! I dreaded the day we had to stop swaddling as they were such cute little burritos :)

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29.October.2012

I am the swaddling QUEEN!!! I have 4 boys and I swaddle them until they are just too big to do it anymore. They of course can wiggle themselves out as they get older but they are trained the minute they come out of the womb that swaddling means sleepy time. I tried the other day to put my 3 month old in his bed without a swaddle because it was too dang hot but he wasn’t having any of it. Once we swaddled him he was good to go to sleep!

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29.October.2012

I didn’t realize some people were negative towards swaddling! I bought a friend a miracle blanket as a shower gift based on your recommendation a few months ago:)

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29.October.2012

We were swaddling freaks! I think it was around 3 months my son kind of self-weaned to one arm out, then eventually his legs, then both arms and I then I wrapped a blanket tight around his waist for a couple months until we moved to the sleep sack! We believe in the swaddle :)

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29.October.2012

This topic is so timely I had to comment. I have a nine week old baby girl and literally this afternoon just purchased a Ergopouch hybrid swaddle/sleepbag. My daughter is sleeping in it right now and I’m finally able to catch up on my blogs! The Ergopouch hybrid works as a swaddle but then the arms slots can also unsnap and the arms can come out and it becomes a sleep sack when needed. Its a bit pricey ($70) but hopefully we will get 2 years out of it since it converts from swaddle to a warm sleep bag for a one year old – and its very long so it should fit next winter when she is one! Love this post, the pictures of your beautiful baby, and your blog!

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29.October.2012

I love swaddling. I don’t have any babies, but I have a home daycare. My most recent baby came at 6 weeks and screamed for 9 hours a day, with the exception of a couple of 10 minute naps. He had a strong startle reflex and reflux. His mom said it was ok to swaddle him, but I was sort of against it. I read (sometimes the internet is NOT your friend) that getting too warm from swaddling could cause SIDS, and swaddling could cause hip displacement, etc. I lived with this for about 4 months. I did try swaddling with a blanket, but he came right out. I finally broke down and bought one with velcro. It was a miracle!! I swaddled him until he was about 6 months old. He outgrew the largest swaddler on the market. I didn’t go to the sleep sack because he was sleeping better and I hated to spend money on something that temporary-day care providers don’t make minimum wage around here. He’s 8 months old now and starting to have some sleep issues, so I may try the sacks if he doesn’t go back to sleeping.

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29.October.2012

People are anti? Weird! I swaddled my baby for a pretty long time. I used a Velcro one sometimes and the miracle blanket with the arm flaps other times. They both have pros and cons for stages. So I flipped back and forth. I’ll do it again for sure! Maybe I’ll try those soft, thin blankets people love to use next time.

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30.October.2012

I swear by Aden and Anais swaddle blankets. They’re nice and big and perfectly wrap up a baby. Plus they’re awesome nursing blankets, spit rags(in an emergency) or stroller covers. They seem to get softer after each wash too, I love them! So cute your little one still likes to be swaddled!

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30.October.2012

Yes…the swaddle works!! It is not cruel and unusual punishment, it is comfort and control that your baby {in an unfamiliar new and open world} can’t provide for themselves! Both of my kids have Aspergers and the swaddling was the best thing for them and we didn’t even know it yet.

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30.October.2012

Swaddling, probably the oldest technique, must be on a trendy resurgence, with it taught in classes and appropriate blankets, etc. Our first son was born 26 years ago in San Diego and I was the only mom in our group of 8 friends who swaddled; it was never mentioned in the hospital and my friends didn’t quite approve or understand. I learned when I was young as my mother fostered newborns who were waiting to be adopted. Wrapping them snugly in a receiving blanket kept them happy and were also easier for an 8 year old to manage!
After my c-sections in the hospital, with abdominal movement hindered, I could lift my ‘baby burrito’ with one hand and bring him into bed to nurse.
I sewed sleep sacks when they were older – a normal progression of swaddling I suppose – and had well-rested babies. Babies do better wrapped!

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30.October.2012

No human babies in our house, but we use thunder shirts for our dogs when they’re anxious or scared and it has the same effect for them. It’s a well-documented response across many species.

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replied on October 30th, 2012

Never thought about ‘swaddling’ pets!

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30.October.2012

Swaddling was a lifesaver for me when my oldest was a baby too! Oh man, that boy would cry and cry and I was at my wit’s end! Someone suggested swaddling and it was like a miracle! Is the Moro Reflex when they kind of jump and twitch? If so…that was the biggest hindrance to his sleep. He would fall asleep and then twitch and wake himself up. Sooo frustrating! I’ve swaddled both my other two as well for as long as they would put up with it. My baby girl NEVER wanted her feet swaddled, so I’d just wrapped her arms. We did the one-armed swaddling too. :) And – yes – it’s like they KNOW what’s coming when you swaddle them and immediately calm down. Love, love swaddling. I think every mama should at least try it!

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replied on October 30th, 2012

PS – We got the strange looks and “rude” comments about it too. Ugh… Whatever, it works!

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30.October.2012

My oldest HATED to be swaddled. From the first days in the hospital, she was never happy bundled up. She would cry and desperately try to break free. Nobody believed me either, and kept suggesting she be swaddled. It wasn’t until they experienced it first had did they understand how much she didn’t like it. My 2 youngest loved it. We would take them to movies and they would be content as can be as long as they were all wrapped up. Kind of funny really.

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30.October.2012

we haven’t needed to swaddle as we co-sleep. keeps her just as happy and she has been a great sleeper since day 1!! we bought the swaddleme’s but haven’t used them. any comfort for baby is a good thing though, i don’t know why people would hate on swaddling!

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30.October.2012

I swaddled my son until he was 11 months old. He loved it! It was the only way we got him to sleep. He is now a perfectly healthy 20 month old and still sleeps about 12 hours a night. God Bless the swaddle!!

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30.October.2012

My one month old loves to be swaddled, even though her arms always gravitate towards her head when she is not swaddled. Must have been how she was in the womb. She also loves being in a sling. That thing is like magic, I swear. I use the baby k’tan… haven’t experimented with others since this one has worked well for us. I take her everywhere in it. I even use it around the house when she wants to be held and I need to get things done. I highly recommend it!! Go team swaddle!

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HUGE swaddle fan! My son was born at 24 weeks premature and they taught us the importance of swaddling in the NICU starting when he was just barely 2 pounds. I have a million pictures of our burrito. :) He loved to be swaddled with his arms bent with his hands by his face and continued to love this position until he was about 8 months. I never knew anyone had “issues” with swaddling, I thought it was common practice. Anyway..go on swaddling mamma!

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31.October.2012

We love swaddling! Our oldest boy, who is now four, was colicky and cranky and had reflux. Swaddling was the only thing that helped. Both my MIL and her mom thought it was crazy and even told us that “he wouldn’t be able to grow.” Seriously. She’s lucky that in my sleep-deprived state, I didn’t haul off and hit her. We also swaddled the second baby, but he didn’t need it for very long.

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31.October.2012

Aww… memories! My Matt, who’s now 13 was not a swaddler. He’s like me, even to this day (I have to keep the room pretty cold in order to sleep). We lived in Orlando, FL when he was born and he was so uncomfortable when he was wrapped up. He slept best with his arms and legs completely splayed out…as if he was so relieved to be out of the confines of the womb! But I sure would have liked to have a burrito baby. A happily swaddled baby looks so cozy and adorable!

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31.October.2012

I love me some swaddle!! I swaddled both my son and daughter– and will also my next son, who is set to arrive on Nov. 16th. We generally swaddle until 5 months– my son was little shorter (he was a thumb sucker and so easy to put down and sleep through the night) and my daughter a little longer.

I’ve used lots of different swaddles– fleece with velcro tabs, muslin, light-weight flannel… but I just purchased a Miracle Blanket for our new arrival since I’ve heard so many people rave about it. I’m sure I’ll be wishing I had bought them earlier for my other two. But at least I’ll get to use it for one baby and then pass along the awesomeness of swaddling to my siblings and their little ones!

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01.November.2012

We swaddled both of our boys. Our oldest didn’t really like it or need it. But my youngest LOVED to be swaddled. He would actually smile when we wrapped him up. We lovingly referred to him as our “burrito baby” and I saw a really cute infant costume on pinterst that was a blanket that looked like a Subway restaurant wrapper. Too cute! But really “Happiest Baby on the Block” is such a wonderful book!

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10.November.2012

Oh that green Miracle Blanket sure brings back the memories!! My oldest had terrible reflux as an infant; he had to even sleep on an incline in a bouncy seat for awhile. Terrible sleeper. The miracle blanket was truly a miracle for me. He used it every nap and every nighttime for about 9 months, possibly longer? Until he could kick out of it himself. My youngest was a huge monster baby (10.3 lbs), and slept like an angel from the night we brought him home. We still swaddled him, probably only for about 4 months. I’m like you – it’s the secret I tell every new mom about, it’s my consistent baby shower gift. I did run into trouble when I went back to work with my older son and he went to mother’s day out. They would not swaddle him at first, but I brought in a note from his doctor saying it was beneficial and they were fine. just love seeing that image of your little one, makes me so happy!

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07.May.2013

Dana-
I just discovered your blog and am having so much fun reading through your old posts. I had to comment on this one bc at 6.5 mos, I am still swaddling my daughter! I thought I was the only one who swaddled this long! I only swaddled my son for 3 or 4 months, I think (he’s 3 now); he was a terrible sleeper w or w/o the swaddle haha. But baby girl is a great sleeper as long as she is swaddled so I’m going to keep doing it as long as physically possible haha! Anyway, I’m glad you shared your experience. I didn’t even realize there are swaddling naysayers – the nurses in the hospital are the ones who taught me!
I love your blog and following your sweet lil family.

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