So if I was tired, and wanted to go to sleep, and you grabbed a giant blanket and tried to wrap me up so my arms and legs were completely disabled… I would not be psyched. I would not sleep better. I would not feel calm and cozy. I would probably think I was in a Turkish Prison.
But even though the idea of being restricted for you as an adult feels like torture, I am a HUGE believer of the swaddle for babies.
I notice it all the time, when I put my baby down, her arms and legs will shoot out like she is falling through the earth. This reflex supposedly dates back to when we were monkey’s and had to hang on to our mom’s fur for dear life. So it is cute, but totally unnecessary, because I am pretty sure I don’t expect her to hang on to my sweatshirt as I swing down my stair case. I got you kid… with my opposable thumbs and all.
So when you swaddle them, you may notice they thump and wiggle around in there, but these movement do not seem to disturb them in the same way as when they are totally exposed. In a way, it makes total sense. Besides the whole feeling like she is back in the womb thing, I think people need some restrictions in life to feel safe. When life is too limitless, it feels almost manic. I think we all can get over-stimulated if there is zero regulation. Bounderies are healthy. Think of how important they are in relationships.
I digress… point is, I was already swaddling my baby at night, but I was not during the day. As I have mentioned before, I didn’t have a set schedule for her, so I wasn’t anticipating her need for a nap. I would just notice she was tired, and then pick her up and rock her, and before I knew it she was sleeping in my arms. If I tried to put her down, she would wake up.
But then, I got this brilliant idea!
If I know my baby is tired, I swaddle her before I rock/nurse her. That way, she is already all contained, and when I try to put her down, she actually stays asleep! DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS? IT MEANS THAT I CAN DO SOMETHING ELSE WITH MY TIME WHILE SHE SLEEPS! This was a huge revelation for me!
My favorite swaddling blanket is “the miracle blanket” http://www.miracleblanket.com/index.htm