Thursday, August 7, 2008

Swaddle Frustrations

When we discovered swaddling, and especially when we discovered the SwaddleMe blankets, it helped Alex fall asleep and stay asleep longer. In fact, he was sleeping through the night (10 hours) by 3 months. It was heaven.

Then he got bigger.

Well, let me explain. Most babies are ready to not sleep in a swaddle by 3 months, but some continue to like it until 6 months, 9 months, or even longer. You just have to watch your kid for clues on when they're ready to get out of the swaddle. Well, as I mentioned, I use the SwaddleMe blankets. They have velcro that really helps the baby stay in the swaddle and unlike the Miracle Blanket, don't cost $30+ (around $10 each), so you can afford to buy more than one (you don't want to need the blanket and find out it's in the wash; it's good to have backups).

Well, SwaddleMe blankets come in three sizes: Preemie, Small, and Large. The Small is for 7 to 14 lbs while the large is for 15 to 22 lbs. That sounds great and all, but my baby is around 15 lbs and the small size is too small and the large size is too big. When I put him the large, he always gets out, no matter how tight I get it, and when I put him in the small, his legs are crammed in there and he doesn't seem very comfortable. So basically the company needs a medium. I told them that in an email. Let's hope they listen. (Sure, it won't help with Alex, but at least maybe they'll have it out for my next baby).

Well, two nights ago, for some reason, he woke up 3 times during the night (he usually only wakes up one, maybe two). Since he hadn't gotten out of his swaddle, and he only ate 3 oz of milk before being able to go back to sleep, I can't think of what caused it other than him being uncomfortable in his swaddle. So I decided then and there that we were weaning him from the swaddle, which sucks because I don't think he's necessarily ready. I think if he had the right size of blanket, he would like to continue. He sleeps really well and never complains about being in a swaddle.

So I un-swaddled him, took his right arm out, and re-swaddled. I also tried for one of his naps to just put him down without a swaddle at all, just to make sure, and that didn't work, so I'm going to take it slow. I'll put him down with his right arm out for a week, then I'll take out his left arm as well. Then once he's fine with that, there goes the swaddle. (Some leave one leg out first, but that seems silly.)

So we'll see how it goes. All of yesterday and last night he had his right arm out and he was fine--he slept his naps well and he only woke up once last night. The only worry I have is that I'm going "home" to see my family tomorrow and I think it's really going to disrupt his schedule (scratch that; it IS going to disrupt his schedule). Not really the best time to be weaning him; I was going to wait till we got back, but when he woke me up three times, I just felt I shouldn't wait.

You know what else Alex likes to do? Well, I put him in the middle of the crib with his head to the left. When I go to get him, he's at the upper left of the crib with his head to the right (I'll have to get pictures). He did that twice last night. I have no idea why. Maybe he doesn't like that spot of the mattress and moves. He did this even before I started leaving his right arm out--no idea how.

In other news, I'm completely stressed about going home. I have to make sure I have EVERYTHING (including the kitchen sink) that we'll need there and Alex's schedule will be off the whole time we're there because of get-togethers and such. I'm not sure when or where he's going to nap, or if he will not being in his own crib. Plus he's used to having a dark place to sleep since we covered his window so little light gets in, and at home I doubt he'll have that at all. Obviously this is the first time I've traveled with a child and I worry about it. But I am excited to see my family, some of whom I haven't seen in 5 years.

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