It’s interesting how much people actually care about the choices I make. I have had 2 people email me, another Facebook me and yet another on the phone asking me why I swaddle.
THEY didn’t do that with their kids and “is it safe?” and “their kids slept okay without doing that” and….on and on and on
Listen, I don’t question your parenting so don’t question mine.
From the day Reeve was born, the nurses in the hospital swaddled Reeve. In fact, when he wasn’t swaddled they chewed my ass out.
Aside from the obvious reason I swaddle Reeve (it’s comforting to him) I do so for many reasons.
To silence those concerned let me outline them for you.
1. Reeve suffers from Flailing Arm Syndrome. Yes, at 4 months old he has not yet mastered Motor Control. Contrary to our practice and my explaining to him how much easier it would be if he would just keep his arms still, he just can’t do it. Nope, they flail around and smack him in the face when he isn’t swaddled. This wakes him up. Why would I encourage Flailing Arm Syndrome at 3am when we should all be deep in our REM patterns?
2. Babies are just tiny little things in this big, HUGE world. Sometimes, believe it or not, they need to feel secure. If my arms can’t be available to him at all hours of the day, then I’ll be damned if I won’t search high and low and online and in stores and make every effort possible to find an alternative that feels safe and secure to him.
3. Swaddled babies are less likely to die from SIDS. IS THIS NOT REASON ENOUGH?
4. In addition to Flailing Arm Syndrome, Reeve suffers from Likes to Gouge Holes In Mama’s Chest While Nursing Disease. If he’s swaddled, he is less likely to scar me or hear curse words at such a tender young age.
5. Routine. When Reeve is swaddled, he instantly calms down. He knows (because he is securely wrapped) that he is safe and it’s time to take a nap. This routine is why he sleeps 10+ hours a night and why I don’t have to battle with my baby at nap/nightime. The Swaddle helps him know what I expect of him.
6. Swaddled Babies Sleep Better. Stop. Repeat. Swaddled Babies Sleep Better. Now in case you didn’t absorb that, do it one more time just for me. THEY SLEEP BETTER! And the more they sleep, the more REM they experience and the more their brain grows….DUH!
Listen, I could go on and on with research and why I do it, but the truth of the matter is that Reeve is a great sleeper. He feels safe and doesn’t fuss when he’s swaddled. He eats about 8 times a day and when he’s swaddled he gets a FULL feeding, not a snack.
Yes, there are negatives to swaddling too. I am aware of all of these and combat each of them.
Overheating possibility? We have the thermostat low and a ceiling fan and cool mist humidifier on in the house at all times.
Risk of Vitamin D deficiency? Please…this kid goes to the pool, breast feeds and is tanner than I am.
Risk of rolling onto tummy? Not a chance in hell with the Wedge holding him in place.
You may not have swaddled your baby, but I bet you also didn’t get 10+ hours of sleep at night with an infant. I sleep so well that I have never felt healthier (even pre-baby) and I don’t have to worry about whether or not Reeve is well-enough rested. Can you say that when you had a newborn your house was just as clean as before and you never fell behind on laundry, got a shower each day AND had time to jog? Probably not….and I attribute each of those to all of us getting a good night’s rest.
So, leave the comments off my Facebook and leave your judgments at the door. Perhaps you should revisit THIS post where I say that RULE NUMBER ONE of being a parent is that you NEVER judge anothers’ parenting. As I have said from Day One, this blog is pure! Please keep it that way with no judgment…keep your life that way too!
He loves this particular type of Swaddler called a Woombie. The flaps on his shoulders allow for arms out when I am ready to make that transition.