In my previous post "The Essentials: Newborn Edition" I mentioned that my wild bubba wasn't exactly a swaddle-loving baby. Mwb spent her first week in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. There, before kissing her goodbye every 3 hours, we would swaddle her and tuck her under her little blanket in her plastic crib. We're not sure if it was the cold temperature in the NICU or if she had outgrown it altogether, but upon bringing her home, swaddling became impossible.
Still, I chose not to believe it. Like many newborns, mwb didn't sleep very much in the first few weeks, which meant, we didn't sleep very much. Out of desperation, I bought every type and brand of swaddle i chanced upon and tried them out.
Here, are the types of swaddles we tried, and our reviews. Please bear in mind that mwb's love for being swaddled is about 1 out of 10 (with 10 being the highest).
1. The classic muslin swaddle
I had about 5 of these swaddles ready for the arrival of mwb, in varying designs, sizes and thickness. The little one would stay in them only while being carried. She would then fuss to have them removed as soon as we put her down. A week later, she learned how to break free of them herself possibly with the help of her increased strength. We tried on thicker types of cloths and even towels to swaddle her but she would continue to fuss until she broke free or until we removed it. Some friends suggested that we might not be doing it right, so we had a nanny show us how and it was still unsuccessful.
2. The zip up swaddle
I was first drawn to this swaddle for the simple fact that I knew there was no chance mwb could escape it and that much was true. What was also true, was that she absolutely hated it. These swaddles are great for tiny little newborns with few to no preferences. They offer a snug fit and all the security a swaddle should provide. If your bubba is anything like mine and enjoys her full range of movement, she might not want to be zipped up in one of these.
3. The velcro swaddle
I found this to be the most commonly available next to the muslin swaddles. Available in the widest range of designs, brands, sizes and wrap around length. These were the swaddles I ended up trying out the most, totally convinced that each brand is going to be better than the last. With these, there was a 1 in 3 chance of mwb allowing us to leave it on her while we put her into her crib. That to me, was a win.
No matter which brand or model we used, she would kick her way out of it. Somedays she would struggle so much, the bit with the velcro would ride up and find its way around her neck. This started happened too frequently and we decided that they were no longer suitable for our little monster.
4. The famous swaddle
By now, you would think that I'd have given up my swaddle search. But no, I wanted my baby to sleep, I wanted my sleep. Once again, I clicked, I paid, I waited, I received, I washed and I swaddled.
Was i disappointed? Yes.
Are you surprised? Probably not.
Then it hit me... maybe it was being restraint that mwb hated. Took a while for me to get there didn't it?
5. The flying squirrel swaddle
My last attempt.
She hated it.
The good news is that this swaddle, when unvelcro-ed worked exactly like a onesie, and that's what we ended up using it as. And as a bonus, we didn't need socks or mittens while she wore this.
There is a moral to this swaddle list, I suppose. I have more memories of mwb screaming while we folded, zipped and velcro-ed her in than I have of her sleeping soundly while swaddled. So, if you notice early on that your baby doesn't enjoy being swaddled (and yes, babies like these do exist), maybe stop buying more swaddles?
Have a great swaddle to recommend? For any feedback, topic suggestions or questions, drop us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org