Vishnu and I first learned how to swaddle at the Getting to Know Your Newborn class we took at the hospital. Ok, fine. Learned is a strong word. We practiced on a doll for a few minutes and called it a day. Little did we know that swaddling an actual baby would be quite the experience.
When Kaiden was first born, the nurses at the hospital helped us swaddle him to perfection (a.k.a. nice and tight). Vishnu even asked our favorite nurses to help him perfect his technique, which later led to a title of ‘pro swaddler.’ It took a couple of weeks for me to get the hang of it.
The great swaddle transition
In the beginning, Kaiden stayed tightly swaddled and loved it. Personally, we loved these flannel receiving blankets by Carters. They’re the perfect size for swaddling. We never had to worry about getting caught up in extra fabric, and the flannel material stayed put.
We realized we needed to try something else when we would find Kaiden completely unswaddled and wide awake in his bassinet. Because his startle reflex was/is quite strong, he would wake up a lot sooner than he should have because of this. Not ideal…for K or for us!
Side note – now that we’re out of the swaddling phases, we use these blankets for tummy time. Multipurpose!
The next stage in this great transition involved the Ziggy Baby velcro swaddle blanket wraps. We tried using these early on, but K was way too small. We found that these worked great for a few weeks…he couldn’t break out of them! But because he likes having his hands open and free, he would end up grunting throughout the night trying to break free. Again, not ideal.
We then started wrapping only his body. This worked for a few days because soon enough he found a way to break free from this velcro swaddle. He’s something, I tell you!
My friend Monica mentioned the Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit a while ago when discussing baby sleep. She said it worked well for her little girl during their swaddle transition.
When Vishnu got home from work one night, we went on Amazon, read a ton of reviews, and ultimately, decided to give this sleep suit a chance. All the comments about babies sleeping through the night won us over. In fact, we ordered two with the view that if the suit didn’t work for us we would send one back. If it did work, we’d always have one hand.
On first glance, this thing looks ridiculous. Like a baby space suit. True story – the first time I put K in this thing, he smiled the whole time. Like, “Really, mom?” Ha!
I’m not exaggerating when I say this thing saved us! Kaiden slept for 8 hours straight the very first night (he was just over 2 months old)! Unprecedented!
He’s been sleeping in it for all of his naps and nighttime sleep for 1.5 months now, and it’s changed our life. Before Baby Merlin, Kaiden would wake up every three hours, and 15-20 minute naps were quite common. Now he sleeps for 7-8 hours at a time at night and goes back down for another 2-3 hours afterwards. Naps aren’t great but can last up to an hour. We 100% credit this suit for this transformation. I think what helps him the most is his arms and legs feel ‘free,’ but there’s enough resistance to keep him from waking up.
If your story sounds similar to ours, I highly recommend trying this sleep suit. It’s not exactly cheap, but if works, it’ll be worth every penny!
I’m not 100% sure what’s next in this journey. According to a few friends, sleep sacks are the next best step (like this one by Halo). I’ve tried putting Kaiden in a sleep sack for nap time, and it didn’t work out too well. He woke up a lot sooner than he ever does in his suit. I guess I’ll start thinking about the next transition when he starts rolling over.
Anyways, I wanted to share our experience in case it helps other new parents as they make their way through swaddles, sleep suits, sleep sacks and the like!
At the end of the day, we all want our babies to form good sleep habits, as it’s really important for brain development. And mom and dad’s sanity! 🙂
No portion of this post is sponsored. However, there are affiliate links included. There is no extra cost to you, but I do receive a small commission on anything you buy through my links. Thank you for reading and supporting My Inner Shakti!