my next confession is more difficult for me to admit to. its a bit humbling. you see, josh and i, in our two years of marriage before becoming parents, often talked about things we would NEVER allow our children to do. we'd see kids throw the biggest tantrums in the grocery store or hear stories about five year olds who still needed a pacifier at night or imagine the disruption of a child sleeping in our sacred bed with us and we'd shake our heads and say "OUR kids won't do that." well, so far we've managed to avoid most of the typical "accidental parenting mistakes" that others have made. (and i pause here to clarify that i'm not suggesting that co-sleeping is a mistake, as i know that many parents choose to do this on purpose; i'm just using it as an example of something that we never wanted to get into) however, there was one tiny little thing that we never expected to become such a big deal.
it all started when tristan was only weeks old and had just found his voice. he cried and cried in the evenings for hours and we had no clue how to shut him up. i happened to find a dvd that my sister in law had given us called "the happiest baby on the block" (which is great for new parents, by the way) and it showed different ways to help calm a crying baby. one of those ways was The Swaddle.
as soon as we had watched that dvd, i dug out the Swaddle Me blanket i had gotten before tristan was born and put it to good use. its a bit difficult to say how well it worked because, as you well know, tristan pretty much cried his eyes out for the first 6 months of his life. (okay, perhaps that's a bit of an exaggeration, but it sure felt like it!) but i do know that we relied on that swaddle to keep him asleep at night because as soon as one of his little arms broke free, he would start wailing away. soon it became apparent that we needed a second Swaddle Me blanket just in case the first one got puked on or peed on or pooed on. that happened a lot. then, it became apparent that he was getting a bit large for both of his blankets, so we got the next size up. finally, when he outgrew that one, i thought i may as well try to get him used to sleeping without it. um, that didn't go too well. basically, if i put him to bed with even one arm free, all i'd hear was him babbling away in his crib for 30 min, then he'd start whining for 10 min, then start crying for another 10 min then he'd start SCREAMING until i went into his room and re-swaddled him tightly. as soon as both of his arms were securely wrapped, he'd fall straight asleep. i decided that he wasn't ready to be un-swaddled yet, so i went online and ordered the biggest size they had.
well, time went on and tristan grew bigger and soon he grew out of that biggest Swaddle Me blanket. i tried getting him used to being un-swaddled again, with the same results. in desperation, i ripped an old pillow case in half, wrapped that around his body, then used the velcro wrap from his smaller blanket to wrap around the bottom half of his arms and, finally used that largest blanket to wrap around the top half of his arms, leaving his legs free. this seemed to work fine, but i can't tell you how many times i wondered, as i secured his arms under 3 layers of cloth, how in the world i was going to teach his future wife how to swaddle her husband-to-be, just so he'd sleep well at night.
since his first birthday, tristan has been escaping his swaddle in houdini-like fashion. i've no idea how he manages to wriggle out, but every time he does, he wakes up crying his little eyes out. since they don't make Swaddle Me blankets for one year olds, i had to get creative. i ended up buying this Wearable Blanket in XL and i simply sewed the armholes shut! then i wrap one of his old swaddle blankets around his arms to keep them tight. my hope is that eventually i'll be able to loosen the swaddle so that he gets used to it being not so tight, then i'll cut open the armholes so he can put his arms out if he wants to.
THERE! my (long winded) secret is out! i've been so embarrassed to tell anyone that my 12 month old son is STILL swaddled. but now you know. so, my request is that you comment and share with me that one thing you vowed your children would never do.....but ended up doing anyway