Friday, January 18, 2008

a confession

okay, so maybe i have two confessions. the first one being that i forgot to put on my pedometer twice this week and then today i didn't think that there were enough steps on it by this evening, so i let tristan play around with it while i lazed on the couch and when he was done with it i was quite proud to see that i had taken over 9000 steps with his help. so i don't think i'll qualify for the whole walking-club-step-comparison thing this week.

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


Jennifer said...

I don't think you vowed never to have to swaddle him at 12 just happened.

R is still drinking from a sippy cup for his evening glass of milk at age 4. Oh well...there's worse's not a bottle! (which btw I've heard of)

I'm impressed with your inventiveness too.
And thumbs up for taking the bit into your own mouth and deciding it's time to do something about it.

Kathy said...

I was pretty sure my kids were not going to cause a ruckus in church because I would be a wise mom and bring interesting quiet things to do. Ha Ha Ha. Steven could never - not even now - sit still. It was torture for him and in turn for me. Church was NOT designed for his personality or his body. During this time, Lando was always on the worship team - so my kids and I were in the bench along. I'd haul Steven out week after week and the girls were just fine left in the bench by themselves up front.

I was certainly cured of jumping to conclusions regarding other parents and their parenting skills!!

One of my favorit memories of going to church with Steven is a time I gave up, took him out and decided to not be frustrated. We took a little walk to a corner store. I bought him a treat, and a little toy if I remember, and myself a magizine and we relaxed on the lawn of the church. Holy Bliss.

btk said...

Too funny!! Okay I have to reassure you that you are NOT the only one! I know of many moms that just keep swaddling because it's the only thing that works!! I swore I wouldn't swaddle beyond 5 months with Koby and guess what... When he outgrew his Miracle Blanket I just started using oversized receiving blankets. You just gotta do what works! And hey, when Tristan's sleeping in an ADULT bed he'll just tuck the sheets in around his body and be out like a light. Who wouldn't want a "trick" like that???

Dena said...

I'm so sorry that I don't have a specific story, but it was just too long ago, and really all those embarassing things, you try to forget as soon as possible and then live in denial! But let me assure you that I was the queen of mistakes and mishaps with the boys. There are so many things that we did that was embarassing and just wrong! And the bad news, is that they still happen at 12 and 10. Probably, not what you wanted to hear, but either way, just know that you're still such a great Mom and WHO THE PICK CARES if you still swaddle him....we would do ANYTHING to get them asleep....ANYTHING!!!!!! Rest assured, you rock as a mom, no matter what! :o)

Stephanie said...

I recieved one of those "sleeping bags" from a great aunt when Lilah was just 2 months old. I thought it was the greatest thing ever! Well anyways it said on the package up to 6 months, Lilah is now 19 months and I still uses the same one! I just unzip the part on the bottom so her feet can stick out. I looks really funny because she can now walk around in it and it looks like a dress. But I never have to worry about her kicking her blankets off in the night. Especially because she is such a restless sleeper and moves around soo much. (And she also still has her soother for nap time and night time).

Shannon said...

I swore I would never sound like one of those idiot moms at the grocery store that says "do you want a spanking?"

I cosleep and the oldest had a pacifier at night while still in kindergarden. It is funny what we say we wont do, and then do because it works. I ended up loving cosleeping and it results in me sleeping too. (bonus!) The pacifier thing... blah.

Ej said...

My son was swaddled until 8-9 months and then it got too hot, my daughter is a Houdini too and I can never get her to stay swaddled so she wakes up all the time! Use what works! There are worse things than swaddling.

My secret? Every time I got food shopping with kids we head to the toy area and get a Hot Wheels. They cost the same as a box of smarties and keep my son quiet and happy while I shop. Of course there are tons of the things around my house now ;-) I have also done the mom spit on the finger to cleana dirty face(oh the horror)

Haylee said...

my son is 17 months old and i still swaddle him. He likes the feeling of being secure while falling asleep. Plus it helps him not get into trouble while falling asleep. I use two flat toddler sheets and it works really well. I'm not worried about it it's like most things once their ready they will grow out of it! I am confident that by the time he goes to school he won't be swaddled!

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

We vowed never to use a strait jacket on our kids.

Turns out before we finished raising them we were all ready for a strait jacket AND a padded cell.

Good for you for helping T. get used straitjacking while he is still young. It will be SUCH a relief to know he enjoys sleeping in a strait jacket after you resort to it 'cuz otherwise he climbs out the window to visit his girlfriend during the night.

I'm just saying is all....

Danna said...

I had Chelsea in a Sleep Hugger (It's similar to the Wearable Blanket but we knew some people who made these Sleep Huggers and went to our church) Anyway, Chelsea wore it for a whole year until the summer was to hot...then she didn't want to go back in to it. (There were thick and thinner ones but I didn't have them.) I would definately recommend them to anyone.

Lovella said...

Oh Heidi, this is awesome. I loved reading the whole thing. Beginning to end. Oh .. it was funny. I'll never be able to look at my swaddled grandbabies teh same again. To think .. .I was the one that went to the boutique to buy the really good ones too. What a hoot.

What did we do .. what didn't we do? oh boy . . .
you name it we eventually did it.

Sarafina said...

Heidi, that is awesome, I so enjoyed reading your confession! Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do, right? I'm sure he'll outgrow the need for it eventually. heehee.
As for us, well, with our first we were able to keep all of our rules. With our second I think we had to break every one of them! The first couple months he slept wherever he would: bassinet, swing, stroller or carseat (while driving down the freeway!). There have been times when he's slept in our bed, which I vowed would NEVER EVER happen. He has taken dump trucks and books to bed with him, just to ease that process. We have used bribery to get him to eat his dinner. Wow. It sounds so pathetic written out! Yep, we've broken every rule. It can only get better from here (0: