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The Swaddle Secret

Image Credit: http://lambieandme.com/about-proper-swaddling/

I am enjoying my NICU rotation for multiple reasons: It is the closest I will get to the obstetrics world while off service, I don’t start until 8am and I’m done by 4pm most days, I actually sleep on call, and I get to cuddle cute little babies!

Unfortunately, most babies who come to us are not the healthiest and need some kind of monitoring, assistance with breathing, tubes, etc. so they aren’t always cuddleable.  The one time they are the most cuddleable, though, is when they come out screaming and crying after a c-section.  We got to all the c-sections, dry off the babies, get them all mad, weight them, and if they are happy, we wrap them up and give them to dad to hold while the surgery is finishing up.

I’ve discovered that the best way to get in the baby cuddles is to be the one to wrap the baby.  I have fallen well into that role because I’m the least experienced in the whole baby-resuscitation game, and most of the nurses don’t like me getting in the way – so once we know the baby is staying with mom, I go grab the warm blankets and come back ready to swaddle.  At first, people didn’t want to let me do it because good swaddling really is an art…

But, you’re looking at the mom of two (2!) cranky, colicky babies who spent the majority of their infant days in tightly wrapped bundles.  Now that they see how I swaddle, no one argues when I start swaddling.  (Funny story – this morning the nurse pushed her way in and started swaddling the baby.  Well, it wasn’t going well and by the end of her fumbling, there were limbs and corners falling all over the place.  At the next delivery she went back to letting me do it).  In my opinion, there is only one great way to swaddle: use two blankets separately, swaddle with arms down and legs bent, and swaddle tightly.  Bonus points if everything is neatly tucked and folded at the end.

Once the babies are swaddled and content, I take my chance to cuddle: I pick them up and adore them and slowly – much slower than necessary – walk towards the parents, keeping baby close in my arms.  Each and every time I do this, my uterus skips a little beat… and it skips two little beats when it’s a baby girl (oops, did I just say that?).  There is nothing more enticing to me at this moment than a beautiful, content, little newborn girl 🙂

So, is it any surprise then, that every delivery I’ve attended this week so far has given little baby boys???  I don’t think so!  (Regardless, they are still fun to swaddle and cuddle)

11 thoughts on “The Swaddle Secret

  1. So funny you wrote this today… A few days ago I was wondering if you had decided whether or not to try for baby #3. Regardless, it seems like you’re a great doc and a fabulous mama! 🙂

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    1. Thanks… It’s hard to believe that when everything is such a struggle. I really want to have another baby, but I just don’t think it’s a good idea right now given everything that I have going on.

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  2. I was always in utter and complete awe of those nurses who swaddled the babies so tight they looked like little sausage rolls. Took me years to master that skill and my husband can do it better after all of my “training”. 😉

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    1. Oh, you would be envious of me then… If it wasn’t so “inappropriate” to take a picture of my swaddled babies, I would show you. Maybe I should swaddle a teddy bear for you!

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  3. My husband does the swaddling around here. I suck at it — even with the SwaddleMe things with the velcro, so he handles that business. Sure does help baby girl get to sleep!

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  4. I wish I had known the right way to swaddle when M was a baby. He was tiny and colicky. Luckily, I figured out he liked to lay vertically against my chest (we called it kangarooing) but it wasn’t practical unless you could sit still for hours.

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    1. WE still do Kangaroo care today! It is very important for baby wellbeing and healing time. (despite that, the NICU that E was in didn’t seem to believe in letting me hold him when we were there)

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