This is not (sadly) what it sounds like.
What it is – four times BUSTING OUT OF SWADDLE. Or rather, as I discovered in the dark hours of the dawn this morning, wriggling out of swaddle.
The night actually started out really well. Baby went down at her usual hour and then slept 7 hours straight. Seven! She hadn’t done this in a couple of weeks, and I was beginning to fear that her early practice of sleeping long stretches at night (tho’ not at all during the day) was a freak glitch in her newborn system, or that I had, somehow, screwed something up along the way (I was tending to the latter explanation.) I was stoked on this seven hours – and still buzzing from the super-successful day we’d had (see yesterday’s post – takin’ down the boys! Still stoked about that) – and in my mommy-fog euphoria only barely registered that she was out of her swaddle.
Let me rephrase that – I registered that she was out of her swaddle but this somehow, in my euphoric state, became a good thing. How much longer would she have slept if she hadn’t gotten out? Hours longer? I was giddy with the thought that she might have slept all night, were it not for the swaddle. Conveniently ignoring the were it not for the swaddle part.
So I reswaddled and fed her and lay her back down. She remained more or less asleep through the whole process, and so I lay back down, abuzz with the super-duper-success I was having with her, and full of anticipation for the doubtlessly excessive number of hours I would now be sleeping. I was so buzzed that it didn’t phase me when I heard her wriggling and realised that she had gotten out again. And I was still riding that buzz – tho’ the ride was getting a little rocky – when she did it a third time a half-hour later. But by the time she had grunted and tugged her way out the FOURTH time the buzz was gone. With a baby hangover setting in.
Were it not for that goddamned swaddle, it seems, I might have slept all night. It seems. Obviously, if she could sleep unswaddled, this wouldn’t be an issue. Herein lies the dilemma: without the swaddle, she won’t sleep. With the swaddle, she won’t stay asleep.
The realization that I had in the dark hours of the dawn was that she gets out of the swaddle because of the very problem that necessitates the swaddle – she’s a wriggler. She’s not intentionally punching her way out with the fancy Kill Bill ninja moves (tho’ she does have those moves, and then some). She’s accidentally getting out as a result of the wriggling and squirming – the swaddle fabric loosens and her arms get free and then she punches herself in the head or pokes herself in the eye and then it’s all over.
But maybe I’m just being greedy. The swaddling stops the wriggling that prevents her from sleeping. Shouldn’t I just be grateful that the swaddle effectively provides Baby (and, theoretically, me) with a decent number of hours of uninterrupted sleep? Shouldn’t I? Sadly, I am greedy. And competitive (other babies sleep through the night!) And obsessive (see all posts). So it’s not easy for me to let this go.
No matter what, tho’, I’m still fully committed to swaddling in principle – it’s fulfilled, like, 99.9% of its promise (the promises came from Harvey Karp, FYI. Happiest Baby on the Block guy. He rocks. In the spirit of Jezer’s ‘Really Good Stuff’ post, I figured I should give him his props.) It has reliably soothed her, put her to sleep and prolonged her sleep. So, yeah, I’ll be sticking with it, even as I continue to obsess about it. I’ll try to spare you the prolonged rants.
(BTW, in the same spirit, I still stand steadfastly behind the Miracle Blanket, our swaddle of choice. Yeah, she’s getting out of it, but it took her a respectably long time to develop this ability. And, still, the blanket keeps her swaddled more often than not, whereas other blankets fail utterly to keep her swaddled for any useful length of time. It’s just that you only get to hear about the nots from me, ’cause it’s the ‘nots’ rather than the ‘more oftens’ that are driving me crazy.)
Maybe I’ll start using duct tape. I’m kidding. Sort of.