Monday, June 22, 2015

The nocturnal gymnastics of infants

When the little bedbug was 11 weeks old we moved him into his crib. I was anxious to get him out of the Fisher Price Rock 'n Play sleeper, for reasons I won't rant about go into now, but I'd read horror stories online about how difficult the transition could be. At this point he was sleeping up to 8 hours at night, and although the thought of ruining that bliss was daunting, I was determined that it was time for him to sleep in his crib, in his own room.

By this time he was already busting out of the Aden + Anais blankets we'd been swaddling him in, but his startle reflex was still so strong that I knew there was no way he'd sleep without his arms snug and secure. Enter the Miracle Blanket. It's basically a little straight jacket for babies and I figured there was no way he'd be able to Houdini out of it (ha, wait for it…). That first night of Mission Crib I fed him his last bottle, rocked him sleepy, wrapped the shit out of him, re-rocked him to sleep, laid him in his crib and prayed.

He slept seven hours! Hallelujah! ALL PRAISE THE MIRACLE BLANKET!!!

My sister says he looks like the little caterpillar from The Fox and the Hound
(Of course I didn't sleep at all that first (or second) night, as I was up each hour frantically checking him on the monitor.)

We settled into a new routine, nice long stretches of sleep for everyone, the little dreamer snug as a caterpillar in a cocoon in his Miracle Blanket. Until, that is, the night I woke up, looked at his monitor and he was gone! I leapt out of bed and ran to his room, totally freaked that David Bowie had stolen my baby (I certainly didn't remember saying the words). Thankfully I did not burst into the little pill's room to find a spandex-clad glam rocker, twirling his crystal sphere and telling me to forget about the baby. The only little goblin in the room was my own. He had wiggled his way to the bottom of his crib and out of view of the camera. There should be a section in baby books reserved for the first heart attack I gave mommy.

And so began the phase I like to call "How will we find the little inchworm in the morning?"

Like this?

Looks pretty satisfied with himself, doesn't he?
Or my personal favorite?

That little stinker turned a perfect 180 degrees! At this point I started wishing the camera recorded so we could have a time-lapse of his nocturnal traveling. Youtube gold, people, youtube gold.

We tried other swaddle blankets.

Though super cute (and that Aden + Anais one on the left is SO SOFT), these never worked as well as the Miracle Blanket because his arms are loose inside. The MB has arm flaps that loop over his arms and then under his body, keeping them lashed to his side snug and cozy, plus a looooong flap that wraps around and around the baby (yes, there's a learning curve to it). So even though he sometimes broke out of it once he woke in the morning, we kept coming back to the Miracle Blanket because that's what he slept best in. Subsequently, I did find on youtube (google "batwing swaddle") that some enterprising soul came up with the idea of using a regular receiving blanket to do the arm flaps and then using one of the velcro swaddles over that. GENIUS. Unfortunately, for us, it was too late for that because well, summer, and also someone had started rolling over. 

The little squirmer started rolling over at about 4.5 months. Before his startle reflex was gone. Uh oh. Goodbye swaddling. Welcome back sleepless nights? Nope. Now he sleeps 11-12 hours a night, plus naps, in a Zipadee Zip swaddle-transition blanket and he loves it!

Little starfish baby
And now that he's more mobile, his nocturnal (and nap time) perambulations are even more interesting.

We still never know how we're going to find him post-nap, or in the morning (to say nothing of throughout the night on the monitor) but it's almost always with a great big smile.

Except that one time (two weeks ago) when that first tooth popped through. Then he woke up screaming bloody murder.

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