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Mum skills: Baby Burritos

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While Elliot and I stayed with the inlaws this week I learned some excellent mum skills from Tom's Mum Pearl (I think you know how hard it is for me not to use the pun 'Pearls of wisdom' right now). One of these skills is baby swaddling. I've tried swaddling Elliot before, it's like trying to gift wrap an octopus. Legs and arms flailing about, usually accompanied by some wailing and it all ends in the two of us staring at each other intently with pursed lips. Swaddling is essentially putting your child in a straight jacket, it seems mean at first but baby's are self-harming crazy people with no control of their arms, so it's for their own good.

Since learning the Pearl technique, he sleeps like a dream (6 hours in a row the other night!) and he doesn't punch himself in the face so much... which is disappointing for Tom who will never tire of jokes that use the phrase "Why are you hitting yourself?".

Step 1: Get yourself a stiff cot sheet that doesn't stretch, flannelette is good. Previously I was using a waffle blanket or a t-shirt fabric blanket but these didn't work because he could easily flap about in stretchy material. The sheet also needs to be larger than you think, the more times it wraps around, the stronger the swaddle.

Step 2: Fold it into a triangle with the long side at the top

Step 3: Add boy
Step 4: Take the baby's left arm and bring it down to his side then wrap the fabric tightly around him and tuck it under his right arm. He might not like this at first.
Step 5: Take his right arm and put it down by his side then wrap the fabric around him making sure the top part crosses over slightly diagonally so it forms a v shape around his neck so he can breathe. Keep wrapping the fabric around and around him until it ends.
Step 6: Fold the bottom half of the fabric back behind him so his feet don't hang out.

Your burrito is now ready to sleep...
If he kicks and struggles and carries on place him in his cot and put your hand on his chest. Stay with him and talk very softly and calmly. Elliot was screaming the  house down for about 5 minutes then just stopped, wimpered and fell asleep in defeat....but he was a much happier boy he next day after 12 hours sleep and no smacks to the face. Result!

Thanks Pearl!


Katie said...

You have the cutest baby ever. That is all.


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