Swaddling has been used for centuries to soothe & calm young babies. We swaddled Wendy for every nap & bedtime until she was seven months old; it really helped her to sleep better. It was easy when she was a newborn, but as she grew & became stronger, it was harder to get her swaddled securely enough that she would stay that way. David is only 12 weeks old, but we were already having trouble keeping his arms secure - until I figured out this trick, which I call a double swaddle.
(The idea isn't original with me; I figured this out after watching a video about the Miracle Blanket. I thought it was a great idea, and then realized I could accomplish the same thing just using two thin receiving blankets - of which I have a whole stack!)
It starts like a traditional swaddle, except that you lay out two blankets, one on top of the other, both with the top corner folded down.
Place your baby right in the middle, with his head above the top edge of the blankets. (Be sure to smooch his baby cheeks when you do this; it's essential for the swaddling process.)
Here's where it is different. Take his left arm and pull it down against his left side. Take the top layer of blanket on that side, wrap it around his arm, and tuck it under his rump.
Do the same with the other arm. At this point, his arms are pretty effectively pinned against his sides, with the blanket tucked up under his behind.
Then use the outer blanket to swaddle him like you normally would, tucking one side in snugly, and wrapping the other around & tucking it underneath.
And there you have it! A securely wrapped bundle of cuteness. I wish I had figured this out when Wendy was a baby, because it would have saved us a lot of frustration from her getting loose & waking herself up. David can't budge at all when he's wrapped like this, and he loves it - he usually grins up at me once he's securely wrapped.
Because there are two layers of blankets, make sure you don't over-dress your baby before swaddling him like this. David usually just wears a onesie & socks to bed, and he seems to be perfectly comfortable with his two flannel receiving blankets around him. (The only reason he was in a footed sleeper for these pictures is because he was fresh from a bath.)
Double-swaddling definitely Works for Me! For more great tips & ideas, head over to Works-For-Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family!
For my previous WFMW entries, click here.