The Swaddle Debacle

Sometimes, projects fail. It usually makes me really angry when they do. This is one of those times.

Despite the fact that Charly is 5 months old, we still swaddle her. It is high time to wean her of that habit, I know, but that means interrupted sleep patterns, and I just don't think I'm ready for that. Since it has warmed up here (aka the heat outside is unbearable) Charly needed something lighter than her flannel swaddling blanket. She had a pesky rash that I thought was heat rash (turns out it was eczema- Aveeno baby cream is clearing it right up!) so the pressure was on to try to find her one of those nifty swaddlers that wrap around her and velcro- making it less likely she would wriggle out and wake herself up by flailing her arms, which she totally does.


We searched Target high and low, and all they had were gauzy swaddling blankets for $40 or a swaddler in a size too small for Charly. And it was a boy swaddler. I'm totally OK with my child wearing blue, but this thing was just ugly. I wouldn't have bought it for a boy either. I know that's silly- its for sleeping for goodness sakes! It was too small anyway, so we checked a few other stores (with no luck) and headed home. I devised a plan to create my own from old t shirts. The next day I got to work, creating a pattern based on the swaddler design above. I'm not a person that just whips up my own patterns for things normally, so I was pretty proud of myself. I sewed most of the day in an effort to have it ready for bedtime. When I was finished, it looked awesome.

Ok, maybe it looked a little like a baby straight jacket, but I thought it was awesome. I sewed the velcro strips perpendicular to each other on the two flaps for maximum adjust-ability.

We eagerly shimmied our squirmy baby inside, pulled the flaps tightly around her, fastened it up, and bam. Hands out. Instantly. I handed her to Matt and walked away and threw a silent temper tantrum. Out came the flannel, and she was back to her regular swaddle.

The next day, once my silent tantrum was over, I went to the fabric store to see if I could find any gauzy fabric to mimic the $40 blankets we had seen. Matt didn't want me to, because he didn't want a repeat of the day before, but I insisted I'd keep my cool, and that this project would be super easy and require much less of a time commitment, so the emotional stakes would be lower. Lo and behold, my fabric was half off, bringing the price of a 44" square swaddling blanket to just over $4. Woohoo! All I had to do was serge the edges (and in reality it would even work without serging) and then put it to use! Here is my little dear after waking up from a gauzy swaddled nap:

Yes, she does wake up that happy. The kid is crazy. The lesson? Sometimes the simple solutions are the best ones.