Everyday lives of the Meabon Household

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Swaddle/Paci Dilemma

Sometimes I get an idea in my head and I think I need to make it work come hell or high water.  We never swaddled Harper.  We couldn't with her omphalocele.  But Harris was swaddled by the nurses in the hospital.  They taught us the art of the swaddle...and believe me, there is an art to it...so Harris was swaddled to go to sleep.  However, the kid was very specific about his swaddle.  It had to be two blankets, at least one flannel and had to be TIGHT.  If you got him wrapped up right, he was good for the night.  Unfortunately, I was the only one in my household who could properly swaddle the child without him coming out within 10 minutes.  This meant either I'd have to be available for naptime and bedtime each night or I'd be the one paying for the bad swaddle with a sleepless night or napless day. Now that I'm putting this in writing, maybe the "lack of being able to swaddle" was a bit intentional.  Hmm....

Anywho, I talked to my pediatrician about the swaddling and she said it was good for the first 6 weeks or so.  I read elsewhere that babies should be unswaddled by 3-4 months.  Therefore in my mind, this swaddle habit needed to be broken the day Harris hit 3 months.

Harriacito had also gotten into the habit of being pacifier dependent.  Listen, I'm all for a paci.  Heck, if you'll remember Harper just got rid of her's a month ago.  I struggled through the few months with Harper of getting up in the middle of the night to replace the paci back in her mouth so she would go back to sleep but when you have two kids to chase after and a nap for mom is a rare luxury in this house, the middle of the night trips to replace the paci for kid #2 were turning into my own personal nightmare.  Something had to be done.

Now keep in mind that Jared travels often for work so any time I'm changing up a sleeping habit, I have to do it when he's out of town.  If our child is whimpering in the slighest, Jar's of the mind frame that he must be at their rescue.  He cannot, will not let his children cry.

So we went to Midland last weekend for a wedding.  I drove back with the kids and Honey while Jared stayed in West Texas for business.  So on Wednesday night as I was getting the Boy ready for bed, I decided it was the night for change.  I decided to go cold turkey on the swaddle and see what happened.

At 8pm, I put the boy down to bed.  It took him some time to get settled since he kept pulling his Wubbanub out of his mouth.  If you aren't familiar with a Wubbanub, it's a paci with an animal attached to it that balances perfectly on a swaddled child's chest, keeping the paci in the mouth.  I have been in love with the Wubbanub for the past 2.8 months since it allowed me to only get up 2-3 times per night to replace a paci as opposed to hourly.  He finally settled down. I gave him his dream feeding at 10pm and laid my sleeping baby down in his crib.  What the heck was I concerned about? This was the easiest process in the whole world!  The boy slept peacefully and quietly in his bed.....until midnight.  At that point, he started waking up hourly, needing his pacifier replaced, wanting to eat, wanting to be rocked.  It was horrific and at 7am the next morning, I sent out an S.O.S. via Facebook.  My post:  "Parent advice needed: trying to unswaddle Harris for sleeping. He's also a paciholic and needs a pacifier to be soothed back to sleep. Do I break the swaddle or the paci first? Any advice on either habit now being accepted."

Well, if you ever need parental advice and want a variety of answers, go to Facebook!  Twenty-five responses later and I made the decision to give the one arm swaddle a shot.  I still hadn't made any decisions on the paci but that could come later.

Jared got home from his trip on Thursday late afternoon, only to have to catch a 5am flight on Friday morning.  Needless to say, night #2 with a single arm swaddle resulted in zero sleep for either of us.  Not only was Harris not sleeping but Rooney decided to corner a possum in the backyard at 2am and have a dog version of a 'roid rage and Jared's alarm went off at 3:30am to catch his flight.  Jared was seriously questioning my parenting skills but I kept thinking, "three days to break a habit, three days to break a habit, three days to break a habit."

So night #3 rolls around and it was probably the worst of the three.  I started seriously questioning my parenting skills and had turned into the spawn of Satan at the same time (I don't function well on little sleep).  I wanted to rip that Wubbanub's face off and flush it down the toilet.  But I decided to give it one final try.  If it didn't work, we were going back to full swaddle and dammit, this kid would be swaddled until he was 18 years old.

And guess what???  HARRIS FOUND HIS THUMB!!!  I put him down on Saturday night.  As I was staring down the monitor I cringed as the pacifier came tumbling out of his mouth.  Sure enough, he shoved his hand in his mouth and started sucking away.  I went to sleep at 10:30pm and next thing I know, it's 6am and he was just waking up to eat.  Wahoo!!!!   Same goes for the last two nights as well so I'm really hoping we've got a new habit here.

Just don't remind me of this post in four years when we're desperately trying to break Cito from his thumb sucking habit!  Tonight, we're going full on sleep sack.  Wish us luck!


Anonymous said...

Stop the thumb now or you will be sorry when his wife calls you to tell you he is sucking his thumb! Keep the paci, you can throw it away in 12-24 months. Not the thumb....it's attached forever. I am speaking from personal experience, I was a sucker until 18 years old!

Anonymous said...

We are going through the EXACT same thing (only our LO is 5 months old..whoops!). We are going to try the one armed swaddle tonight and realize that we will be without sleep for a few days, but something has to be done. We are at our breaking point. Thanks so much for sharing. Wish us luck!