Testimonials from the Trenches - Woodmam

Swaddling helps the little one know where she is. Without it she has no sense of where her body ends and the universe begins.

Al, father of Marie-Claire, Esmé, and Didier

The vast majority of new babies stay calmer and sleep longer when they are swaddled. Here are some of their stories:

The day after Marie-Claire was born, she was crying. Not one of those newborn squeals that makes you go, “Ahhhh,” but rather a really powerful bellow. I was shocked that a one-day-old could make such a sound!

Just then Dr. Karp came into our room. He casually walked over to the bassinet, picked our baby up, and wrapped her like a burrito. Then he put her on his lap with her feet toward his belly and her head at his knees and bending his face toward her ears, he made a loud “shhhh” noise. The swaddling and white noise worked together so well that she stopped crying almost instantly.

My husband and I were astonished. It was unlike anything we had ever witnessed. So we learned how to swaddle our baby tight, tight, tight in a receiving blanket, and she was the happiest, most content baby on the planet!

After she was three months old, people would often look askance when we wrapped her, as if we were resorting to barbaric measures. When curious onlookers asked, “Why have you wrapped your baby like that?” we’d proudly answer, “Because it makes her happy.” And, as if on cue, Marie-Claire would smile ear-to-ear, and even the most skeptical person would be won over!

Renée, Al, Marie-Claire, Esmé, and Didier

Sophia had problems nursing when she was born. Our nurse practitioner advised me to use a special device to supplement her feedings. So, I taped this tiny tube to my breast and inserted it into her mouth, along with my nipple.

About that time, when she was three weeks old, she started becoming very fussy. During feedings, she would scream and flail, often accidentally knocking out both my nipple and the tube.

Despite my frustration, I stuck it out until the night before her two-month checkup. That night she was worse than ever. Sophia was thrashing, yanking on the tube, and mangling my nipple. I swore I would never feed her that way again, even if it meant I could no longer breast-feed.

The next day I told Dr. Karp about my struggles feeding Sophia, and he said four words that changed everything: “Don’t forget the swaddling.” We had swaddled Sophia initially but stopped after a few weeks because she fought it so much. However, Dr. Karp encouraged us to give it another go.

That afternoon, I tightly swaddled her and tried her on the breast (without the feeding tube). The most extraordinary thing happened: She breast-fed calmly and with focus. It was as though she never had a problem.

Sophia is now three months old, and feeding has been a breeze for the past month. We swaddle her now only if she has a bad day when she can’t settle herself, and the cozy wrapping always works like a dream.

Colin, Beth, and Sophia

Starting at about one month of age, Jack began getting fussy each evening between six P.M. and midnight. I could comfort him but only by breast-feeding him nonstop.

Jack needed to be nursed to sleep and vehemently refused the pacifier, as if I were trying to swindle him out of his inheritance. Then I discovered the greatest thing (besides breast-feeding) for calming him down: swaddling. He’s not crazy about it while it’s being done, but it settles him down within minutes. At a baby class I showed my friend how tightly we wrap him, and she was shocked when he went from screaming to complete calm right in front of our eyes! I was so proud of myself and of my great little boy.

Kelly, Adam, and Jack
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