Posted in Infant, Parenting

The Aussie Inspired Baby Burrito

In light of my last post on weaning my son off his pacifier, I’ve decided to let you in on the swaddling technique I’ve recently started to use.  It’s a cross between the traditional swaddle and the Aussie swaddle (which I recently learned existed).

My son has recently outgrown his Swaddle Me blanket (to my great chagrin) but isn’t ready to go swaddle-free even though he frequently breaks out of his swaddles (or attempts to).  If I don’t cocoon him up, he ends up waking himself up by rubbing his little fists all over his face and scratching himself (when I haven’t trimmed his nails properly).  Furthermore, now that he is at an age where he has trouble transitioning between sleep cycles because he hasn’t learned to self-soothe yet, I need to keep wrapping him up so that he doesn’t have more opportunities to wake up at night and during naps.

The problem with the traditional swaddle, though, is that it takes away anything that he can suck on (let’s not forget here, that I’m weaning him off the pacifier even though I know he has a need to suck to fall asleep).  I’ve tried swaddling with one arm out, but it always ended in disaster: he would wake up because he was rubbing his face, or he would grab his pacifier and pull it out and then get pissed off because he was unable to put it back in.

I then tried the Aussie swaddle.  However, access to two hands seemed to be too much for him to handle because no matter which side he turned his head, there would be a blanket covered hand right in front of him.

So, I decided to merge the two methods.  Here’s how it works.

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Step 1: Find a tired, squirmy and cranky baby (if you’re looking for one, I’ll gladly lend you mine; he’s got an inexhaustible reserve of crankiness).
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Step 2: grab a large blanket (I use a twin sized sheet cut in half) and fold the top part down to form an approximately 6 in. flap.
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Place Sir (or Madam) Cranky in the center of the blanket with his/her shoulders slightly below the top of the fabric.
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Fold your baby’s arm upwards placing his/her forearm inside the fold of the blanket.
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Bring outer edge of the blanket down at an angle and tuck the edge under your little one’s bum.
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As with a traditional swaddle, wrap the excess fabric around your baby’s body, tucking it under his/her back.
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Fold the excess fabric at the bottom upwards.
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Place your baby’s other arm against his/her body and wrap the remaining fabric around his/her body.

Then, you can place your little Aussie burrito in his/her crib.

This swaddle is really great for my son because it allows him access to one hand (he can suck on it through the blanket if he wants to) while keeping his other arm snugly pinned against his body.  It was important for me to allow him some means of fulfilling his intense need to suck, give him a chance to learn to self-soothe all while providing him with the snug environment he still needs.  Furthermore, I see this as a nice transition between a full swaddle and the partial swaddle (one arm out) that is used to help wean babies off the swaddle.

What’s your experience with the swaddle?  Did you use a special swaddle blanket ?  How long did you swaddle, when and how?

Author:

Thirty-something year old discovering the joys and bumps of motherhood.

12 thoughts on “The Aussie Inspired Baby Burrito

  1. This looks like a good one – though we’ve been doing one arm out for a week, our little guy got his other hand out last night, ha! Looked so funny – didn’t seem to bother him/wake him up…Might try both arms out tonight…we’ll see… 🙂

  2. Using a bed sheet is a brilliant idea!! His chubby cheeks are just too cute for words! 🙂 Also, I love how you call him a burrito. haha

  3. This sounds brilliant! I was all ready to try this swaddle. In fact my baby boy was wrapped in it and sound asleep which he rarely did at bedtime. Then my husband saw it and thought the material used for the “free” arm may suffocate him if his head turned into it… I became a little perturbed because baby was already asleep! And also a little paranoid so I took his arm out and reswaddled. Baby woke up and fussed. Any problems with suffocating or close calls?

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