Saturday, November 19, 2011

To model a swaddle

As part of my parenting preparation (ie. mildly panicky reading of various 'how do I look after a small human'-type books), I've been reading "The Happiest Baby on the Block" by Harvey Karp. This book talks about how to calm fussy babies using a variety of techniques that are supposed to activate a baby's calming reflex.

Apparently in the first three months of life, babies are happiest when you create conditions that mimic their time in the womb. So you keep them compressed into a tight space (swaddling), put 'em on their sides or tummies, make loud constant noises, swing/shake them around and let them suck on something that stays put. I'm trying to keep it quite general to encourage any parents or future parents to buy this book to get the details--because I think Dr Karp deserves the royalties if this works!

The book contains instructions on how to swaddle using the Down-Up-Down-Up (DUDU) method. The instructions are reproduced here from the Happiest Baby site, so I guess the publisher is happy for that information to be out in the public domain.

Anyway, I had a go, and boy was it fun man-handling our Mr Rabbit--who by the way, was one of my not-too-ridiculous purchases. He's a rabbit with a removable scented lavender pouch in his belly, and he is very nice to cuddle, while the pouch can be warmed in the microwave so that he becomes a hot cross bunny without the cross, considering his generally blissed out expression.

I've discovered that I like to straitjacket things. This may be my calling.

I was so happy with my first attempt that I went to show Kevin, Mr Rabbit clutched oh-so-maternally basketball-style in one hand.

Holding him up by the back of the swaddle, I declared, "Check it out! I just swaddled the baby! He totally can't move!"

Kevin made the appropriate sounds of approval (approviate sounds?) and I felt mightily chuffed until Mr Rabbit popped out of my basketball grip and landed face-first onto the floor. We looked at each other. Kevin spoke first.

"Oh, the baby just died."

I collapsed into giggles, which, looking back, is a somewhat inappropriate response.

Sorry Mr Rabbit!

It'll be okay though. Babies bounce, right?

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