For my next trick, watch me put a baby into a swaddle! Swaddling newborns is a big deal. The nurses at the hospital where Lynn delivered were totally into it. It's supposed to be a big help for colicky babies, but even perfectly happy babies get overexcited and even flail in their sleep. Swaddling apparently mimics the tightness of the womb, restricting movement and adding comfort before babies can comfort themselves. So we tried it, following the advice in Harvey Karp's Happiest Baby on the Block DVD (the book came first, but the DVD is terrific)--and it worked. The first time I got the swaddle right at home, a squirmy, screamy, unhappy baby settled down in a few minutes and passed out and got a long, happy sleep, and was less unhappy when he awoke.
Swaddling is a little tricky, so I made this video for a friend, and decided to upload it. The video shows using the Miracle Blanket, which is a special garment that is designed to make it easier to swaddle. We really like that, and have recommended it to all our friends. It's a lot easier than using receiving blankets. But another mother taught us how to do a double-blanket swaddle that restrains our little Houdini, who managed to always get his arms out of a single-blanket swaddle. That's the second part of this 2-minute video. You can download the video as a QuickTime movie, as an MPEG4 movie, or you can stream it from here. (You might have to open QuickTime Player first under Mac or Windows, then paste that URL into the Open URL in Another Windows menu item's dialog box--RealPlayer wants to play it on my Mac OS X system, but it then can't handle the MP4 file format.)