Swaddle That Child!
I was once told by a college professor that the pendulum swings back and forth concerning trends in education. I believe that to also be the case in regards to child rearing. Things that were common during my years of raising children now appear to be obsolete.
Years ago when I heard the word "swaddling", I thought of the birth of baby Jesus. However, in recent times, I cannot seem to get another picture related to the word "swaddling" out of my head. It is a scene from the movie, "Four Christmases" in which Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon are visiting a very charismatic church service; he is playing the part of Joseph while her role is that of Mary. He finds himself so caught up in the enthusiasm of the congregation, that he begins forcefully commanding her to "SWADDLE THAT CHILD, WOMAN!" And THIS is all I can think of now, when I hear the word "swaddle". Throughout all of my daughter-in-law's showers, I kept hearing hushed whisperings regarding "swaddling". Robby finally took me aside one day and asked me what it meant to "swaddle" a baby. I simply stated, "That's just wrapping them up tightly in a blanket." And by tightly, I mean NOTHING can move, except their little head...sort of like a bobble head doll.
The other thing that seemed odd to me, was the instructions the nurses gave concerning bathing a baby. It would have never even crossed my mind to ask how often one bathes a baby. The nurses, however, instruct new parents to only bathe a baby every 3 days. REALLY? Hmmm...common sense (whatever that is) would seem to dictate that one MIGHT consider bathing it...let's say EVERY DAY?! However, my son (Dr. Dave) said no...that is not the "recommendation" (that's the word he uses to give me professional information these days); because, you see, a baby has dry skin. "Yea...but what about smelling like poop and throw-up?", I protest. "Oh, it's ok if you just wash them off with water; not soap", he says. Hmmm...how weird is that? HIM instructing ME on what to do with a baby?
Another tool provided for assisting in the care of a baby to new parents, is the barrage of Internet articles (the Internet did not even EXIST when I was birthing and parenting). Along with these articles, are also several books on the subject as well, that I find shall we say..."interesting". One such book is called, "The Happiest Baby on the Planet". This book suggests (from what I've been told...I haven't actually read it) that a baby really should stay in the mother's wound for an additional 3 months. What a clever idea...I wonder what MAN came up with that idea! Perhaps since that is not possible, this is where "swaddling" comes in (just a thought...). If you wrap the baby up tightly enough, you can trick them into thinking that they are still in their mother's womb. The other book that I've seen is, "The Baby Whisperer". Wondering if this was similar to the book entitled, "The Horse Whisperer" or the television show, "The Dog Whisperer", I was compelled to open it and check it out. Browsing through this book, I noticed a chart on an infant's facial expressions, crying, etc. Beside each item listed, was the possibilities of what might be wrong with the infant if they were exhibiting these signs. For example, if a child is crying, they might be...wet...or hungry...or sleepy...or just plain bored. Hmmm...WHO KNEW that I was also a "Baby Whisperer"? Because I already knew those possibilities existed if a baby was crying.
I'm sure that the pendulum will continue to swing back and forth between the "trends of the day". However, one thing remains constant. Women have been giving birth to babies for hundreds of years. And even if you are NOT a "Baby Whisperer", you CAN still have the "Happiest Baby on the Planet". All you have to do is open you eyes, ears and hearts to your new little bundle of joy...and trust YOUR instincts. In no time at all, you will also be an authority on babies.
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