By Marisabel Bravo
Being a mom is an amazing and new experience for me… Especially since it is with the TWINS. Plain and simple: IT IS THE ULTIMATE ADVENTURE. When I first found out I was having twins, I was so overwhelmed. I had no idea about babies let alone two infants. Therefore, I will be sharing with all of you the good and the bad in hopes that twin moms out there will know what to expect.
What about sleep?
Not you silly, your baby. I have to joke about it right? The struggle is real people. Everyone warns you about it while your pregnant which is totally pointless in my opinion. You cannot prepare for lack of sleep!!! I think the best advice is to leave these amazing pregnant women alone and let them enjoy their pregnancy. It was like my intern year as a resident. Everyone warned me it would be horrible. It was; but, I survived and so will you and your baby(ies).
So while the twins were in the NICU, the nurses told us “to not swaddle the twins.” Keep in mind, they were ALWAYS swaddled in the NICU. We never questioned the nurses and so we did not swaddle at first. But when all craziness broke loose, we definitely questioned it. We tried swaddling and it helped tremendously. It’s like magic. I highly recommend that all moms with fussy babies read, The Happiest Baby on the Block. I bought the video on Amazon and it was the best 12 dollars I spent. One fussy baby will drive you crazy, can you imagine TWO?! The video shows you exactly how to swaddle and they have the best pneumonic: D-U-D-U (Down- Up- Down-Up).
Swaddling has been a lifesaver. I think this is especially true for the first 3 months of life but I have known many to extend it way beyond. Also, since my twins were premie, they are neurologically a couple of weeks behind, so their startle reflex was so heightened. Any little noise would send their arms flailing out. Here is Olivia in action:
So, we embarked on swaddling our babies. Now that was an adventure. I likely bought every swaddling blanket out there. Here is what I tried:
1. Aden® by aden + anais ® Muslin Swaddle Blanket: These are great blankets just not for swaddling. They have more of a rectangular shape and the best shape for swaddling is a square blanket. Olivia loved to break free of this blanket because they are so thin, which is a good thing here in sunny Miami, but it defeats the purpose of trying to prevent the startle reflex from waking up your sleeping baby.
2. Comfort & Harmony® Peanut Air Swaddle: This one was pretty good but Michael just wanted to bust out of it the whole night so he did not get a peaceful sleep. I think if your baby is on the smaller side this one would be a good option. It was just too tight for him. He is a very long premie.
3. HALO® SleepSack® Cotton Swaddle: These blankets also do a good job. The problem is that it has a very loud velcro, which startles the baby awake if you need to change a diaper or rewrap them for any reason. Also, I found this blanket to be very warm for my twins.
4. Summer Infant® SwaddleMe® Adjustable Blankets: Same idea as the Halo again with the loud velcro and for some reason Michael could actually break free from the velcro.
5. The Ollie World Swaddle: I saved the BEST for last. This is a must buy. Not only is the story behind the invention of this blanket inspiring, but it is so perfectly designed your baby will sleep (dare I say it) like a baby, which means more sleep for you!
While it does have velcro which keeps my babies nice and cozy without breaking loose, I do not have to worry about removing the velcro each time I need to change them. Why? Because the bottom of the blanket is wrapped with an elastic loop that is easily removable without disturbing the baby or having to unswaddle. How perfect is that?! What else makes this blanket the best buy? The material with which it is made is designed to reduce overheating and I love the elasticity of the fabric, which keeps the baby snug, yet with freedom of movement. Custom closure with Velcro permits Ollie to be ‘individualized’ by allowing for variation of tightness depending on the need and size of the infant. This was a big help with Michael who was always fighting with the other blankets. It is by far the best fabric I have tried. Also, you can leave the babies arms in or out depending on what they prefer. Lastly, since you do not need to buy different ones depending on the age or size of your baby, you end up saving money! The velcro pad design offers no need to buy larger sizes as infant grows.
I love the Ollie! I am so glad I found it for my twins. They are sleeping so much better and longer throughout the night. I love the pink and blue colors. You will not be disappointed. Check them out here.
Here is Olivia styling her Ollie Swaddle. Would you guess she had been crying for an hour before putting her in the Ollie? It’s magic!
The famous elastic wrap that allows you to easily change your baby without having to unswaddle!
Tell us about your swaddling experience.
*No matter what decision you make, always make sure to consult with your pediatrician or other medical professional.