The Swaddle Hokey-Pokey

I have fond memories of the hokey-pokey as a child, only performed in the center of the hallowed darkened roller rink with heavy rented skates on each leg being jangled about to the music.  The bootie-wiggling and hand shaking at the end was always such a feel good experience.  It was hokey, but I did so love the dance.

My son has inherited my love of the hokey-pokey.  His version, though, is done at the most inopportune time – at swaddle for sleepy-sleep time.  Through our trial and error and his karate-chopping legs, he’s graduated to the Woombie Lil’ Houdini swaddle because he is (duh, duh) a Houdini-like escape artist from all other non-zippered swaddles.  I cannot begin to tell you how many nights I have gone into the nursery to find various appendages wiggling and sticking out of the pathetic half-escaped swaddle and Rex squwaking because he’s (duh, duh) cold! and awake!  Since mommy and daddy do not sleep well Rex does not sleep well if he’s not swaddled, I have no qualms about putting him in the sleep three-point restraint (as my father calls all swaddles).

The Woombie is essentially a pea pod for babies.  All you have to do is place said child in middle of Woombie, stuff legs and arms into Woombie and zip.  Easy as 1-2-3, but for us more like 1-3-2-1 again-3 then -2 and back to -3 because this child loves to play the Swaddle Hokey Pokey.  No sooner does one leg go in, does it come out again.  Then, one leg goes in and a second and the first comes out again.  And, the legs are in constant 360 degrees of motion. Kick up, kick side, kick down, kick other side. Repeat.  I can also tell, from the faint light coming from the closet, that the little stinker is smiling.  It makes me chuckle just to think about it.  You know he’s having a fabulous time playing keep-away with mommy.  Mr. X has reported similar nocturnal games when trying to wrestle Rex into the Woombie.

For now, I’m still able to gently but firmly coax those little wiggling limbs into the Woombie.  There will come a day, not to soon in the future, I fear, where my two hands are no match for his four limbs in constant motion to elude being constrained in favor of sleep.  The smile, though, will probably be what does me in.

image: FredoAlvarez

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5 thoughts on “The Swaddle Hokey-Pokey

  1. Oh the memories! Captain would have been swaddled until he went off to college if we hadn’t started thinking about #2 and what trials and hurdles it would take to get there…I was just simply too tired to wrap that boy up – and he was not a wiggler. His sister, on the other hand, was only swaddled until she was about 8 weeks old – she just wiggled, and pushed herself around in circles in the crib – she ended up in one of those sleep sacks – the ones that look like a sleeping bag with armholes? Yeah – those…

    Littlest One has been swaddle free since she was about 6 weeks old…but I can remember wrestling the little Buddha impersonator that Captain was as an infant (he’s quite the string bean these days), trying to keep him all snug and tight, and then hearing my mom tell me it was “too tight, he can’t breathe in there!” and loosening the blanket and starting the process all over again…

    Oh, I hope that Rex is helping you create good memories…and that you are laughing at things like this that come up.

    PS – buy him some of those roller skates when he’s a wee bit bigger, then he can really jive, and you can join him in the Hokey Pokey

    PPS – I remember those roller rink days and sort of miss them a bit. Our rink was turned into a Flea Market…sigh

  2. Life gets (briefly) very sad when they outgrow the swaddles. But it is quite hilarious when they are deliberately evading your efforts to get them all bound up. (Hilarious in retrospect, of course)

  3. I still have all the FarmHand’s clover shaped swaddling blankets….but then the Queen Mother made all of them, so giving them away was just not possible for the pack rat in me.

    I think the Native Americans have a great thing going with that whole papoose thing. Swaddling complete with leather strap restraints. Just give it a thought. 😀

  4. The swaddling saved our butts, too. And she kicked her way out of everything we tried at first. We had the best luck just using blankets. Her legs we pretty much don’t worry about, but her arms might as well be held down with duct tape. We put socks on her, then take the tail end of the blanket that usually goes around her legs, run it between her legs and tuck it in TIGHT around her left shoulder then wrap the blanket around her as tight as we can get it. She’s going to get her feet out anyway, might as well save everyone the trouble. But it still does the trick. Many nights we’ve resorted to just making sure she’s well fed, burped as well as possible, has a clean diaper and then swaddle her within an inch of her life. On rare occasions, she gets up just as mad as she was when she went down but that still gives us a two-hour-or-so interval in which to prepare ourselves. And the good news is we rarely swaddle her at all anymore.

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