You know what I suck at? Folding stuff. Fitted sheets, unless my Mom is visiting and folding them for me, wind up in a crumpled stack in my closet. I am equally challenged by re-folding a map after consultation. Thus, it can be expected that hours after giving birth, my already limited mental capacity is not sufficient for proper swaddling. Luckily, I was awake enough to remember I had packed The Ollie Swaddle in my labour bag! The Ollie Swaddle is designed to be effective and super easy to use. There are very few tasks I could have successfully completed at the moment I first wrapped Little Miss Cub in her silky soft pink cocoon, and luckily, securing velcro was one of them!
While we definitely did plenty of skin to skin, there came a point during our hospital stay when I had to put Little Miss Cub in her aquarium (aka: plastic bassinet) and try to get some rest. The trouble was, the nurses found she was just warm enough. In other words, if her body temperature were to drop any more, she would have to be taken and put under the heat lamp. The nurses, of course, were professional swaddlers, but I wasn’t about to call them in every time I changed a diaper to re-do the swaddle. The Ollie Swaddle allowed me to feel somewhat competent, and helped Little Miss Cub stay warm and secure when out of my arms. When the nurse came to check on us in the morning, she was impressed with it, too!
The Ollie Swaddle simply stays snug and stays put better than a regular blanket folded into a swaddle. This is great for kicky babies and for passing baby around for cuddles without her coming all untucked. Little Miss was wearing her Ollie Swaddle when she met big brother:
Little Miss Cub, like her big brother (and her Papa), seems to sleep best with her arms above her head. The Ollie Swaddle is great for that, too. I wrap it under her armpits so she still feels securely enveloped. I find she sleeps longer stretches at night when swaddled, and I can easily fumble through a diaper change in the dark without having to re-do her swaddle. (You just open the Ollie Swaddle up at the bottom and roll it up over the legs to change a diaper… no need to full unwrap baby!) vOn warm nights (and there have been a few unseasonably hot summer nights in Calgary lately), I just put her in a onesie and her swaddle. She sleeps mainly between me and Papa, so she’s plenty warm enough. For cooler nights I like to combine one of her gowns (my favourite is her Kickee Pants gown from Gentle Nest) under her swaddle. The gown means easy access to change her diaper once I undo the bottom of the swaddle, plus the little hand covers on the gown keep her fingers toasty since her arms are not wrapped inside the Ollie.
Putting baby in The Ollie Swaddle is super easy. It’s essentially a blanket with Velcro on each end. I sat in my hospital bed watching the how-to video on YouTube only to realize that there is no special trick or technique: just wrap baby tight and secure the sturdy hook and loop closures. (If you’re a cloth diaperer, it may be useful to know that the hook & loop on The Ollie Swaddle is like the awesome hook & loop used on GroVia diapers: super strong.) If you want, you can secure the bottom of the swaddle with the attached elastic band. Then your baby looks like a Bubble Guppy!
The Ollie Swaddle is designed for use from birth to about 4 months. According to the folks at Ollie (whose social media presence, especially on Instagram, is superb), the swaddle:
[Is] designed to decrease fussiness and assist in self calming; improves quality and duration of sleep; [has] elasticity to allow freedom of movement; [is] made to grow with your baby [and is comprised of a] custom developed moisture wicking material to reduce overheating.
The Ollie Swaddle comes with a mesh laundry bag to protect it in the wash. The bag is also super handy for washing your nursing pads so they don’t get all mixed up with the rest of the load, by the way.
Both at the hospital and at home, The Ollie Swaddle is definitely one of my newborn essentials.
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