the IT city, the I.T. Baby


Baby straitjackets – a parent’s guide to swaddling sanity

Baby straight jacket

When I was not a parent, the idea of putting a baby straitjacket on my child to calm her down seemed abhorrent. Removing the ability of a child to stretch and reach the world around them, to discover new things and feel that they’re a human by touching their face seemed appalling.

Then I watched a baby attempting to sleep as the muscle-paralyzing effects of sleep we know and love are not quite developed in a baby attempting to reach a state of restful ignorance. And I watched her punch herself, freak out, wake screaming, and have to be calmed.

Baby straitjackets stop baby falling into a doorknob

I watched a baby about to fall asleep gently sucking on a pacifier take that mighty ham-hock of a baby fist and give a left-hook that Chris Brown would be proud of, knocking the pacifier out of reach and turning blissful baby into a carnival of tears.

I still feel bad when swaddling my child. She looks at me like I’m taking away her freedom and locking her away. Well, she looks at me like that for about 20 seconds, then forgets and starts calming down, unable to beat herself or shake herself awake as she dreams of chasing down rabbits.

I tried in the first few weeks of swaddling to de-swaddle her while she slept. I could usually get everything free except for the legs, which are in a big bag. Within about thirty minutes I’d see the bassinet start rocking followed by mournful cries as baby wondered who had punched her awake.

Baby straitjackets protect your grandchildren

I hear it’s worse for boys, or at least those observing them as there’s a lot of full strength genital pounding. I haven’t witnessed it but I’ve heard.

Watching my girl flail her hands in the air and them bring them down onto her closed eyes as hard as possible has convinced me it’s not cruel to tie up your baby while they’re sleeping. Only cruel to keep them tied up when they’re awake.

I don’t think swaddling makes them think they’re in the womb, but I do think it comforts them as they can’t knock the crap out of themselves and they feel snug and safe. Or perhaps I’m a horrible parent and children need to knock the crap out of themselves in order to grow up well adjusted.

Either way, I’ve held off every night swaddling her in her baby straitjacket until I see she can’t sleep, and then I do and feel guilty, and then she’s out.

Where to get these fine things

While you can get them on Amazon for around $22.49 for a 3-pack, after driving to the burbs looking for some, we found you can get a two-pack at your local Walmart for about $9.00. You’ll want to know that the Great Evil has them available when you’ve ordered from a lesser evil and realize you need something to calm your baby down at 3am and Walmart is always open.

Also remember to pick up some Gripe Water if you’re going for a 3am soothing run.

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.