From the parents point of view, the sleep sack is a blessing – but I think our darling 7-month-old daughter Maddie, would beg to differ. Once you start zipping the sleep sack up with the baby inside, you have a life and death struggle on your hands. At least that’s my little girl’s reaction to the process.
Maddie takes the advice of the famous poet named Dylan Thomas who wrote: “Do not go gentle into that good night.” She actually takes things up a notch with her “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
Just the thought of being put to bed and zipped up into the sack is such an alarming prospect for my little girl. Her reaction is nothing short of bizarre. It’s like there’s broken glass or live bees waiting in the sleep for her.
For a while, I was actually fooled into opening the sack to make sure there was nothing in there that was causing any discomfort. That’s always a mistake though, because trying to zip up the sleep sack is like trying to put a rabid Rottweiler into a Tupperware container. Those pulsating legs have no interest in being tucked away and will fight until the bitter end.
The process itself actually takes a little less than a minute. Once my little angel is tucked away, all that anger and anxiety gently drifts away.
I have tried time and time again to talk her through the ordeal, but it’s becoming more and more apparent that I have to let her work it out. She doesn’t want to be soothed, she just does not want to put the outfit on.
However, as I noted a few weeks ago, putting Maddie into the crib without the sleep sack is a wasted effort. She will sleep no more than 30 minutes at a time without it. With the sack on, she sleeps anywhere from one to two hours with each nap. So that 30 to 60 seconds of raw carnage is obviously well worth the effort – its just a little bit confusing.
So how is it that a baby who can’t crawl and has her legs secured is ripping around the crib in circles at night? It’s no secret that Maddie’s parents are baffled by this cosmic mystery.
What seemed like a normal Saturday morning this weekend turned upside down when Maddie’s parents arrived at the baby’s crib. That’s because they discovered that Maddie was upside down. Well sort of. Somehow during the night, Maddie had spun around a full 180 degrees.
There she was smiling and gurgling in her crib, despite the fact that it appeared as if someone had crept in during the middle of the night, picked Maddie up and turned her around.
The next night, we could actually hear Maddie on the move. I took a careful look into the crib and saw that she had gently wedged herself across the width of the crib. Her headband was butted up against the side of the crib, which was making a scratching noise. I picked her up and moved back to the bottom the mattress.
However, the next morning, the baby had accomplished her 180-degree spin maneuver for the second night in a row. What makes this even more impressive is the fact that she is doing this inside her sleep sack. So my little human whirlybird is accomplishing these feats of strength without the use of her legs.
So what’s deal? Is she just trying things out? Attempting an escape? Moving your entire torso around the crib while your legs are stuck in a full-body sleeping bag seems like a great deal of work.
These nocturnal exercise routines don’t seem to be impacting her sleep. She’s been in a great mood and besides the obvious confusion that she is causing for her parents, there doesn’t appear to be any ill effects.
We have some concerns about the wedging issue, but we fully expect her to complain if she runs into a problem. She is a very vocal young lady who is always ready to voice concerns at the drop of a hat.
If you’ve been following Maddie’s madcap adventures for the past 3 weeks, you know that naptime has been a bust. A harrowing series of scant 30-minute naps per day have worn out the baby and pushed her parents to the brink.
It seems that all of that is behind us now due to one simple discovery. The baby has not been warm enough during naptime.
Three weeks ago, when we peeled Maddie off of her dad and into the crib, her sleep duration went to the dogs. I originally thought that the loss of my smiling grill and sparkling personality killed the baby’s ability to nap. But amazingly, it was something else altogether. It turns out that the only thing Maddie was missing was Daddy’s torch-like body heat!
So how did the NASA scientists in Maddie’s household make this landmark discovery???
Yesterday, Maddie and her Dad were making a lightning-fast run to Starbucks. By the time they got home, Maddie was hanging limply from the Bjorn sound asleep. Dad rushed inside and gently laid her in the crib. He unzipped her winter gear, but didn’t risk taking off the whole thing.
TWO HOURS LATER the little munchkin was still sawing wood! Sleeping like the angel she is. Eureka! Maddie was struggling with lousy naps because her parents haven’t been bundling her up before naptime. We have never been able to use blankets because Maddie just kicks them off or pulls them over her head.
Thankfully, we have a nifty little invention that we use at night called a Sleep-Sack. It keeps her warm and stops her from munching on or playing with her toes (no seriously!) The problem is that we weren’t using the sack for her naps.
Today we put on the SACK for naptime and once again she slept like a champ during every session. Maddie is taking naps again – Let Freedom Ring!