Monday, December 21, 2009

Baby Straight Jacket and The Two Stooges

Luca has been putting in some serious sleep at night. 4 hours is a ton for a 3 ½ week old. We’re not ready to proclaim him Best Baby In The World just yet, but he’s in the running.

But even though he’s taking it easy on us, Diana still doesn’t get a full night’s sleep during the week. So we’ve decided that I’ll take the overnight shift on Saturday nights. While I am far less neurotic than I was with Elijah, I still like to take certain precautions.

Namely, the Baby Straight Jacket. Some people refer to it as “Swaddling” or the “Baby Burrito.” I’m not a big fan of calling it Baby Burrito. Yeah, inside is warm and farty, but it seems like an insult to my son to dress him in something that college students eat to prevent hangovers. I prefer the even less flattering reference to my son being a lunatic, The Baby Straight Jacket.

For you non-parents, The Baby Straight Jacket is basically wrapping a baby tightly in a blanket, pinning their arms against their body. This is to prevent them from involuntarily punching themselves in the face while they sleep. Oddly, it’s comforting to the babies not to punch themselves in the face.

We’ve found that Luca actually prefers to keep one arm out of the Straight Jacket. He holds his arm over his head, fist clenched, giving him a look of the cross between Superman and a member of The Black Panthers.

We also prefer to Baby Straight Jacket him in stolen hospital blankets. There is just something about hospital blankets. They’re the right size and right material for perfect Straight Jackets. No kid can escape. I don’t care if you are baby Houdini. So yes, I’ll admit it. So yes, a few blankets accidentally fell into my backpack. And by “a few,” I mean “20.” I’m not proud of it. But we’ve tried every other material known to man and none compare to hospital-grade Straight Jackets. Our pediatrician busted us with the ill-begotten blankets at our first check up. She just laughed, so I’m going to take that as permission.

Other than that, I just give him the “Moe” a few times a night. I do have a thing about airway blockage. SIDS is no joke and I wake up panicked every once and a while, wondering if Luca’s mouth and nose have been covered up in his sleep. Even if he had control of his arms, he’s in a Baby Straight Jacket. So at least once a night, I’ll creep over to his co-sleeper and feel around to make sure his nostrils are free. Since I do this in the pitch darkness, I usually end up accidentally yanking up on his nose holes with my two fingers. Remember that move Moe from The Three Stooges did? Usually to lead Larry or Curly around? I end up doing that.

I think Luca prefers when his mom does the overnight shift.

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