Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sleepwear and Swaddlers

REVISION, 11/23 after 2 weeks of a REAL BABY:
  • tl;dr: For the first few weeks, buy 1) side-snap tops (Gerbers), 2) zip-up footed sleepers (Gerbers and Carters; also Target), and 3) ErgoBaby Swaddler.
  • Sleepware:
    • Before her umbilical cord fell off (first week or so), she lived in little kimono t-shirts + swaddle or footed sleeper all day.  
      • Best ones: here on Amazon.  Long sleeve with mitten cuff did not matter at all because her hands were in the swaddle most of the time, and the long sleeve mitten cuff was actually a minus because her little fingers got caught in the sleeve.  I would have gotten these short sleeves instead.  Makes for really easy diaper changes in the middle of the night.
    • While she's in the ErgoBaby Swaddle, we got rid of all of the sleep sacks (couldn't get the ErgoBaby Swaddle up between her legs) and snap footed sleepers (it's really hard talking your husband into doing up a ton of darling little snaps, at 3 am, with a squirming and pissed toddler).  
    • Now we are ONLY using zip-up footed sleepers (from Gerber's and Carter's, which you can also find at Target). 
  • Swaddle:
    • Halo's did not work -- her little hands worked their way out of it.
      • Same with Summer Infant.
    • We like the ErgoBaby best because it is really well designed -- doesn't have to be too tight, but still keeps her little arms secured.  Lots of room for her legs.  Only problem is that there is no fleece version, so I worry about her getting cold (Will does not).
    • REVISION 12/22 (Babette is 6 wks old): Our super-long baby just outgrew their large size, so I have to cycle out the ~$80 in ErgoBaby swaddles that we have. I'm trying the Miracle Blanket next because it also has the little arm flaps.
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Outdated blog post:

Choosing sleepwear was really fun!  After pretty extensive research and ordering, here's my findings.  Disclaimer here is that Wanda's not here yet; I'll update my notes when she arrives.

Sleepware

Things I looked for:
  • Low price.  A co-worker told me today that she'll come out waaay to tiny for size 0-3 mos, and then will zoom past.  I wanted to keep it cheap.
  • Mitten cuffs.  Didn't want to have to deal with the separate little baby mittens, and read on Amazon that finding built-ins are most convenient for when they're really little.  In a few months, Baby Whisperer tells me that Wanda might need her hands for self-soothing, so the built-ins are really only for the first few months.
  • Really cute.  Of course.
  • Variety of leg styles:
    • Onesie.  So she won't get too hot.
    • Footed PJ's.  In case it's cold (it's Chicago!).
      • BUT the footed ones had to be easy to get onto Wanda, meaning snaps -- or even better, zippers -- down the leg.
    • Bundler.  This means just a little sleep sack with elastic around the bottom.  
      • I read, again on Amazon, that being able to just stretch the bottom over her legs, in the middle of the night while changing her diaper, without dealing with any snaps or whatever at all, was really nice.
      • BUT, I got paranoid that the gowns would be too narrow to let Wanda's little legs move freely, which could hurt her hip development -- see swaddler notes below.
So -- my favorites:
  • Gerber Sleep n Play 2-packs (footed), $10 for 2 - bonus, these guys zipper
  • Carter's footed with zippers, but more expensive ($10 for 1)
  • For the onesies, there are a ton out there, and they can be incredibly cheap.  I bought a bunch of plain white long-sleeve Gerbers from Amazon that also had mitten cuffs, and we decorated them at my JD-MBA baby shower.
Not my favorites:
  • Old Navy has some really cute footed and bundlers, but no zippers
  • Baby Gap and Soy Baby on Amazon - soo cute but expensive
  • Carter's sleeper gowns (bundlers) - soo cute but Amazon said they're too small / slim.
  • I have a Kickee Pants really gorgeous fancy bundler, but I'm paranoid that it's going to be too narrow for Wanda's legs.  We'll see when she gets here.

Swaddlers

General strategy was to just have 1 or 2, to see if Wanda liked being swaddled.  Fail.  We have 6, 3 of which I'm hesitant to use, and she's not even here yet.

Why?  Because I'm worried about hip dysplasia (information here and here).  Long story short, she needs lots of room to wiggle her legs around, and to curl them up under her in the "froggie" position.  Otherwise, her hips might not develop properly.

With that in mind, things I looked for:
  • Room to wiggle legs around;
  • Ease of opening up the bottom of the swaddler.  I'm imagining us, in the middle of the night
So -- my favorites:
  • Halo Swaddler.  The classic.  If I were to re-do this, I would just buy 1-2 Halo's and be done with it.  I'd buy one in cotton and one in fleece (for cold Chicago).
Not my favorites:
  • Woombie-style swaddler (zips her in like a pea in a pod).  I'm worried that her legs won't be able to move enough.
  • Summer Infant swaddler.  Also worried about her legs; also it doesn't have the easy-access two-way bottom zipper that the Halo has.
  • Ergo Baby Swaddler.  Seemed expensive; no zipper for easy changing at night.  Amazon reviews say that baby Houdini's can wiggle out of them.  But at least there's room for her legs.  I'm going to this one if the Halo's don't work out.