sweet dreams swaddler

With life just begun, my sleeping new son
has eyes that roll back in his head
They flutter and dart, he slows down his heart
and pictures a world past his bed
It’s hard to believe
As I watch you breathe
Your mind drifts and weaves

When you dream,
what do you dream about?

- from “When You Dream” by Barenaked Ladies

We’ve been incredibly lucky when it comes to Luke’s sleeping. From the first night we were home with him, he seemed to understand that night time was for sleeping. He wasn’t super fond of sleeping in the bassinet, so we spent the first couple weeks taking turns sleeping on the couch with him – it was a such a sweet time that I’ll always treasure. Ian had purchased Sara Groves’ Station Wagon: Songs for Parents for me right after Luke arrived, and I would listen to that and pray for our new son as he slept so peacefully on me, eventually drifting off to sleep myself.

When Ian went back to work, we tried to keep him in the bassinet more, but Luke and I both woke up between feedings more frequently. So at three weeks we moved him to his crib and he loved it. We all slept great, and soon he dropped a feeding so we all slept even better. :) Our friends had gotten us an infant swaddle pouch, and it was clear that it really helped Luke sleep soundly. All was well in our sleep world until he turned 2 months – suddenly there was a rash of wakings in the night due to his wiggling loose of the swaddler that he was fast out-growing. Luckily when we were at small group that week, our friend found their daughter’s old swaddlers for us to borrow – problem solved immediately! The only thing was that the swaddlers were quite pink, so Ian made it clear to me that it was a temporary solution (it probably didn’t help that I would throw out comments like “good morning princess!” to get Ian worked up…).

Enter sewing project. I am slightly obsessed with Lotta Jansdotter and her Scandinavian craftiness, I’ll admit. Last year for Christmas my mom got me her Simple Sewing for Baby book, and I was super excited to finally make time to sew something for Luke: a swaddler.

This project was pretty quick (maybe about an afternoon’s worth all together? I did it in chunks when I found time) and I added a few twists that maybe added a bit of time. I didn’t want to buy fabric, so I re-purposed a couple of Ian’s old white t-shirts and stenciled them with a hedgehog stencil I’d made a couple years ago.

Also I decided to make it larger than the pattern in the book, so that it would last him longer. I am not very precise or patient when it comes to sewing, so I just sort of eye-balled it as I cut out the pieces. And of course I managed to not only run out of thread, but later I sewed an entire section with the tension off, so I had to rip it out. This is typically how sewing projects go for me.

in process.


my friend the seam ripper.

Eventually, I had it put together and Luke was able to test it out!

Despite his smile, he did wiggle out in the night, which didn’t surprise me as it was quite large. So I added some more velcro the next day.

The extra velcro is great, it holds his arms in nice and tight. The pouch for his feet is looser, which I hope will help him transition into more of a sleep sack at some point in the future. He seems to love it, and lately has been wanting to go down in his crib earlier in the evening than he has previously. He’s a good little sleeper and we are very thankful!

When you dream,
what do you dream about?
Do you dream about
music or mathematics
or planets too far for the eye?
Do you dream about
Jesus or quantum mechanics
or angels who sing lullabies?

-“When You Dream” by Barenaked Ladies

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7 responses

    • I would love to make you a giant swaddler! Kidding. Um, the stencil is made out of a stencil film (it’s actually blueish, you just can’t tell in the photo). If I want to re-use the stencil, I make it out of the plastic film so that I can wash and re-use, for one-time use I find that cardstock works great (and is easier to cut).

  1. Pingback: 12 days of crafting: stenciling | little tidbits of joy

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