By Gretchen White
Swaddling is the simplest way to coax a baby into blissful rest and a sense of security. As a huge believer in the power of a good swaddle, I’ve watched in awe as hospital caregivers wrapped my little ones with deft efficiency. Trying to copy the magic of a good swaddle can be comical—but it can also be frustrating. An arm pops out here. A leg there.
Another enormous source of frustration is that moment when you are sure your baby is peacefully, soundly asleep. Maybe her swaddle is perfect. But the moment you lay baby in her sleeping spot, she awakens because she knows she isn’t being held. Babies crave the cozy light pressure of a parent’s arms, but because we aren’t superheroes named Wide Awake Man or Robot Owl Girl, it simply isn’t possible for baby to be held constantly.
The Zen Swaddle has cleverly brought together a simple, secure swaddling system with a revolutionary touch—it has lightly weighted and strategically placed pockets sewn into the blanket. These pockets are filled with small beads, like a beanbag. There is a palm-sized pocket to situate on baby’s chest and two longer pockets that run along her sides. These pockets mimic a parent’s touch. When Robot Owl Girl wants to catch a few hours of rest, her baby will feel the security of gentle weight.
I tried the Zen Swaddle blanket with my baby boy, Oliver. If Oliver had a list of top favorite things, he’d say being cozy in a blanket in mama’s arms is a close second behind chow time. The first time I tried it, I noticed a cool inner pouch for smaller babies, the newest of the new. But he was bigger, so I was glad to see the Zen Swaddle accommodates larger babies, too—up to 14 pounds. The directions were simple drawings that were easy to follow.
The weighted chest pocket is designed to look like a little chick. It’s really adorable. The two sides of the blanket are wrapped around baby then secured with velcro. You can wrap baby with arms tucked in or left out. The fabric is lightweight, which I know is an important factor in preventing SIDS. I don’t worry about Oliver overheating in the Zen Swaddle.
As a parent of many kids, I’ve tried several kinds of swaddling blankets and sleep sacks. They are basically blankets with strategically-place bands of velcro, except for the Zen Swaddle. I really like the innovation of the weighted pockets and wish my older kids could have benefited from it. The fabric design is eye-catching without being too cutesy, plus the Zen Swaddle is washer and dryer safe. This is a biggie. One of my earliest concerns was if it could be easily cleaned. We all know little babies can be the source of large leaks.
Denver Parent readers can find Nested Bean’s Zen Swaddle at Firefly Furnishings and Becoming Mothers, located in Denver and Boulder.