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How I Became a Swaddle Ninja

Observant readers of this blog might have noticed that I didn’t release a post on Monday. Sorry about that. My wife and I were busy welcoming our baby boy into the world. We just brought little George home today, and I have a few minutes to type this out while Mama and Grandma are spending some quality time together.

I’ve got so much exciting news to share! This week, in addition to becoming the proud father of a beautiful baby boy, I’ve also managed to become a certified swaddle ninja.

Micah and Baby

OK… I might have made that up. But the nurses did teach me how to do a very snug swaddle-job on George here, and as someone who didn’t even really know what swaddling was a few days ago, I’m really excited about this.

Swaddling isn’t complicated; it’s just a matter of folding a little blanket in such a way that it tightly wraps the child into what Valerie Hurwitz likes to call a baby burrito.

Baby Burrito

Adorable.

Anyway, the reason swaddling is so worthwhile is that it holds the baby firmly in place and gives them the sensation of being held, even when they’re lying in the cradle. This feeling of embrace is powerful stuff. As long as babies feel this way, they’re much less likely to cry or be fussy. This is a win/win for parents and child.

Our boy loves being swaddled. Unfortunately, he also hates it. He really likes to have his arms and legs free, and so after a little while basking in burrito nirvana, he inevitably starts squirming and kicking, worming his hands and feet out of the swaddle. With all this swaddling going on, I have my eye on a Munchkin Jelly Bean Reversible Sling, I cannot wait to take him on walks in the park in that!

His victory is short-lived. Once he’s free of his oppressive swaddling overlords, he quickly realizes that he’s no longer feeling held. Crying ensues. Nobody is happy.

I’m realizing that this newborn child isn’t really much different from me. I watch him, snuggled up in his swaddle, briefly enjoying the feeling of being held and comforted. And then I observe as he struggles and kicks until he’s free of the very source of his comfort. This process repeats itself: he gets what he wants, and then he struggles to be free of it, until he’s finally held and swaddled again.

Just like me. God has swaddled me so beautifully, so many times. God places me in situations where I’m held, protected, guided. Even if I don’t understand it, God has placed me where I’m meant to be. And I love it.

Faith and Baby

I also hate it. I want freedom, I want control, I want to kick away the blanket and move my hands and feet wherever I please. I’ve done this so many times, and every time, when I finally get the freedom I thought I wanted, I’m just left crying, waiting for Daddy to swaddle me back up.

So maybe I’m not a swaddle ninja just quite yet. But I’m going to keep working on it. Because I want to learn the wisdom and patience to recognize how God is doing great things in my life. Even when I feel constrained. Despite my desire to kick against the goads.

How is God swaddling you? What are the places, relationships, situations where God has placed you, even if you love it and hate it at the same time? What would it look like to wait in patience, trusting the one who wraps you up and cares for you?

Related Posts:

I’m Going to Be a Dad. Wait, What?

The Holy Small

  • Rene Lape

    I remember when my first-born came. It was the first “conversion moment” I experienced. I had never thought being a mother was at the center of things until the moment I first saw Erin (a him). But it was a turn-around moment. Swaddling gives us the security, I think, that is at the root of that next emotion – our desire to reach out, find out, be free. They’re both part of the same blessing, I think. Bless you all!

    • Thank you, Rene. I feel like a similar transformation is happening in our lives!

  • barbara.hrrsn@gmail.com

    Swaddling is only half of what a baby needs (the other half being attention). Decades back there were baby slings that kept the infant close to the caregiver (much happier for the baby than being left alone in a cradle).

    • That’s absolutely right. Thanks, Barbara.

  • Isn’t “baby burrito” an accurate description?

    Also, I imagine parenting is somewhat like god-ing, except your terribly flawed and have no idea what would really be the best thing for this child.

    Valerie

    • We’ll just have to do our best and trust in God to do the rest! 🙂

  • Congratulations! Baby burritos are the BEST!

  • Duncan Pugh

    Awwwww!

  • Shasta4737

    Your little boy is beautiful! Congratulations to you and your wife!

  • Rene Lape

    And the person who used the word “god-ing,” I think also has seen something profound. One learns as a parent why the image of God as “Father” is so elemental to our monotheism. I’ve come to see the God of the Scriptures as that totally committed lover of all that we are or can be but also one likely to go a little nuts when we stray from the path He knows is best for us, the path that will make us as “like Him” as we are capable of being.