The first night our son slept in our hospital room was a little rocky.

We were all in our own little beds like the three bears: I was recovering from a C-section so of course I was in the hospital bed, my husband was sleeping on a couch/cot, and our son was in the mobile bassinet.  We had already had one night sans baby because our son spent his first night in the NICU – so we were really excited that he was released to us the second night.  As soon as we turned out the lights and tucked ourselves into our respective beds, our son started crying loudly and naturally we started to panic.

Since I was recovering and therefore less mobile, my husband went to our baby three to four times to change his diaper, give him more formula, and re-do his swaddle.  Then, to my horror, he gave up!  He plopped down on his cot, pulled the covers up, and put his pillow over his head – he just gave up!  We were both emotionally and physically exhausted, but we weren’t going to get any sleep if someone didn’t attempt to do something!  It was clearly going to be up to me.

So I got up and stood over our baby son.  Suddenly and instinctively, it occurred to me that he might be more comfortable if he were a tiny bit wedged to the side instead of lying completely flat on his back.  Maybe I thought this because I felt the same way about lying down myself at the moment.  Or maybe, I wondered, it might make him feel more secure.  So I went to work fashioning something like wedges with two of the hospital blankets.  I rolled them up lengthwise and wedged one under each of his sides.  On one side, I wedged it under him a little more so that it was propped a little higher.

Miraculously, he started to sleep – and so did we!  And the best part was my husband thought I was a genius as a result.  But really, it was the first and strongest experience I’ve had with a mother’s instinct.  And I’m glad now that my husband gave me the chance to stumble upon it (although he still apologizes for his behavior that night whenever it comes up!).

I wedged my baby in with the blankets for every nap until I found actual wedges online to buy.  They weren’t meant for this purpose (they were meant to place under the crib sheet to prevent flat head syndrome), but they work perfectly for this!  It’s a product called the Safe T Sleep Head Wedge and you should order two of them and still wrap them in small blankets so they don’t slip from under your baby’s side as quickly.  Because they’re triangle shape, they really stay wedged under his sides.  You could also buy two door socks (or make them!)  I used wedges for about two months because by that time he seemed to go to sleep more easily on his own.  I could never have predicted I’d use such a thing for my baby and I had never heard of the practice…so please let us know if/how they work for your baby!

~Whitney xo

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