Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tutorial: Baby Origami

Things are...let's not use the 'Q' word...LESS NOISY here at the moment so I thought I would take a moment to introduce you to my new favourite pastime - baby origami!

No, that is not folding babies. It is folding things around babies. Silly.

This is a wrapping style that I learned during our first PICU stay. The reason it is so fantastic is it can wrap a baby for comfort and security but still allow easy access (and if necessary a visual line) to their chest.

DISCLAIMER - this wrap is not suitable for every special needs baby in every situation. Use common sense and a nurse - your nurse generally has more of a clue than some chick on the internet. But as a parent in a hospital situation I know how valuable it can be to take an active part in the day to day care of your baby and I have WOWED a few nurses with this wrap...on that note....

We will start with our subject - the beautiful Kaylee

Just for a little bit of perspective, see those green straps next to her shoulders? They go around most babies' waists. I will be using a flannel the same dimensions as a cloth nappy (OK, it IS a cloth nappy) for this demonstration but if your baby isn't fun size you may have to get something a little bigger.

Place the baby slightly to one side of the middle of the wrap. If you are planning to lay the baby on their side, make the short side the same side you will be laying them on. Make sure all leads and tubes are going downward toward bub's feet without any kinks or nasty tangles. Alternatively, you could have the leads and wires etc going upward over your baby's shoulder, it all depends on what and where they are placed. If in doubt, ask a nurse.

Take the corner of the short side and fold it down over the baby's arm like SO.

Then take the straight edge of the short side and fold it across the baby. You may have to hold that first fold down while you do this, it depends if your baby is flailing around yelling blue murder or peacefully sleeping. Be careful to leave the chest exposed.

Tuck the edge you just folded across your baby firmly under your baby's side like SO.

Now take the corner of your long side and fold it down over your baby's other arm like SO.

Then fold the long side across your baby and tuck it firmly under their side like SO.

Again being careful to leave the chest exposed.

Now the baby's arms will be held firmly next to their body which helps calm some babies and prevents their Moro reflex from waking them once they're asleep.

The lower part of the wrap will be like a long tube. Gently flair the bottom of the tube so it looks a little like a mermaid's tail. Singing "Under The Sea" from The Little Mermaid at this point is entirely optional but highly recommended.

Now fold the mermaid's tail up toward the baby's head. If the tail completely covers the chest area you may choose to fold it back on itself to expose the chest. Be careful of leads and tubes (yes, because that is something I need to remind you of I am sure.)

Tuck the corners of the mermaid's tail in and you now have a well wrapped baby.

The best thing about this method is nurses can check respirations, chest wound sites, monitor dot placement etc without unwrapping the baby. Also, it can be used when the baby is under a warmer because the chest and temperature probe can be left exposed.

Now go and amaze your friends at dinner parties! Well, it will work if they are paediatric nurses...

And hence we draw to the conclusion of possibly the wordiest tutorial on how to wrap a baby ever written complete with dodgy, poorly lit pictures (hey, I do words, not pictures!). You're welcome!


Momma Bug said...

It sounds a little like the old Jess is coming back? Wonderful wonderful wonderful!!!
That is the loveliest baby origami model I ever saw (just for the record)! You are mighty handy :-)

Kez Frances said...

Oops, Typo!!
To repost:
Wow!! this is how I used to wrap MY babies!!! I don't know where I learned it. Blessings

suz said...

I memorised this wrap technique before my bub was born only to have him naked under lights (severe jaundice) on and off for weeks lol. I have just read through your journey so far and as I was reading the song Jesus loves me started playing on the radio :)

Seaweed and Raine said...

Yay for baby origami tutorials! :) I like fun size M&M's so fun sized babies - mmm! lol Actually, minus the tubes and such, I have wrapped the boys like this in really hot weather - it's a great method (I just used giant muslin wraps - no fun size. :}
Your hands look lovely - smooth and not wrinkly (like mine!).

Jess said...

Analene - the old Jess makes a reappearance every now and then. Forever changed though I am I can still be tongue-in-cheek and spend a whole afternoon using ten words when one would suffice :)

Kez - I think I have seen Bek do a similar wrap, she must have learned it from you!

Suz - of my six babies only a couple liked to be wrapped and Kaylee is the first that liked to be wrapped quite this firmly. Shame about the lights, best laid plans often go awry!

Swee - must have been the lighting! Either that or hand sanitiser works as a wrinkle cream!