As an addendum to last week’s post about neutral baby clothes and building a layette for bébé, here’s the truth of the matter: just when you finish gathering together your ideal list of petit bébé must-haves in subtle tones of white and grey and ‘au lait,’ you come to your senses and realize that not everything that touches the little bug will be shiny and new and perfectly white. And that it’s probably better that way.
For Easter, my sister, Cait, lovingly washed and wrapped a set of muslin swaddling cloths in various subtle prints of stars and stripes and long-necked giraffes and handed them over along with a special care package filled with other essentials and marked ‘From Bessie to Flossie.’ (I’ll leave you to have a little wonder about the contents of that one.) The swaddles were ones that she had used with my nephew last year, many of them passed along from the mothers of other babies before her. Washed and washed again, these guys are as soft as can be.
At the risk of sending you all fleeing my saccharine sap, allow me to say that as I unwrapped each one, I remembered this time last year when I was still getting the hang of swaddling my nephew. The swaddle covered in sweet peas had me remembering the earth-shattering wails he pitched into my ear as we waited for his mama to return home with something only she could offer. The one with silver stars reminded me of one particularly long walk we took around the East Village when I sang “Inch by Inch” until I got hoarse and earned, no doubt, the title of neighborhood kook. And the all-white swaddle reminded me of the time Cait and I snapped photos of him on the white bedspread, snorting uproariously at the tiny pea in a pod of white.
Even if in the movie of mind my sweet babe is wrapped only in ethereal layers of white, the idea that this little Junebug will get to be wrapped up tight in the swaddles of his or her only slightly older cousin matters a whole lot more.
For the curious:
My favorite easy-to-find swaddles.
My endlessly useful market basket.
A place to check back to for naturally-dyed swaddles, made in Vermont.
A place for naturally-dyed swaddles, made in Georgia.
A place to find new-to-me swaddles in beautiful shades, made in Korea.
More baby proof, here.