baby proof: hand-me-downs and swaddling clothes.

April 22, 2014

swaddles 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.
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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.

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14 Comments

  • Reply Kate Harvey April 22, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    So sweet and lovely!

  • Reply Amanda April 22, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Milkmaids know sisterly moocow jokes when they see them.

    p.s. GONNA MAKE THIS GARDEN GROW.

  • Reply Danielle April 22, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Love all the sweet, sentimental, vulnerable-ness in this post! Can't wait to see pictures of bebe! 🙂

  • Reply Daina Ankrum April 22, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    So sweet. Those hand me downs will be so much more meaningful than purchasing new swaddling clothes. I am so excited for you and your growing family!

  • Reply lisaathome April 22, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    What a wonderful time for you and your family! Hand-me-downs are certainly the best (and environmentally friendly, to boot..HAPPY EARTH DAY) Love the basket

  • Reply Lucy April 22, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    I'm so glad you mention swaddling! When I bring up with my boyfriend and his Swedish family they think I'm insane, and say they stopped swaddling years ago in Sweden. Questions arise like what about their poor arms being trapped? Had never even considered swaddling as anything other than completely natural and normal.

  • Reply The Collector April 22, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    It's so fun getting to watch you prepare for baby. Yay for used!

  • Reply kari April 22, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Love this. So sweet.

  • Reply Little Miss Know-it-all April 23, 2014 at 7:52 am

    I am amazed that swaddling has re-emerged and can only see it as a fad – such an old-fashioned practice and not only no proof of any benefits, but high risks… (if you care to research)
    I haven't seen it practiced here in central Europe, fortunately. That was over and done with in the 1960s!
    (Obviously, a gentle wrapping in a blanket while you hold a young baby in cool weather is logical – where have our instincts gone?!)

  • Reply Anonymous April 24, 2014 at 7:20 am

    One of the last little girls in a series of little girls born to close friends called the hand-me-downs that had made their way to her "handy-downs". And they were…

  • Reply jyoti soni April 25, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Great post! I am impresed to read your blog It takes me almost half an hour to read the whole post. Definitely this one of the informative and useful post to me. Thanks for the share. you also visit my site Australian online shop We stock organic & non-organic baby and children clothing such as baby organic clothing, licenced baby clothing, baby accessories & kids products.

  • Reply Rebecca Minkoff Purse April 26, 2014 at 9:43 am

    I ordered this dress from Argentina, and got it in exactly one month! It was supposed to be delivered between 2 to 3 months and when the bell rang yesterday I was really surprised!

  • Reply sara September 19, 2014 at 7:10 am

    Fashion forecasts for the next year are full of solid colors among them shiny solid colors and metallics, tons of animal prints and stripes, bohemian looks as well as over sized and bulky 

    amazing Night Jewelry

  • Reply nancy john October 3, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    Its basically all about trendy accessories and that is what women bother the most which is a good thing because fashion should be the one that is in trends.

    Footwear fashion

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